NCsoft confirms unprofitable casual MMOG will be taken offline New Year's Eve; paid subscribers offered free games, refunds.
The casual gaming market hasn't treated massively multiplayer online gaming company NCsoft particularly well. As part of its company-wide reorganization in 2008, the publisher said it would be refocusing its efforts on big-budget, top-tier MMOGs. The announcement was accompanied by news that NCsoft had laid off a number of developers working on its casual MMOG Dungeon Runners, as well as canceled plans to bring the game to other platforms, believed to be Sony's PlayStation 3.
This week, the other shoe dropped for Dungeon Runners, as producer and lead programmer Stephen Nichols confirmed that the game will be taken offline on December 31. Dungeon Runners, which operates under both a free-to-play, microtransaction-supported and subscription-based business model, launched to lackluster reviews for the PC in July 2008.
"Dungeon Runners just isn't cutting the mustard," Nichols said in a post to the game's Web site. "If she were a ship, she'd be taking on water. Yeah, she's been taking on water for a long time now. Are my cryptic references too hard to decipher? The game just isn't profitable. And, the first rule of business is to be profitable!"
Nichols went on to note that, while the team has a number of ideas to generate revenue, they would be expensive to implement. He also noted that said plans would be greatly hampered given that two of the five developers on the game had recently departed from the team.
Nichols noted that those with paid memberships to Dungeon Runners will receive digital copies of City of Heroes Architect Edition and Guild Wars Prophecies. The producer also stated that anyone who "needs refunds for multiple-month membership purchases will be taken care of."
YAY my sweet,sweet sequel to guild wars will finall be DONE! So many years of waiting come to realization. I dont get what people like about WOW, i mean it isnt top tier, the gameplay is terrible and there is absolutely no tactics apart from skill, skill skill repeat till death. And how does a game like GW, that actually cares about its players brains, get the short bloody end of the stick. NCsoft used to give out quality, now all they care about is squeezing every last drop of money out of anything remotely nice. GW2 better not be p2p or im offically quiting mmorpgs.
alcari More of the latter. :-) Guild Wars and City of Heroes/Villains are fairly good games. The problem is, those two games came in on the tail end of Everquest's popularity, before the MMO world was WoW dominant. They had time to build up a fanbase. Ever since, NCsoft has been throwing out less and less quality games, under the same idea that they'd build up an audience.
the mmo world is too hard from one hand we have the fee after month and from the other the free to play games close like dust in the wind.. its a pitty...why developments dont make this game single player in order to keep them alive its so unfair this waste of time of the developments... thats the reason i prefer to play single player games because in the mmo scene yoy are not sure for everything. for example i dont mind to play loki or diablo 2 or titan quest i ll find these games everytime i want but what about an mmo i have to pay every month and i have to rush because there is the posibility to shut down the servers. in my opinion dont waste the code just transmute this games to a single player experience. i was ready to try age of connan but i am afraid that is going to close just like other worthy efforts (tabula rasa). unfortunately this is wow world ...
NCSoft are absolutely rubbish, they close more games than they can make. I still feel upset because they closed Tabula Rasa :(
So, does everything NCsoft touch turn to crap, or do they only touch crap and not recognise it until it's to late?
I had my eye on Dungeon Runners, but the WoW-ish graphics never quite grabbed me. This news should give the newly made free to play DDO a boost.
"... in 2008 the publisher said it would be refocusing its efforts on big-budget, top-tier MMOGs." Good. Onward and upward. Huge projects like Aion, Blade & Soul, and Guild Wars 2 will secure NCsoft's future. Killer big budget, big dev staff (150+ each) games by veteran in-house teams in Seoul and Seattle.
I never heard of this game - and probably wouldn't have played it anyway - but after I read the comments I am not sorry to see this game go away. I'm glad it discouraged this kind of abusive transaction system by simply failing to take hold. The future of MMO is buy the game, play the game - somehow, some way that hasn't been worked out yet - WITHOUT extra fees. That's the only way people are going to enjoy a seamless experience. These Pay to Play games will eventually die off like the do-do.
It's a shame to see it shut down. I had even gone hunting for the retail box (which only went for $10) about 2 months back, just so I could get the bling gnome and 6-month membership. Ah well. 'Twas fun while it lasted.
i played it for around a week,was very good the first 2-3 days,had a lot of fun trying to learn it and gain some lvls. Sadly after these first 2-3 days i found out that you must pay to use most of the items that dropped when you killed the monsters and if you wanted to continue to play (and not pay) you must continue to equip yourself with the junk armor/weapons you had from start so i stopped bothering me with these "free to play" game. the micro-transactions system is a dangerous thing and Dungeon Runners is one of the first games that is "punished" for that i think. We will see more F2P games having his fate soon....
@MrM3th0d sounds like thats exactly what happened .. they hit the nail dead on. Lackluster game, it shuts down. Whats so wrong about them being right? lol
BTW, I think Facebook is killing MMO games as well. It is free and it is easier to bring friends aboard. And you get to send free Gifts to your friends. Of course, there are so many of them, and I have to ignore most of those games.
Played it, and don't like it. It takes forever to level up. I suppose that's what happen to all MMO games. Just some boring text of story and repetitive combat and leveling. Also it was kind of frustrating to obtain some really nice equipment, but, I can't use it as free player. Why don't they make Paid player better at PvP to show off, but free player can still enjoy the game without limit?
Dungeon Runners felt like a cheap Diablo/Dungeon Siege game. I'm sure some people will miss it, but I'm not at all surprised to see it go.
I got a few small laughs when playing this game. But this game bored me so much. I didn't feel like I was playing an MMO; I felt like I was playing a single-player game demo that never introduced a plot or story. R.I.P.
Oh, they also got the date wrong. The game is shutting down Jan 1, not Dec 31. Sheeeeeesh. Can I get some quality control on aisle 69?!
The game wasn't AAA or anything, and was trying to serve a niche audience, but saying it came out to lackluster reviews then linking to your own review is pretty self serving, GameSpot. Check gamerankings.com, it actually rated well. It actually makes Gamespot look kind of pathetic, "Hey look at us we gave this game a lackluster review and then later it shut down. Boy do we know our games!"
Was a decent game, but it was pretty shallow and repetitive. Sad to see it shut down. $4.99 was a pretty reasonable fee, even if it wasn't quite a full blown MMO.
Well, dungeon runners wasn't horrible, especially compared to some of the other aweful free MMO's out there. But at least NCsoft is offering some good refunds for those who paid. They are on to bigger and better things, i think dungeon runners was just kind of a side project for them.
NCsoft just decided on the wrong payment scheme, the game was okay, but it hindered free users too much and didn't give enough to merit the $4.99/mo optional subscription IMO. There was no purpose to the game, no plot.
It's interesting: at this point in time where there are relatively few MMOs that have been around for a relatively long period of time, the death of an online game (Hellgate London, Matrix Online, etc), is mourned by the fans. Since there's so many little free MMO's coming out every week at this point in time, I predict that in the future, there will be so many MMO options that when games drop like flies and there will be so many more other MMOs that hardly anyone will notice.
PlasmaBeam44 I've never even heard of this game. ************************************************* Me either, but it looks pretty weak to me. I wouldn't waste money on it, but if it's free and might be worth a quick look.
It looks like a WoW clone with funny colors. The game name is pretty lame, totally uninspiring. Who picked the name seriously. So many glowing colors!
it's too bad, this game is going down, i played it once or twice, but nothing real serious, not that an online game needs to be, but it helps, pull the player into the games world... and this is a goofy lil game...
Kind of a shame for people who can't afford WoW's monthly fee however lack of a monthly fee also leads to less content and more technical problems.
Just as well, I played it a lot when it first came out but I completed everything in the game in about a month. There was a severe lack of content and it was very repetative.
I never even knew about it. Maybe if they advertised a little more I would have probably tried it out.
Now I really regret quitting this game. Dungeon runners was an excellent satire of a game that manged to be both fun and hilarious at the same time.
thats really a shame i heard good things about this game. i even knew a few people who quit wow to play this full time.
It's too bad really. But when I played it it was a bit too comedic for my taste. Yeah I like a laid back atmosphere but when they get ridiculous I lose interest. With stupid names along the lines of "Monkey Greatsword of Feces Tossing" or "Shield of Please Don't Hurt me" it goes from being funny to not taking itself seriously in the slightest. The combat and artistry were excellent though.
i was just thinking of playing it again. i like casual hack&slash mmos like dungeon runners. shame really. :/
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