MMO publisher NCsoft has announced that it will shut down independent developer NetDevil's underperforming vehicular combat MMO Auto Assault
at the end of August, just over a year after its initial launch in April 2006.
The news is somewhat unexpected, given that the company recently announced
plans in May for a upcoming retooled version of the game, which allows players to create and customize cars and drivers in order to battle in a post-apocalyptic setting.
"Today NCsoft is announcing that it will be closing down service for Auto Assault
at the end of the summer. The service will close at midnight on August 31, 2007," said an official statement posted on the official Auto Assault website
"As of today," the statement continues, "any player currently in the service with an active billed account will not be billed again. If players have previously purchased time via multi-month billing or time cards that extends their service past July 31, NCsoft will reconcile these accounts appropriately."
According to the statement, additional information regarding the game's closure and its impact on players' accounts will be forthcoming.
In August of last year, NCsoft said it saw quarterly losses of 200 million won
($207,000), which it explained was due to a write-off of some 12.6 billion won ($13.1m) in costs related to the flagging title.
Despite the impending demise of Auto Assault
, NetDevil will not be lacking for things to work on, having announced a number of other upcoming projects, not the least of which will be an update
to the long running Jumpgate
franchise, as well as Lego Universe
, an upcoming PC MMO based on the Lego Group's popular brick-based toys.