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General: SOE Closing Vanguard, Free Realms & Two Other Titles

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Take part in the Reddit AMA with SOE President John Smedly.

We have received word that Sony Online Entertainment has made the decision to close four of its titles: Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Wizardry Online and Vanguard Saga of Heroes. Official announcement threads have been started on each game's forum to give the sad news to current players. 

Kids' games Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures will officially shut down on March 31st, followed by Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online on July 31st. 

SOE's Senior Director of Global Communications Michele Cagle provided us with the following information and forum links:

Also, one final note, SOE President John Smedley will be taking questions from the community during an AMA on Reddit at 3 p.m. today

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • bliss14bliss14 eleva, WIPosts: 565Member
    Rest in peace Vanguard.  Great promise, never realized fully.
  • adderVXIadderVXI st cloud, MNPosts: 639Member Uncommon
    Good by VG....

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    George Washington

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?
  • AvarixAvarix Chicago, ILPosts: 382Member Uncommon
    Always sad to see games taken offline. Players invest quite a bit into these games, they have my condolences.
  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon
    Rip vg!
    The other ones, eh

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • sirphobossirphobos Ames, IAPosts: 614Member Common
    Can't believe Planetside 1 isn't on the list. Are they aware that game is still technically online?
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon

    Streamlining can be a good thing. Closing every one of those makes sense in their consolidation strategy. This isn't like CoH that had a thriving community and solid base.

    This will leave EQ, EQ2, EQ:N, Landmark, DCUO, PS2 and Dragon's Prophet. Hopefully the latter can keep itself healthy. In any event SoE doesn't own that one, they just publish it. Runewaker could always move to another pub if it doesn't work out for them with SoE. In any event, that's quite a stable of decent games all with a diverse focus and appeal. The four they're closing seem like dead weight.

  • MuruganMurugan D, COPosts: 1,494Member
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?

    At least we no longer have to hear the spin about how SOE "rescued" Vanguard and is solely responsible for it being enjoyable at all.

     

    This is just the inevitability that began when they first purchased the title, they never gave more than a half-assed attempt to do anything with it.  They were always killing Vanguard, they just did it as slowly as possibly while attempting to milk as much money as they could from fans' false hopes for its future.

     

    Maybe now Pantheon will meet its kickstarter goals though:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1588672538/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen

     
  • SlothnChunkSlothnChunk Kansas City, MOPosts: 460Member Uncommon

    That's a lot shutting down in a relatively short period of time. Hopefully that means they are diverting resources towards new development.

    A SWG 2 announcement would be awesome.

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon
    Sand news, VG had so much potential.
  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,948Member Uncommon

    Gee, I guess all those massive Accts numbers they bragged about for Free Realms were bunk and/or not making any money.

    But anyone that knows SOE knew that.....

     

  • azarhalazarhal Somewhere, BCPosts: 761Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SlothnChunk

    That's a lot shutting down in a relatively short period of time. Hopefully that means they are diverting resources towards new development.

    A SWG 2 announcement would be awesome.

    SWG 2 won't be happening anytime soon. EA owns all video gaming right to the Star Wars license for the next 10 years (it's probably also why Clone Wars is shutting down).

    At Massively, Brasse said there are no layoff associated with these game shutting down, they will/were move/d to other games. Former players of these games can now hate EQNext and EQNext Landmark, I guess.

    Although, it's the first time I see the CEO of a company do a AMAA over shutting down games.

  • IGaveUpIGaveUp NW, INPosts: 273Member

    Free Realms?  I swear I've read comments on how well it's been doing.

     

    It isn't even that old, is it?

     

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?

    They've also had the most games of any MMO developer. No one even comes close as far as Western Developers go at least. Shit happens... if more people were playing these games this wouldn't happen I assure you.

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    Gee, I guess all those massive Accts numbers they bragged about for Free Realms were bunk and/or not making any money.

    But anyone that knows SOE knew that.....

     

     

    That was like 5 years ago lol. You're a little late to claim they were lying.

    image
  • SeelinnikoiSeelinnikoi LONDONPosts: 661Member Uncommon
    Thats why I play WoW, at least I know it wont be shutdown so soon. All other time and money investments in MMOs are a waste more sooner than later.
  • syriinxsyriinx New York, NYPosts: 1,063Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Murugan
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?

    At least we no longer have to hear the spin about how SOE "rescued" Vanguard and is solely responsible for it being enjoyable at all.

     

    This is just the inevitability that began when they first purchased the title, they never gave more than a half-assed attempt to do anything with it.  They were always killing Vanguard, they just did it as slowly as possibly while attempting to milk as much money as they could from fans' false hopes for its future.

     

    Maybe now Pantheon will meet its kickstarter goals though:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1588672538/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen

     

    Vanguard would have been vaporware if not for SoE, it never would have released and it certainly wouldnt have lasted as long as it did if some other studio had bailed out Sigil.  They (most likely) lost millions of dollars on the title, fixing it up for 1.5 years while no one played it.  

    So yes, the only reason anyone ever enjoyed Vanguard was because of SoE.   To think otherwise is extremely ignorant of the history of the game.

     

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,948Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    Gee, I guess all those massive Accts numbers they bragged about for Free Realms were bunk and/or not making any money.

    But anyone that knows SOE knew that.....

     

     

    That was like 5 years ago lol. You're a little late to claim they were lying.

    Fairly sure there were comments in the same vein more recently than that....

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    Gee, I guess all those massive Accts numbers they bragged about for Free Realms were bunk and/or not making any money.

    But anyone that knows SOE knew that.....

     

     

    That was like 5 years ago lol. You're a little late to claim they were lying.

    Fairly sure there were comments in the same vein more recently than that....

     

    Fairly certain it was no sooner than 2 years ago, when's the last time you heard anything about Free Realms? A lot can happen in a couple years, I am sure it was successful for a time though.

    image
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Seems like the last official announcement of Free Realms' players was in 2010.  Most of those annoucements were on the number of players who had signed up, not the number who were playing.  The most recent MMORPG.com feature was in August of 2013, and that was more about SOE than Free Realms.  The last Free Realms specific feature was in 2012.  So not a whole lot of stuff happening with Free Realms recently.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?

    They've also had the most games of any MMO developer. No one even comes close as far as Western Developers go at least. Shit happens... if more people were playing these games this wouldn't happen I assure you.

    Ummmmm and who exactly is responsible for people not playing these games?

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Well if there was ever any doubt who the worse mmo publisher/developer in history is, this should put that argument to rest. What is that now, 7 of their games shut down?

    And even with seven shut down, they still have more titles currently running than any other MMO company has ever had.  This move makes perfect sense in the context of their move to a single sub for all their games.  They want to focus their resources on the games that people actually play, not keep things running just for the sake of having them running.

    Is this bad news for the people actually playing those four games?  Sure.  But it is great news for the fans of SOE's other current and upcoming games, because it means any resources that were being devoted to life support on these four can now be allocated elsewhere.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • Fly666monkeyFly666monkey Albuqurque, NMPosts: 146Member Uncommon

    Is anyone really shocked by this?

    Free Realms hasn't seen a major update in over a year. Clone wars I have no idea about. However, given the history of the genre, is was only a matter of time. Games focused on being "Kid Friendly" tend not to have much  staying power in this genre.

    Vanguard? The game was in development hell for years, only barely got published, and was released in a horribly broken state. The game never had too much of an audience, and now that it's getting older and the server hardware is getting more and more difficult to maintain, it wouldn't make sense to keep it up. 

    Wizardry? Do I even need to tell you why that game is getting axed?

  • syriinxsyriinx New York, NYPosts: 1,063Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fly666monkey

    Is anyone really shocked by this?

    Free Realms hasn't seen a major update in over a year. Clone wars I have no idea about. However, given the history of the genre, is was only a matter of time. Games focused on being "Kid Friendly" tend not to have much  staying power in this genre.

    Smed answered this in the AMA, he said A) Kids dont spend well (no shit) and B) they are difficult to run because kids do mean things to each other.  A lot.

     

     

     

  • yaminsuxyaminsux KajangPosts: 812Member Uncommon
    VG was doomed from the start. It was plagued by huge installion size, buggy release and much more.

    Good riddance I say.
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