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I take no pleasure in Auto Assault's demise. I played this game for some time and found it to be a very refreshing and enjoyable MMO with a number of features that I would like to see in other games, but, as many have argued for some time, there just wasn't enough content there to justify a monthly fee. This game was bleeding money, and NCSoft/NetDevil just kept pretending like there wasn't a problem. Look, when your game is being given away for free with the purchase of any other PC game (not a specific game, ANY game) at multiple major retailers (including GameStop/EB, where I work), you have a problem, and you're not fooling anyone. Had they switched to a F2P model, I truly believe it would've stopped the hemorraging and drawn in new players. A one-time payment will always be a more attractive prospect to the general gaming populace than a game that you get for free but then pay $15 a month for, especially a game with as iffy word-of-mouth surrounding it as AA.
The game's failure is in no way the community's fault. That as many people stuck with the game for as long as they did is a testament to the number of positives AA had going for it. It's too bad NCSoft and NetDevil weren't willing to try something different to save the game and it came to this.
If you want a real harsh death penalty, go play Russian Roulet. - Hamzal