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General: The Four Shortest Lived MMOs

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood takes another trip down memory lane this week, counting down four shortest lived MMORPGs.

Last week, we examined five games that died on the cutting room floor. This week, we look at four games that made it to launch, but died within 18 months.

They’re presented in a countdown, from the game that lasted the longest to the fastest live MMO shut down in history.

Sadly, in recent years, MMO shutdowns have become much more common and the corporate leashes a lot shorter. Older games like Asheron’s Call 2 and Earth and Beyond aren’t on the list. The sad truth is, not everyone gets cancelled as quickly as these four. Earth and Beyond ran for 729 days, while Asheron’s Call 2 survived a whopping 1,134 days.

Read The Four Shortest Lived MMOs

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • CaesarsGhostCaesarsGhost Marietta, GAPosts: 2,136Member

    Good rundown... but you never mentioned Phylon, which made it less then a month.  It had shutdown notices within 2 weeks of launching, although many question whether or not it was ACTUALLY launched.

    Phylon was featured here (MMORPG.com) in both articles, advertising, and a Podcast.  Surely you recall it's short "Open Mid July" and "Closed in August" lifespan?

    - CaesarsGhost

    Lead Gameplay and Gameworld Designer for a yet unnamed MMO Title.
    "When people tell me designing a game is easy, I try to get them to design a board game. Most people don't last 5 minutes, the rest rarely last more then a day. The final few realize it's neither fun nor easy."

  • deathyeplccsdeathyeplccs Anchorage, AKPosts: 2Member

    I'm afraid I have to disagree with what you said about Auto Assault... you say:

    "Doing something different is always a risk. There's a reason that a most of the current MMOs follow a familiar formula. Auto Assault attempted to mix car-based games like Grand Theft Auto, or maybe more appropriately Carmageddon, with the MMO genre and it just didn't jive with players. It was new, it was original, but ultimately, it just was just a bit difficult to get into and didn't have enough depth once people did."

    The problem with Auto Assault was that it didn't take enough of a chance.  They took a great idea, multiplayer vehicular combat, and instead of doing it well, they just turned it into a skin for a game that was actually just freakin' Everquest under the hood.

    I mean, c'mon... cars that heal each other?!?!?  That's why they lost me, I'm just sick of companies shoehorning a different genre into the fantasy mold to try and make it more like EQ/WoW.  It's why I hated Anarchy Online, too... they just replaced "magic" with "nanites," but otherwise didn't do anything very different.

    Honestly, Auto Assault had one other problem with it, which could not be considered a small problem... they had support for steering wheel controllers, but it was really poorly executed.  That didn't help.  After NetDevil got dinged with the original Jumpgate for the game being unplayable without a good flightstick setup, they went too far the other way with Auto Assault and delivered a game where using a controller felt like an afterthought.

    It's a shame, I would've really loved a well executed vehicular combat MMO, and I know I'm not alone, but the real problem with Auto Assault was that they completely blew it!  Maybe Steve Jackson Games will get around to the occasionally promised Car Wars game.  That'd be awesome.

  • chryseschryses LondonPosts: 1,453Member Uncommon

    Out of all those games I had high hopes for TR and thought it could succeed.  I actually loved it until around level 40.  The game did some things very very well and the logos was a great touch.  However there just wasn't enough RPG elements or side activities to get involved in.  Fast paced combat can only carry a game so far before players get bored and move on.  Personally I thought it needed some more friendly zones that were lush and full of life.  Players who want to play an MMO for a long time can get tired of gritty death ridden scenary.  Sometimes its just nice to roam friendly territory and have some time out.  (I wont mention the crafting because there wasn't one...you know what I mean)

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Originally posted by CaesarsGhost


    Good rundown... but you never mentioned Phylon, which made it less then a month.  It had shutdown notices within 2 weeks of launching, although many question whether or not it was ACTUALLY launched.
    Phylon was featured here (MMORPG.com) in both articles, advertising, and a Podcast.  Surely you recall it's short "Open Mid July" and "Closed in August" lifespan?

    Yeah, it just never really seemed to be properly launched, which is why I looked past it last night. 

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • vickykolvickykol Oakland, CAPosts: 104Member

    I played SEED regularly.  I think the problem wasn't just that there was no combat -- there was not much of a fully functional game there.  I think it could have been a nice niche game with the right resources behind it, and I would have paid as much for something like it as I do for my PvE games.

  • Hammertime1Hammertime1 Lewiston, IDPosts: 619Member

    I can't beleive that they left out AC2 from that list!

    David Bowman killed that game in an incredibly short time...

  • patrikd23patrikd23 GBGPosts: 1,155Member

    Final Fantasy XI , 1 whole day for installing and downloading and patching + registration. And I played for 1 hour and after the frustaration with the controls and chat system + the visuals I decided to uninstall it and never try it again.

  • patrikd23patrikd23 GBGPosts: 1,155Member
    Originally posted by vickykol


    I played SEED regularly.  I think the problem wasn't just that there was no combat -- there was not much of a fully functional game there.  I think it could have been a nice niche game with the right resources behind it, and I would have paid as much for something like it as I do for my PvE games.

     

    Yeah I was in closed beta on it and it was very original but the lag was really bad. With some more money and people working on it I think it would be quite good. But the needed some new ideas also I think. Was kinda same thing all the time.

  • DamitmanDamitman Holiday, FLPosts: 22Member

    #4 Auto Assault

    What a shame! It was a Kick @ss Game.

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    Rather then truth as the authority.”
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  • boingedboinged LondonPosts: 160Member

    Played AA for about a year on and off and TR for a few months on and off.

    Uninstalled Fury after an hour of beta and could only play a few hours of Seed beta despite wanting more.

    These were all innovative games so it's a shame they got shut down but I hope future innovative titles like Fallen Earth take note!

     

    I'm really enjoying these articles. You should do one on Ryzom next, been cancelled and brought back from the dead at least twice now. What a contrast to WoW.

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Originally posted by Hammertime1


    I can't beleive that they left out AC2 from that list!
    David Bowman killed that game in an incredibly short time...

     

    Dude, take another look at teh article, it specifically addresseswhy AC 2 wasn't there.

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member
    Originally posted by Hammertime1


    I can't beleive that they left out AC2 from that list!
    David Bowman killed that game in an incredibly short time...

     

    As Jon wrote in the intro: "Asheron’s Call 2 survived a whopping 1,134 days."

    Dana Massey
    Formerly of MMORPG.com
    Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  • Originally posted by patrikd23


    Final Fantasy XI , 1 whole day for installing and downloading and patching + registration. And I played for 1 hour and after the frustaration with the controls and chat system + the visuals I decided to uninstall it and never try it again.

     

    You do realize that FFXI is one of the most successful MMORPGs ever created yeah?  Just because you didn't take the time to really appreciate how detailed and deep the game is. don't start flaming it.

  • Hammertime1Hammertime1 Lewiston, IDPosts: 619Member
    Originally posted by Stradden

    Originally posted by Hammertime1


    I can't beleive that they left out AC2 from that list!
    David Bowman killed that game in an incredibly short time...

     

    Dude, take another look at teh article, it specifically addresseswhy AC 2 wasn't there.



     

     

    Yes, I had seen that:

    "Sadly, in recent years, MMO shutdowns have become much more common and the corporate leashes a lot shorter. Older games like Asheron’s Call 2 and Earth and Beyond aren’t on the list. The sad truth is, not everyone gets cancelled as quickly as these four. Earth and Beyond ran for 729 days, while Asheron’s Call 2 survived a whopping 1,134 days."

     

    I gues what I meant was that AC2 had a much larger budget than those games listed ( although I'm not sure of the figures for money spent on TR  )  so even with a slightly longer running time, it cost investors far more in money lost.

     

     

     

  • VillynVillyn Mount Pleasant, SCPosts: 75Member

    Dark & Light.. does it count?

    They pre-sold, pre beta invited, never really launched did they?

    ohh i left out getting sued for the pre sells :)

  • DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member
    Originally posted by Villyn


    Dark & Light.. does it count?
    They pre-sold, pre beta invited, never really launched did they?
    ohh i left out getting sued for the pre sells :)

     

    ...and shut down after it lost a lawsuit for stealing some technology.

    Honestly, we are not even able to pin down when it died (exactly).

    There are no doubt a few games that died faster, but many of those were so beyond screwed up as to not even have properly defined launch days, let alone anyone around to note that it went away.

    This was more a list of notable games that died quickly.

    Dana Massey
    Formerly of MMORPG.com
    Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  • arcdevilarcdevil fjkdoao, NEPosts: 864Member

    where is HG:L in that list?

  • brenthbrenth rock island, WAPosts: 288Member

    I was in the BETA of SEED   what a trainwreck!!!   testers  were literaly yelling and screaming to developers about the  obviously impending doom  but the powers that be  never seemed to listen  and released the game  FAR FAR from being ready  I estimated it was only 10% ready  (many MMOs try to sneek out the door at about 90%)

    SEED did have a exceptionally good premice  a starter colony on a mysterious strange new planet   but so many things cripled it from the begining  the fists of which was a pathetic and lame comic book  environment  that wouldnt keep a 4 year old interested

    the charactor movement was mouse point and click, which might be fine for out doors or open places but was cripling in crowded hallways

    what sparce little game play was in the game  was so boring and repetitive as to cause convultions and death it entailed going around to a multitude of open panals  and repairing them  but they would "break" again in mere moments  reducing this to a repetive and infinite wack-a-mole  

    we never got as far as combat because  there was no "outside" world to explore,  for this game theme  such combat interaction would be critical and expected

     

    I would love to see this theme attempted again usung a standard game engine as the theme hade emence possibilities ffor awesome game play,,  exploring a totally unknown new world  and trying to survive and thrive there,  hell ya!  

    but id expect solid crafting,  the ability to improve the city ship from a total wreck  to something improved,, id expect strange plants and creatures and environments... are there inteligent life forms already here? are we the intruder aliens?  are there other "SEED" colonies?  are we  friends or enemies?   mucho possibilities! 

    make a world, not a game, we dont want another game.

  • torioustorious chicago, ILPosts: 66Member

    I think the biggest problem with Tabula Rasa was the fact that they had such a big build up for it and when it was finally in front of the players, they didn't see the glimmering object that had been described to them

    I remember playing it during the beta, it wasn't bad - but it wasn't great; there wasn't really anything in it that made me want to log on regularly -- the NPC bases to defend/attack were cool, if you had more players than just yourself to defend them -- i would have liked to have seen a better crafting system

    interesting choice to make you buy your own bullets - even better was that pistol whips and rifle butts did more damage in melee than ranged attacks with ammo you had to buy (unless they changed that after i lost interest) [when i played a ranger in FFXI i never really worried too much about not having arrows to shoot, or bolts for a crossbow after i leveled up my woodworking, but in TR i always bought as many bullets as i could knowing that i would be spamming them later]

  • FTLNewsFeedFTLNewsFeed New York, NYPosts: 6Member

    What about Myst Online: URU Live?

    It didn't even get out of beta before Ubisoft pulled the plug and then with Gametap a few years later it lasts about a year and then is shut down, that at least should make it #5, lol.

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member

    The only game on the list that i weep for is SEED.

    (well maybe Richard Garriotts original version of Tabula Rasa too)

    SEED could be handled like A Tale In The Desert  or Puzzle Pirates - a niche game w/ co-op game play.  Yes it could use Conflict but Not Combat per se.

    I really wish someone would pick this up, finish the game and release it with solid but small financial backing.  Small is the key to success for this game - small stable funding, small passionate audience, small rich world, small steady income for a small dedicated dev team.

  • DrevarDrevar College Station, TXPosts: 156Member Uncommon

    Auto Assault had a solid base, but NCShaft basically declared it dead after the game failed to outsell WoW on its first day.  Reduced to a coding staff of 1, the game just couldn't make the needed changes and enhancements fast enough and so it languished. 

    The way NCSoft manages games makes me very reluctant to even try any of them.  Thier strategy is to throw loads of shit at the wall and see what sticks, rather than actually try to make a few great games. 

    As an aside, having one of the first few games that delivered PhysX support go out with a whimper sure didn't do Aegia any favors, either.

    Drev

    “If MMORPG players were around when God said, "Let their be light" they'd have called the light gay, and plunged the universe back into darkness by squatting their nutsacks over it.”
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  • guy232guy232 Lincoln, NEPosts: 344Member

    Whats more Disgusting is the half-witted editing of THIS website mmorpg.com.   They kept the ability to sign up for the same game that were just mention.    Hell I bet they still have links to tabula rasa sign up.  

     

    Bad product is one thing.    Idiots who advetise them is a whole new ballpark...

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  • kishekishe aitooPosts: 1,978Member Uncommon

    Tabula Rasa was a decent game and it couldve survived if the developers&fans wouldn't have overhyped it to seem like it was best thing since sliced bread.

     

    fans were led to believe they were in for much more than what the game had to offer...yet, overhyping sells boxes but doesnt sell subscriptions

  • m240gulfm240gulf San Diego, CAPosts: 460Member

    It was sad to see Tabula Rasa (TR) go away like it did.  The game itself at the core was fun, I never really got into the ethical paribles, I just enjoyed the combat system. 

    I think the real problem with TR was that it had a crappy pvp system and no reall endgame that makes players want to keep playing after going through it all.  The skill system was inovative, but I think that was another downfall of the game.  The game allowed one to clone yourself and set yourself up into a new profession, which was cool, but I think it took away from the replayability of TR once you completed all the content.

     

    Good read, thanks for the article!

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