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NCsoft Unveils 'Major'  City Of Heroes  Expansion

NCsoft Unveils 'Major' City Of Heroes Expansion

May 12, 2009 | By Kris Graft

May 12, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Online game publisher NCsoft revealed today City of Heroes Going Rogue, the first full-blown expansion to the PC-based superhero subscription MMORPG since 2005's City of Villains.

Developed by NCsoft-owned Paragon Studios in Mountain View, Calif., Going Rogue will allow hero characters to become villains, and villains to become heroes, blurring the line between good and evil, NCsoft said.

The company said that "clearly marked missions, in addition to behaviors and decisions made by the player, will move a hero's or villain's moral compass, which could eventually change the hero's or villain's alignment."

Two new "primary fictional characters" will make a debut in the expansion: hero-gone-rogue Maelstrom and the redeemed demon summoning villain Desdemona.

Paragon also recently launched City of Heroes' user-generated Mission Architect system, which facilitated the creation of 20,000 arcs in its first week of availability.

With no major expansion since 2005, City of Heroes' viability within NCsoft's portfolio has shrunk. The franchise, which also includes City of Villains, made up just five percent of overall revenues ($5.5 million) for the company in the past quarter, according to NCsoft's earnings results this week.

Gamasutra estimates break this figure up into $500,000 of retail sales of the packaged game versions, plus an average $13 per month subscription rate for the MMO -- which officially retails for $15 per month with multi-month discounts.

If these estimated figures -- extrapolated out to work out unique monthly subscribers -- are correct, this means City Of Heroes/Villains might currently have around 150,000 worldwide subscribers.

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