Pour one out for one of the OG’s that you probably never even heard of.
The Realm Online, one of the oldest running MMOs, is set to shut down after 27 years. The announcement came suddenly, with the game's ownership issues cited as the main reason. It was owned by Norseman Games, yet ran by Realm Worlds (which made the actual content). However, declining revenue and lack of compensation for the team led to the decision to shut down.
“The current agreement we have with Norseman Games gives us no path to acquiring the IP. This impedes our ability to direct more money into developing content for the game. As revenue from the game decreases year over year, the effective percentage of revenue that goes to Norseman increases, making it harder still. None of the LLC members have been compensated for over a year. We had full intention of exploring every possibility to grow the player base, but without a way to acquire the IP this isn’t a workable arrangement.”
Therefore, the Realm Worlds version of the game — known as "Finvarra's Fortress” — will officially close on June 30.
However, the "Legacy Server” known as Despothes' Grove won’t be going away. All accounts, character data, and proprietary data will be securely transferred from Realm Worlds back to Norseman Games. There will however be a paid subscription to play, and no updates or improvements made to the game over the last five years will remain.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Realm Worlds for their passion for this project thus far, and we are committed to keeping the game alive and thriving. Our commitment to the player base remains unwavering, and we will keep the community informed on any progress or new developments in this space. We understand that the TRO community is a crucial part of the game's success, and we thank you for your continued support.”
What happened was that Norseman Games had previously entered into an agreement with the private server Mistwalkers, allowing the developers at Realm World to update the game, which has been around since 1996. However, a breakdown in communication apparently led to the termination of the relationship.
That being said, Realm Worlds said that if they have the chance to resume operations and development, Finvarra's Fortress will be preserved in its current state with no loss of progress. The team plans on keeping backups of everything, including character data and any ongoing projects that haven't been finished yet.
About the Author
Matthew “dinofries” D'Onofrio is a writer, content creator, podcaster and — most importantly — a gamer. With such a strong passion for video games and a severe case of FOMO, it's no surprise he always has his finger on the pulse of the gaming world. On the rare occasion Matt's away from a screen, you'll find him strumming away on his acoustic guitar or taking care of his cat Totoro.
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