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Mythic's first free-to-play game is closing down
Mythic's first free-to-play game is closing down
February 28, 2013 | By Mike Rose

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, the first free-to-play title from Mythic Entertainment that eased the EA-owned studio into the space, will shut down next month due to financial issues.

The game was revealed at Gamescom in 2011, and Mythic said at the time that building a brand new Warhammer Online game for the free-to-play market was preferable to making one of its older MMOs free-to-play.

However, a year after the game launched as a beta, producer James Casey has confirmed that its servers will close down on March 29.

"The free-to-play battle arena version of Warhammer Online was a grand experiment," he said. "We were able to test new server technology, learn more about the free-to-play market, and engage in endless quick, down and dirty, three-way battles any time of day or night."

He added, "Unfortunately, the project could not meet its financial goals to be sustained."

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Kevin Fishburne
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Well hopefully all known versions of game clients have been secured and a primitive server emulation has been developed and maintained.

Nick Green
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This must be a hoax...

... because we all know that the "free" to play model is a license to print money, the wave of the future etc etc.

Though seriously, never played it but it's always sad to see a game shut down. The market is obviously too bloated to support so many high development cost games.

Michael Joseph
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I thought F2P would become increasingly inevitable as a way to compete. If a game cost money up front and another allowed users to play indefinetly as a restricted DEMO, then all else being equal, the free game would attract more users.

But unfortunately, F2P producers too often create mediocre game experiences thinking they can make up for it by being F2P.

F2P should first and foremost be about lowering the barrier for attracting new players. A one time full game payment option should then be made available for users who want to transition from DEMO to FULL. Some in game purchases can also be made available for cosmetic customizations.

F2P went south when the game design merged with the business model and became all about milking players as opposed to making great games that players would later be willing to purchase full access to.

We constantly see little signs here and there of developers wanting to "get over" with marginally ok games rather than really make good games and be rewarded just for that. Trying to get over with shabby "me too" products is why the industry is in a bit of slump.

And if you're a developer at a studio that is making one too many hum drum nothing special games, it's gotta make you nervous.

Michael Joseph
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"become increasingly inevitable..."

but i don't believe that anymore. The number of developers who are actively trying to create extraordinary games is relatively small.

Michael Wenk
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All this discussion about failing because of F2P or what kind of F2P model they have are silly. It sounds like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to me. The problem is that the vast majority of customers for these and most games are currently unemployed or under employed. That's why F2P is so good to bring people in, but so bad at bringing money in for many titles. People are just not willing to spend extra on a game unless they are either goaded into it by peer pressure, or the game is really good. And until that problem is solved, you're not likely going to see any MMO that isn't perceived and actually *is* the best do real well in F2P. The exception of course are the strong tie in games, like LOTRO, STO, and even TOR to a degree.