Developer Carbine Studios is closing down, taking its MMO WildStar along with it. As per a statement provided to Kotaku publisher NCSoft has already closed Carbine Studios “and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game.”
NCSoft further explained: “WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.”
Though the main sadness here is obviously for those who have lost their jobs, there is always a lesser degree of melancholy for a game itself when the servers shut down. Long ago, Pip reviewed WildStar in a three-part series, and though she found it confusing in parts, reading about her adventures with bees, dramatic arena encounters, and deep dives into into home décor gives an interesting sense of something having been lost even though I never actually played the game. It’s the same thing that I said two weeks ago about Just Survive, and why I like the Shutdown MMOs subreddit, which documents the final moments of these virtual worlds.
Carbine Studios was founded by ex-Blizzard staff in 2005. WildStar began as a subscription-based game, but became free to play in September 2015. Not too long afterwards, the studio laid off 70 staff members as they cancelled plans to bring the MMO to China. Here’s hoping that those affected by today’s closure will find their feet either within NCSoft or elsewhere as painlessly as possible.