Sony Online Entertainment shuttering four games
Sony Online Entertainment has announced plans to shut down four of its MMOs: Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
and Wizardry Online
. The first two will be shut down on March 31, and the latter will be shut down on July 31.
Sony Online made the decision to shut down these games so "we can refocus our resources on other areas in the best interest of our company and player community," according to a statement provided by the company to Gamasutra.
launched in April 2009 as the company's first free-to-play title; by that July, it had reached 5 million users. Clone Wars Adventures
followed in 2010, and is being shut down by mutual agreement with IP holder LucasArts, according to the statement Sony Online provided. In both cases, SOE stated that the games' respective audiences are "moving on" to other games or activities.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
launched in 2007 from Sigil Games, and was later acquired by SOE and revamped, but a "declining player population" has resulted in the closure, the Sony Online statement says. Wizardry Online
is a product of Japanese MMO developer Gamepot, and is operated by SOE in the West. It has operated in the U.S. just shy of a year so far, launching on January 30, 2013.
Players of the latter two games are being upgraded to SOE's "All Access" program for the duration of the games' remaining operation.
SOE president John Smedley is currently participating
in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session to address fans' concerns and discuss the company's current and upcoming projects. It began at 3 PM PST.