The lights are on
This year will see the end of four MMO titles published by Sony Online Entertainment. At unspecified dates in 2014, development of Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Wizardry Online will officially be shut down.
It's part of an effort on SOE's part to refocus their teams on newer projects, according to its director of global communications Michele Cagle. It seems that players are steadily leaving these titles, and the publisher has little reason to continue supporting them financially.
"Player population numbers have decreased making it difficult to justify the resources needed to support and update this game," said Vanguard's community manager Jenn Bridges. "This is an older game and we're experiencing more and more technical challenges to continue running and updating it in a way you deserve. Simply put, these are issues that cannot be fixed in the long term, and as a player, we would be doing you a disservice and going against our company commitment to provide the best gameplay experiences. So given this information, sunsetting the game later this year is the inevitable conclusion."
If you happen to play one of these four games and have some questions for SOE, its president John Smedley will be addressing them in a Reddit AMA this evening.
Our TakeThis is probably disappointing news for players of these titles, but it's an understandable move from a business standpoint. If projects aren't making money, it's not feasible to keep them going just to satisfy a small (and shrinking) group of fans.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.