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RUMOR: City of Heroes & WildStar Closures - An Alternate Viewpoint from the Inside

Suzie Ford Posted:
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An interesting RUMOR has been posted on Kotaku as a comment on last week's news that WildStar and Carbine Studios would be closing later this fall. A poster named exChua, ostensibly a former employee of both Paragon Studios and Carbine Studios, admits to creating a burner account in order to "correct the record here". What follows is a RUMORED alternative the closure of both companies and the games they made. We have reached out to NCSoft & Carbine about the RUMORS.

The post begins its alleged "history" here:

And no, I’m not doing this out of love for NCSoft or any shit like that. We parted ways many many moons ago and we’re both happier for it. I just hate untruths being passed around because they let certain people keep skating around the industry causing the same shit over and over and being able to pin it on a nebulous entity to remove blame for their own actions.

RUMOR: City of Heroes & Paragon Studios Demise

According to the anonymous poster, NCSoft is RUMORED to have shut down Paragon Studios "because they tried to pull a fast one on NCSoft". Ostensibly, NCS handed a large sum of money to Paragon to develop City of Heroes 2, but the money was reportedly used on another project instead, according to exChua. "Paragon Studios basically took the money, pretended to work on CoH2, but in actuality started building a completely unrelated IP, writes exChua in the statement posted at Kotaku.

NCSoft was actually pretty happy with how COH was doing - they were never a huge hit, but they’d long since paid their dev costs and were a nice little money farm. They were happy enough with the brand that they even decided to move forward on an unannounced COH 2 project, and allocated funds to Paragon Studios for the development of a new COH property.

The writer further alleges: "See, this is what I learned when I worked for them -- South Korean publishers are actually pretty hands off for the most part, as long as you give them reason to trust you...until you waste their money. THEN the boot comes down".

RUMOR: WildStar & Carbine Studios Demise

And now WildStar. NCSoft was pretty cool with us for a long time. They gave the company piles and piles of money and many years of extensions to get the game out. The totality of WildStar’s existence, from conception to release, was about a *decade*. A decade that NCSoft never saw a single return of investment on. So obviously... they had a lot of patience.

The writer opines that Carbine was never "a well-managed studio. Ever". Some of the issues the writer alleges with regard to the difficulties the team had getting WildStar out the door are rumored to include:

  • Carbine "missed release date after release date after release date"
  • "Teams and personnel were constantly shuffled around at random without any real concern for if this was creating useable content."
  • quests to "unlock endgame raids" was "literally injected in at the very last minute because A) our raids weren't actually completely done at launch and B) the creative director literally said we should add raid keys to artificially lengthen the game"
  • "they knew it was going to lose so much money that they were actually grateful so many people quit right after launch because it saved them money"

The writer sums up his (or her) version of events with an interesting thought for those who blame NCSoft for the closures of both WildStar and City of Heroes:

So really, you shouldn’t be angry at NCSoft for finally pulling the plug. My experience with them was that they were a tough but surprisingly forgiving master that overlooked an exceedingly troubled development and still put a lot of faith and money into a title they never saw an ROI on. 

What do you think of the RUMORS alleged by the writer about the closures of the two studios and games? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

We have reached out to NCSoft & Carbine for a statement.


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom