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City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed

The City of Heroes Website has news that NCsoft is closing developer Paragon Studios and plans to shut down City of Heroes by the end of this year, in spite of the page's title bar still calling this "The World's Most Popular Superpowered MMO" (thanks McCleod). Here's word:

This morning we announced that Paragon Studios will be taking to the skies of City of Heroes for the last time.

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it.

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.

Andy Belford

Community Manager

Paragon Studios.

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49 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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49. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 2, 2012, 21:05 Narf2029
 
Very true. I just couldn't keep my interest in Champions and went back to CoH. If nobody saves CoH, I'll try Champions again as it's the next best thing in terms of superhero play and character customization... and that is truly saddening.

To put it in perspective, I still have two client keys I bought on sale for like $5 each, one for me and one for my wife, back before they went free to play... still have not used them. I wonder if they'll even work now.

This comment was edited on Sep 2, 2012, 21:11.
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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48. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 17:15 Jivaro
 
Fritzo wrote on Sep 1, 2012, 13:27:
Are you sure? When I played it, it seemed like it even had some of the same missions as CoH.

Then you didn't play either for very long. Not much else to tell you. Other then being superhero games with extensive character creators they have pretty much nothing in common. Everything about the actual gameplay, questing, and overall structure was completely different. That is why Champions Online did so poorly, all the CoH/Cryptic fans tried it and most of them went back to CoH or quit playing both.

The CoH fans were so hungry for a sequel, even at that time that, if Champions Online was anything like CoH...they would have gladly stayed and paid a subscription.

Am I sure... Yeah. 8 years of CoH and one of the suckers who bought a lifetime subscription to Champions Online pre-release, makes me quite expert on the subject. There are bound to be similarities within quest lines when the same company makes two games within the same genre, but in this case they are very superficial.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2012, 17:31.
 
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47. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 13:27 Fritzo
 
Are you sure? When I played it, it seemed like it even had some of the same missions as CoH.  
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46. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 11:53 Veengrd
 
Congrats to all the great developers at Paragon who made this such a successful game for so long. The studio may be shutting down, but I'm sure all of you guys will land on your feet.  
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45. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 11:49 Herzog
 
HorrorScope wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 19:31:
On of my top 5 mmo's.

Their combat model was brilliant and many many epic battles.

I agree; pre purple patch it is difficult to express what an extremely fun game and community CoH possessed. Solo play was good, group play was better. Avatars were the provenance of the player. The later sidekick/mentor level adjustment was a good incremental improvement for games where level dictates content and who you can play the game with at that moment. CoH during it's existence was a clear laboratory for game elements interacting with business objectives. The initial release forgot the behavioral engineering common to the industry such as progression curves or random reward schema. Cryptic seemed alarmed people might buy CoH, play it for just as long as it appealed to them and then stop subscribing.
 
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44. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 11:32 Jivaro
 
Fritzo wrote on Sep 1, 2012, 11:12:
Isn't Champions Online pretty much the same game with a better engine?

nope.
 
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43. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 11:12 Fritzo
 
Isn't Champions Online pretty much the same game with a better engine?  
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42. City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 04:25 Siygess
 
Also, is this the first "big" F2P game to shut down? I can't think of any others that transitioned from a subscription model to a cash shop model that are no longer around.

I guess it's an unfriendly reminder that all that money you drop in the store to unlock game content isn't exactly a safe investment. Boo to online only games!
 
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41. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 04:15 Siygess
 
Wow, sad news. I spent nearly three years playing this game, far more than any MMO before or since, and in addition to setting the benchmark for character generators they had some great ideas in the game too. I actually enjoyed dabbling in the PvP and even played in a couple of team tournaments in my time. And CoV was pretty swish!

Oh well.. I guess I deluded myself into thinking that once a game goes F2P it can coast along forever by selling it's players an assortment of funny hats. After all, freaking Neocron is still around. Neocron!

There's no justice in the world.

And now I guess there's no justice in the virtual world either*






* Well apart from CO (More proficient, but lacks character and charm) and DCUO (The SOE Factor)
 
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40. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Sep 1, 2012, 00:32 Jivaro
 
Narf2029 wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 22:56:
Uff, this still makes me feel sick. The community there is incredible. I'll hate to see this game end.

http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?t=295867

(source forum)
http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,4877.0.html
 
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39. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 23:57 StingingVelvet
 
Kalthorn wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 18:19:
Not to be pedantic, but online games do not simply vanish from existence once they are shut down.

The publishers/owners could release the server executables to the public when they shut down, but they choose not to. That is why the game ends, not because of some magical property of being an online game.

We all know that won't happen, but even if it did, just because a new player can see all the same content 5 years after I did doesn't mean they are playing the same game. Patches, content updates, and, most importantly, the community at that point in time are all integral to the "true" game.

You can log into Everquest today and do some quests around Freeport but it won't be anything like it was for me and thousands of others in the weeks/years after launch. Call it zeitgeist or whatever you want, but the true experience of a game, of a work of art, is often wrapped up in the community and culture at that time. Can you play Super Mario Bros. 3 today? Yes. Would that experience be anything like it was when it came out? No. That experience has arguably vanished from existence.

That is sad, true, but like someone else already mentioned, makes the memories fonder. All I'm saying is that this happens regardless of the online/offline properties of a game.

I can load up SMB3 on an emulator and get the feel back to some extent, I can show my kids the games daddy played when he was little. With a dead MMO none of that is possible outside of random youtube videos (which are limited themselves).

If you don't think of games as art on the same level as movies and music then okay, let them die. For those of us who do though it's considered a cultural crime that a game can die and no longer be played in any form.
 
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38. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 22:56 Narf2029
 
Uff, this still makes me feel sick. The community there is incredible. I'll hate to see this game end.  
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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37. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 21:09 Slashman
 
LArac wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 19:40:

But Corps, do not think

Lee

There...I fixed that for you!

Actually, by now I was thinking we'd be hearing about a City of Heroes 2. I think it was way past time to do that.

A lot of the stuff they did recently was decent. But it was putting a fresh coat of paint on a really old house that needed to be condemned. I spent a lot of time in COH and I came to the point where I realized that nothing they could add(or were willing to try) could make the gameplay any better.

It was locked in the same technology bubble that it launched with in 2004. The mistake they made was not moving on to the next version of the game and trying to keep the old one fresh and relevant.

Those few years of neglect when everyone got routed to work on the cancelled Marvel MMO were what really hurt the game. Instead of furiously expanding the game at a time when it's numbers were highest and people were interested...it was just left to flail around until the NCSoft buyout.

This comment was edited on Aug 31, 2012, 21:17.
 
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36. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 19:40 LArac
 
If I owned it I would do a Kickstarter to release a working Private Server.

An Edition that anyone could easily find the servers running, and a Server ed for those who want to run it.

Would bring in over 500, 750K I would think and help patch the holes for a few days.

But Corps, do not think that way.

Lee
 
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35. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 19:31 HorrorScope
 
On of my top 5 mmo's.

Their combat model was brilliant and many many epic battles.
 
Avatar 17232
 
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34. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 19:27 dubfanatic
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 18:14:
Everything is part of culture, if you exclude the trash, you are just setting yourself up for future trash,, because if no bad examples of past exist, how do you think people in 50 years will know how NOT to make identical trash all over again?

People don't produce trash because they don't know any better. They produce it because it sells. Pop culture is 99% worthless crap because the sole purpose of it is to make money, and to do that you pander to the lowest common denominator.
 
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33. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 19:03 Stormsinger
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 18:44:
Best character creation ever. I could - and did - spend days at a time just making characters for themes, costume contests, etc. Every MMO needs to take a page from CoX on this.

Mission Architect was a step in the right direction but far too late. Much like Cryptic's Foundry, MMOs and evern CRPGs should always strive to enable user made content. It's just a no brainer.

The rest of the game pretty much sucked IMO. Same with CO. Still waiting on a good online/co-op/multiplayer superhero game.

Personally, I never did agree that player made content was a good idea. Copyright infringement (some players -will- import items copied from other sources) and taste/obscenity issues (remember the penis storms in Second Life) mean that if you don't inspect and approve every individual item, sooner or later, you've opened your company up to all kinds of liability issues.

That said, the final version of the MA was better than I thought possible.
 
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32. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 19:00 Narf2029
 
I actually felt sick when I saw this. It's practically the only MMO I still play on a regular basis, including two which I have lifetime accounts on. The character creator was top notch, and I still measure every MMO against it. The level of personalization is just unparalleled.

But at the same time, I saw it coming. Pretty much just one or two servers have any notable population now. It still sucks though. I always got bored of other MMOs because of their comparative lack of personalization, but now there will just be nothing like it. And we all know how NCSoft is - the day something stops being profitable they shut it down and lock it away.
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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31. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 18:44 Cutter
 
Best character creation ever. I could - and did - spend days at a time just making characters for themes, costume contests, etc. Every MMO needs to take a page from CoX on this.

Mission Architect was a step in the right direction but far too late. Much like Cryptic's Foundry, MMOs and evern CRPGs should always strive to enable user made content. It's just a no brainer.

The rest of the game pretty much sucked IMO. Same with CO. Still waiting on a good online/co-op/multiplayer superhero game.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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30. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 18:39 Stormsinger
 
Ruffiana wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 18:01:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 17:38:
Ruffiana wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 17:33:
When I was laid off from Paragon almost two years ago, I thought they had another 6mos, maybe a year left in them. I was wrong apparently. They managed to scrape by for another 22 months.

I'm sad to see my friends and former co-workers set loose today, but I'm confident they'll find greener pastures soon enough.

Admittedly, it's always a bummer when people you know personally get handed a setback that alters their life. You know how stressful it's going to be for them.

Still, I remember hearing about the Mission Architect and saying "Really? That's your plan to bring the sub numbers back up?". It didn't go over well. It reeked of desperation at the time.

Mission Architect was never designed to bring subs back. It was just one feature of many in an attempt to stem the loss of players over time. Fact is, very few games can maintain relevance for years and years on end, MMO or not. You'll always have your small, hardcore, slightly insane group of players who will be there playing until the end, but the majority of the playerbase is just recycled out for new players and not a damn thing you can do about it.

Really, it started out as a tool to allow Joe M. to create burnable content more easily and at some point it expanded into a 'Hey, why don't we let the players use this too?'

Lot of mistakes made with MA and how it was implemented, but the underlying idea of letting people who've invented a superhero character also write their own story content to play and sahre was a good idea no matter how you spin it.

And let's not forget that the MA was built and released during the years when "player-created content" was being touted as the holy grail of online games. In all honesty, CoX was the -only- game I saw that even came close to making it a reality...even if it did take a lot of tweaking after release to get there.

CoX kept my interest far longer than any other graphical MMO...and I don't even -like- the superhero genre. I find that to be a rather amazing achievement, although it's clear others have other viewpoints.
 
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