We here at MMOGames often get asked, “What happened to ….?” Or “Why did ….. close?” Well today we’re taking a look at 5 MMOs which for one reason or another just aren’t around today. We’ll go through the reasons they aren’t around now, look at a bit of the MMO’s history and look at some alternative games you can jump into for similar settings, play styles. These five make up some of those which we get asked about most often plus some that the writers were looking forward to playing. Either way we’re wondering what ever happened to…
5. World of Darkness
In September of 2010 at a fan event CCP announced they were working on a World of Darkness MMO. Since then the project has seen at least one, if not more reductions in staff which significantly slowed progress on the MMO. Then CCP announced they would be spending some time focusing on getting Dust 514 launched. Of course now Dust 514 has been out for nearly a year and there has been no mention on the progress of the World of Darkness MMO. The MMO is being developed in CCP’s Atlanta, Georgia office and according to the corporate site they are currently looking to hire a Technical Game Designer specifically for WoD. At this point it is hard to tell if World of Darkness will ever be released. But die hard fans are still holding out hope.
If you’re looking for a similar experience try out Funcom’s buy to play MMORPG The Secret World. It is a world where everything is true and secret societies run the world. Find vampires, ghosts, zombies and more in this modern day setting.
4. Auto Assault
There is one area of entertainment that is almost completely ignored by MMO makers, vehicular warfare. NetDevil’s Auto Assault was a venture into unknown territory in 2006. It was set in a post apocalyptic world where everyone used fully customizable cars, motorcycles, and tanks to get around. Unfortunately the concept proved to be somewhat unpopular and the servers where shut down for the last time on August 31st, 2007 when NCSoft opted not to continue support for the game. Fans of the MMO launched a campaign to save the game but ultimately failed at doing so.
Today there are many more vehicle based MMO options than there were in 2006 when Auto Assault first came out. The most popular of which is World of Tanks. But fans of Auto Assault may find Grand Theft Auto Online more to their liking. Or if you’re willing to wait another year or so The Crew looks to be a very promising vehicle based multiplayer experience.
3. Stargate Worlds
Set to be the MMO answer to the massive hit 90’s adventure show Stargate SG-1, Stargate Worlds was announced in 2006 by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment and MGM. Unfortunately CME went into receivership in 2010 and a release date for the MMO was never given before it was announced the project was cancelled. MGM cancelled the licensing agreement with CME and several lawsuits were launched at CME CEO Gary Whiting. Footage of the failed MMO could be seen briefly in the first episode of Stargate Universe being played by the character Eli Wallace. Sadly it seems that Stargate Worlds never really had any chance of being released because of shady business transactions.
Few MMOs really dive into the Sci-Fi genre so picking an alternative to play wasn’t easy. But ultimately it came down to another Sci-Fi franchise which successfully made the jump to MMO, Star Wars. Though Star Wars: The OldRepublic had a rough start most people agree that since the change to free to play the MMO has blossomed. And though they may be from competing universes unfortunately it really is the closest there is to Stargate Worlds.
2. End of Nations
It started out looking like it could be a genre changing MMO experience. But the End of Nations development has been one struggle after another and now there seems to be no sign of it at all. Originally starting life as an MMORTS, End of Nations was being developed by Petroglyph to be produced by Trion. But late in 2012 Trion brought End of Nations in house, putting Petroglyph out of a job. The MMO went through Alpha and Closed Beta stages and just when it was thought it would be moving to Open Beta Trion brought it offline to be “fine tuned.” After months of developer silence the fans feared that this project was dead in the water. And just as everyone started to get vocal, Trion announced that End of Nations was no longer going to be an MMORTS, and instead would be a MOBA. After a brief round of interviews, AMAs, and a relaunch of the Alpha things went silence once more. Fans of the original RTS were outraged that Trion was going the safe, popular MOBA route.
There hasn’t been any sign of life on any of the social media channels for End of Nations since August 6th, 2013. For now it seems the project is dead. Just last week while researching for another article MMOGames stumbled upon the fact that the official End of Nations website is now gone. Going to endofnations.com redirects to the Trion Worlds’ corporate page for End of Nations. Though we’ve reached out to Trion to find out more we have yet to hear back from them. What does the future hold for End of Nations now? Most likely a silent death unless Trion pulls out a surprise for us all. Only time will tell.
Unfortunately the MMORTS genre really is lacking in titles. Currently the best options are Stronghold Kingdoms and Age of Empires Online. But Age of Empires Online is due to shut down on July 1st. So it would seem that if you want your RTS kick you’ll have to stick with single player games for now.
This is perhaps the most bizarre, heartbreaking, and slightly hilarious story to the end of an MMO there has ever been. M2, a Korean MMO was taken offline for some critical maintenance in November of 2011 never to come back again. The reason? A key part of the game’s code was deleted during the maintenance session. Normally this would just mean that an older version of the game files would have to be used. But there were no back ups. And without this critical part of the code the MMO was simply unusable. The studio had to announce to their fans that the MMO would not be coming back online again.
Thankfully it seems that M2 is playable in other regions of the world as it did something very popular in the Asian market and had several publishers. But that doesn’t change the heartbreak the developers had to feel after the mistake was made. And it reminded everyone around the world to save often and keep backups of their backups.
So there we have it, five MMOs which everyone asks about but no one seems to know what happened to. Their lives may have been cut short because of a lack of interest, budget concerns, or even human error but all of these games are missed by someone. Are there other MMOs you would like to know what happened to? Leave a comment below and we may have another article on this topic again in the future. Because there will always be someone wondering, What ever happened to…
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