By Nathan Grayson on March 1st, 2013 at 9:00 am.
Scene: A graveyard. Tombstones crisscross its every inch in eerily pristine rows. SimCity approaches one, visibly impatient, nearly stamping on a single daisy atop fresh loam. It’s followed by a more somber-looking Mass Effect 3.
SimCity: “Come on, let’s just get this over with.”
Mass Effect: “Hey now, settle down. We’re here to pay our respects.”
SimCity: “Oh boo-hoo. Some Warhammer MOBA wannabe couldn’t hack it, and now it’s six-feet-under. Why waste time on the dead? I’ve got living to do.”
Mass Effect: “Yeesh, quiet down! Didn’t you see Warhammer Online sobbing on The Old Republic’s shoulder when we walked in? And anyway, you could be next. Well, not next, but don’t think you’re immune to this.”
SimCity: “Yeah? How do you figure?”
Mass Effect: “I’m just saying, there’s something of a trend here. I’m not exactly feeling safe either. I mean, shit, I just got my last batch of DLC. Who knows where my multiplayer servers will end up in a year? It might take a little longer, but ultimately, you’re no different.”
SimCity: “Look, whatever, OK? Let’s just get out of here.”
Yes, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is going permanently offline on March 29th. It was only available for around a year, which Mythic is chalking up to its status as a “grand experiment.” Producer James Casey explained:
“Launched in Beta just over a year ago, the free-to-play battle arena version of Warhammer Online was a grand experiment. We were able to test new server technology, learn more about the free-to-play market, and engage in endless quick, down and dirty, three-way battles any time of day or night. On all of these fronts, we were able to make great inroads and insights and deliver a fast and frenetic game.”
So then, why pull the plug? Well, because apparently Mythic’s shifting gears from pseudo-MOBA to mobile (See? It makes perfect sense when you write it like that), so pricey server upkeep and support no longer make sense.
Amazingly, there will be no refunds for unspent gems (WOH’s buyable currency), and EA/Mythic’s even encouraging players to spend them on upcoming, still-unreleased heroes. That said, the ability to buy more gems has been shut off, so the writing’s still very much on the wall.
Right then, I suppose there’s not much else to say. Sentient videogames with emotions already took care of my read-maybe-a-bit-too-far-between-the-lines commentary. Did anyone sink significant time into Wrath of Heroes, though? If so, is this a great loss to the F2P world? Or has the “experiment” simply run its natural course?