Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

 Warhammer Online  to shut its doors
Warhammer Online to shut its doors
September 18, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

In a letter to subscribers today, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning developer Mythic announced the game's closure, effective December 18th, 2013.

"Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals they do eventually come to an end," the letter to subscribers reads, indicating it would disable auto-renew on accounts and discontinue the sale of three month game time codes, in anticipation of the closure. "We here at Mythic have built an amazing relationship working with [Warhammer IP owner] Games Workshop... We thank you again for your dedication and support over the last five years."

Mythic closed its previous Warhammer MMO, Wrath of Heroes, in March of this year.

"Warhammer despite its flaws was a valiant effort into the MMO space," said producer Carrie Gouskos in a company blog post timed in conjunction with today's announcement. "Some of the most talented people in gaming made Warhammer possible. They worked insanely long hours, and they put their heart and soul into trying to make this beautiful IP a living and breathing universe."

Related Jobs

The Workshop
The Workshop — Marina del Rey, California, United States

InnoGames GmbH
InnoGames GmbH — Hamburg, Germany

Mobile Developer C++ (m/f)
The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey — Ewing, New Jersey, United States

Assistant Professor - Interactive Multi Media - Tenure Track
Next Games
Next Games — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Level Designer


Dane MacMahon
profile image
So sad these games die and can't be preserved. Lots of writing and art that are lost to time.

Jakub Majewski
profile image
"All those... moments... will be lost in time, like tears... in... rain. Time... to die..."

It is a bit sad, indeed. But look on it this way - we have no access to probably 95% of all the works the Romans and Greeks had created, not to mention the great civilisations that preceded them. At the end of the day, is it really such a big loss? Well, sure, there's probably two dozen theatre history scholars who would kill for one lost Greek tragedy - but the rest of the world goes on, perfectly happy not to spare a thought. Humanity creates so much, that ultimately, even high aesthetic quality does not necessarily mean anyone will give a damn a hundred years down the track.

All in all, lost games are in good company. Besides, I doubt that it's really possible to preserve an MMO - unlike other games, MMOs rely so much on participation, that even if it would be possible to play it forever, the experience would simply fall flat, because you can never re-create mass participation.

(though it's surely an amusing thought - imagine, a hundred years from now, some university professor getting a multi-million dollar grant for a landmark game study involving the hiring of a million people to play an MMO for several years, to find out what these ancient games were really like)

Dane MacMahon
profile image
@ Jakob

Couldn't disagree with you more, honestly. Past losses don't somehow make current ambivalence make more sense to me. As recently as the 1970s the BBC was erasing Doctot Who episodes because "hey who cares." Today we see that as a tragedy.

I've always accepted that multiplayer games die eventually. The problem is now-a-days the lines between multiplayer and single player are blurring, games are going always online and licensing agreements are getting more and more complicated. We're setting ourselves up to not be able to preserve gaming much at all and I think that's a tragedy. I think today people might brush that off as no big deal but just like Doctor Who they'll be calling it horrible and ignorant in 40 years.

Just my opinion of course. I'm someone who plays 80s and 90s games just as much as modern ones, so I feel strongly on this issue.

Maria Jayne
profile image
I still have the CE Edition under my desk from release, the box is the same size as my desktop PC tower. The hardback art books inside still crack when I open them and the LE metal figure is still unpainted.

I think if it wasn't for the contractual obligations this would have gone Free to Play or been shut down several years ago. Games Workshop obviously didn't want their IP free to play and EA didn't want to bother with it for the last few years.

I will remember it for Public Quests, Tome of Knowledge, Siege PvP, Distinct class mechanics and the horrible European partner they had who I was forced to deal with. ...Oh also the content addition of putting PvE into a PvP zone, because apparently PvE players love being content for PvP.

Abel Bascunana Pons
profile image
I worked at that "European partner" as Community Manager. Things could have been done better, that's true. Also true that WO tried to compete with WoW, but devs implemented sieges and keeps ala DAoC at the last development stage after the negative feedback from the community. When the game was released, there was no high-end content. The hype also killed the game. An entire empire and some races were not included on the game launch and that enraged fans. There were too many servers at the beginning. After a few weeks, many servers were shutted down, that was a fatal blow.

It would be interesting to compare WO with AoC. AoC also went free to play and managed to survive. It must also be added that WO couldn't compete with AoC at a graphical level. Also AoC introduces you much better to the game world than WO with their solo guided quests. Another issue with WO is that new players wouldn't find veteran players on open PvP areas because the latter progressed to further tiers. That was a critical game design flaw. They tried to interwine PvP with PvE, and the prospect on paper might have sounded okey at the time, but it's a shame this wasn't detected on an early in-house alpha test.

Much more could be said... it's a pity that, "despite its flaws" as the news quote, nobody will be able to play again this quite decent MMO. RIP.

Harry Fields
profile image
When shuttered, these games should be made public domain. Let the community do something with 'em. Let historians do something with them. A few industrious fans can take it, modify things and stand up a cluster in EC2. or a single server for their friends or the like. Why not?

Kenneth Baird
profile image
The lowest tier battlegrounds were a great time. Later the classes got too many annoyance abilities so you spent most of your time knocked down / knocked out / knocked into lava / otherwise annoyed. It didn't take long either, like early to mid twenties.

I wrote a long blog on the loss of mmos awhile back, as it is happens in two ways. There's both the shutdown of servers, and the inevitable change that ultimately destroys the original game. Many pine for original everquest or original star wars galaxies. In the latter case both original and game are gone.

In both instances you have fans bringing them back through emulator servers, but not every game will get such a labor of love. I think in all cases our memories are kinder than the truth.