NCSOFT PLUMMETS

From the Story Arc: NCSOFT PLUMMETS

(posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012)

NCSOFT PLUMMETS into dubious "refocusing strategy."

In a move that took players, Paragon Studios, and the MMO community by surprise, on August 31, NCSoft announced that in a "refocusing of company interest" they were closing the profitable MMORPG City of Heroes. That very morning, the devs at Paragon were showcasing the next rollout, Issue 24, and new powers and costume sets. In the afternoon, the announcement was made, and in the words of one source, "they hustled us out the door."

After community protest against being offered subscriptions to another NCSOFT product in lieu of actual refunds, NCSOFT agreed to refunds for those who had paid their subscription fees ahead, but there will be no refunds for those who had purchased Paragon Points up to and including the day of the shutdown.

For those with still active accounts, play will be free until the shutdown date of November 30. No new accounts can be created.

Speculation was rife that the profitable City of Heroes was being sacrificed to prop up Guild Wars 2, which has only sold 1/3 of the projected six million units it was expected to sell, and posted a quarterly loss of seven million dollars.

Effort to induce NCSOFT to sell the franchise came from both the former personnel of Paragon Studios and Valve; both offers were refused. Two more investor groups did not even receive the courtesy of a reply.

It seems clear that NCSOFT has no interest in anyone saving the game.

According to their press release, they are somehow simultaneously "refocusing company interests in the East" and at the same time vigorously pumping their release in the US of "Blade and Soul" (a game characterized by some players as "soft-core porn with martial arts" and called "Bits and Tits, the game you play with one hand").

Such confusion of goals seems to bode ill for NCSOFT's continued existence, much less its prosperity.