Ah… City of Heroes. I played it on and off quite a bit a few years back, and again briefly when it was recently announced that the game was going free to play. Back when MMOs were still to young and World of Warcraft had yet to completely dominate the subscription-based market, all sorts of neat ideas were being tried. City of Heroes was the first attempt at bringing superhero fiction into the MMO genre, allowing players to create their very own superheroes, and eventually supervillains. The list of powers was immense and the different ways they could be combined to fit your desired theme was exemplary of great game design, and to this the day the character/costume creator is without equal. For awhile, it was something really magnificent.
But sadly, all things must come to an end, and it seems the time has come for City of Heroes to shut down. This news comes very abruptly, a little less than a year after the game went Free-to-Play. It seems not even the cash shop model was enough to keep the game profitable enough for publisher NCSoft, who is said to have made the decision as part of “a realignment of company focus and publishing support.” The game will shut down before the end of the year, and developer Paragon Studios will be closed with it.
In a farewell post on the official website, Community Manager Andy Belford had this to say:
To our Community,
Thank you. Thank you for your years of support. You’ve been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn’t have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don’t dwell on the “how” or the “why”, but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.
Thank you, and I’ll see you in the skies, one last time.