After over 12 years of operation, NCsoft said the North American servers for its MMO Lineage
will be shut down on June 29, saying the aging title "is no longer financially viable in the West."
In an FAQ explaining the move, NCsoft said it had to make "a hard decision based on the business performance to focus our resources to make those games provide the best play experience as possible for our customers."
The company is no longer accepting new subscribers for the game, and will allow anyone to play for free while the servers remain up.
Current subscribers will have any unused time refunded, and will receive two months of free game time in three other NCsoft titles -- Lineage II
and City of Heroes
-- as well as an activation code for the subscription-free Guild Wars
will continue to operate in servers based in other regions, including Korea, China and Japan, but NCsoft will not allow North American players to transfer their accounts to those servers
Launched in 1998 as one of the first modern, graphical massively multiplayer games, Lineage
peaked at more than 3 million subscribers, primarily based in NCsoft's native South Korea. That number has come down since the release of Lineage II
, but the original title is still an important part of NCsoft's earnings
in Eastern markets.