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NCsoft: Nothing Had Been Decided on Selling City of Heroes

'Unethical' game closure is an article on the Korea Times where a fantasy author complains about the closure of City of Heroes, NCsoft's MMORPG (thanks Ant and Krnl_Mandrake via Slashdot). The article focuses on the backlash the move has inspired, though there is a quote from an NCsoft spokesperson offering a shred of hope for fans of the superhero game:

NCsoft’s Seoul-based spokesman Kim Yo-han said that terminating the service was a “strategic decision,” adding that “nothing had been decided on selling the game or other action afterwards.”

According to local industry analysts, the game has been bringing in 3 billion won ($2.76 million) every quarter. “It is hard to comprehend what NCsoft means when they said they closed it for strategic reasons,” one analyst said.

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15. Re: NCsoft: Nothing Had Been Decided on Selling City of Heroes Dec 6, 2012, 17:10 NewMaxx
Ceribaen wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 13:00:
The other component was that there may be some eastern corporate world politics going on that we just don't have a view on, and CoX was a casualty of that.

Strategic vision takes on new meaning with Eastern politics. It's not enough to maintain a profit, one must consistently find growth. Now clearly Sony doesn't have this with say, Pirates of the Burning Sea, so why do they maintain it? It is because they want to retain the IP (or the license to publish it) and the (relatively decent) crew that runs it, but more importantly they want the corporate image of being family-friendly and reliable. The actual bottom line is a drop in the bucket for them, so clearly they put greater value on goodwill, possibly to repair their currently negative image.

NCSoft puts this up against DCUO and CO, looks at the tired, remaining team, as well as their overall portfolio, and even as a company with less of an appetite than Sony the politics simply say that there is little value in keeping that playerbase. Most likely they are gunning for a Perfect World+1 market (a step up), like Turbine's and Sony's and Funcom's, rather than PW's, and in their opinion CoH had leaned closer to the latter. So in a way it is still about image, just from a different angle.

MMO's (especially F2P's) are quickly becoming more about that than the profit, but people seems to have an issue seeing that clearly. There's a lot of value to be had in branding, goodwill, market presence, etc., and as MMO's get cheaper to maintain (as many said in this very thread) this is going to become more common, kind of like a toy in your breakfast cereal box. Their money is better spent on producing something like that than relying on a last-gen MMO that had an entirely different goal.

This comment was edited on Dec 6, 2012, 17:15.
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