City of Heroes, the first and in many eyes, the best superhero themed MMORPG is going to shut down on November 30th. Paragon Studios, the company that was/is currently managing City of Heroes released a press statement on the City of Heroes site stating that the game would be shutdown after “a realignment of company focus and publishing support” by parent publisher NCsoft. Not only will City of Heroes be shutting down but also Paragon Studios themselves as well.
City of Heroes was originally released in 2004 as a Pay to Play game. It quickly garnered a cult following since at the time there was no other superhero themed MMORPGs available. With consistent updates including the inclusion of fan made and driven content, City of Heroes retained a dedicated following even after the change in developers.
Addressing the community one last time, Community Manager Andy Belford had this to say:
“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.”
It is truly saddening to see that NCsoft felt that it was not worth continuing to provide service for City of Heroes even after it’s switch to the Free to Play model. While there are still a few superhero themed MMORPGs available -Champions Online and DC Universe- in my eyes none will have had as much of an impact on the MMORPG scene as City of Heroes did.