Over five years ago a new type of MMO launched. Dubbed City of Heroes, this game attempted to bring the world of super heroes to the gaming universe, at a time when most other online games were firmly grounded in the Fantasy genre. It was a breath of fresh air, a game that you could play for an hour or so on your lunch break and come away feeling satisfied and refreshed. Today Paragon Studios announced that NCSoft has decided to close down the developer, and with it City of Heroes.
For those of us who have played this game, it's a sad day. It's even more sad for those of us who have covered it, watched the game evolve, grow and change in response to a changing gamer demographic. I have had some amazing memories covering this MMO, from the opportunity to interview Matt Miller, Mr CoX himself, to the chance to meet fans at their annual meetup in Northern California and see the faces behind the masks. I remember the joy I felt covering the launch of the Architect Edition, and how elated I was when City of Heroes Freedom was announced because I thought, at last, an older MMO was weathering the changing online gaming climate and proving the critics wrong about this genre.
Today development ends on City of Heroes/City of Villains, and I sit awash in nostalgia. I can't even be really angry at NCSoft. This is a business decision, and when the cost to run a game outweighs the income it generates, I understand that tough choices need to be made. For those at Paragon Studios, I hope that you will easily land on your feet. The raw talent of the folks there leads me to believe that any development team would be happy to have you, and I for one would hire you all if I were made of money and developing an MMO of my own.
Farewell Paragon City, I will never forget my time with you.