Save City of Heroes campaign labors on

It’s been about a month since the announcement of City of Heroes’ closure, and the movement to save the game has reached a critical juncture.  It’s hard to maintain momentum for big movements like this over a long period of time, because we’re oh-so-easily distracted and there are all of these games and expansions coming out.  Plus, it’s critical because after a month of protests and other general activist activities, we haven’t heard peep one from NCsoft that the company is wavering in its decision.  Finally, we know at least some of the Paragon devs have left to join Cryptic and Star Trek Online, so even if NCsoft relented today, the studio and game wouldn’t be in the same shape it was a month ago.

One of the leaders of the movement has admitted partial defeat, saying that he can’t see a future where NCsoft agrees to restore the game/studio or at least keep it alive on maintenance mode.  Instead of hoping for some sort of decision reversal, he’s hoping that the company will be open to selling CoH off.  SOE?  GamersFirst?  Perfect World Entertainment?  gPotato?  Nexon?  All of those leap to mind when it comes to multiple MMOs and companies willing to take on orphaned titles.  I won’t pretend to have any deep insight into this, however.  Nexon is in bed with NCsoft, so whether that’s an impossibility or a slight in-house reshuffling is unknown to me.

There’s always the even slighter possibility that City of Heroes gets shuttered in November and then picked up at a later date to be restarted, a la APB.

I’m wondering how much any of this movement to save City of Heroes has surprised or impacted NCsoft.  It’s hard to put a human face to a corporation, especially an overseas one that coldly and dispassionately pressed the cancel button on this title.  It’s certainly not been a PR boon to them, and perhaps they thought that any disgruntlement would just blow over quickly instead of sparking into a full-fledged rally the way it has.  Maybe NCsoft anticipated all this and more, but made the decision and steeled itself against the backlash.  Really, there’s little pressure other than giving the company bad publicity that players can do.  NCsoft already wasn’t mourning the financial loss or loyalty loss of these customers, so the leverage is all on their side.

Eliot from Massively thinks that the movement needs to go further and pull out the harsh language. “There’s a certain revolutionary spirit necessary for an effective protest,” he writes.  “I’m not entirely certain that we’ve got that.”

But perhaps don’t count City of Heroes’ capes out just yet.  The rally was a huge success and there are two more months left.  The players posted this really well-done (and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it) video recently about the movement, and I’m impressed all over the place with it:

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10 thoughts on “Save City of Heroes campaign labors on

  1. I wouldn’t have expected Sony to have wanted anything to do with City of Heroes anyway, considering they’re already running DC Universe Online. :|

  2. When a company has already put a plan in place to violate the first rule of sales, “Never give a customer their money back,” the writing is on the wall. Harsh language is suppose to show you are serious, but it can also be very divisive and push a company against your movement by alienating them.

    And harsh language on the internet? Would anybody even notice more? I think being civil probably makes you stand out more.

    Along with SOE having DCUO (and being out of the orphan business and into the closing titles business themselves), Perfect World has Champions Online and who knows what the Cryptic/NCsoft dynamic is like.

    Too many complications and NCsoft is already in the pattern of closing things down. I am beginning to wonder how long Guild Wars servers will stay up now that there is GW2.

  3. It seems to be like the campaign to save the game assumes NCSoft is stupid.

    If they could sell the game rather than shut it down, why wouldn’t they have just done that? It’s better for them.

    If it was profitable to run, they’d keep doing it.

    These people are fantasizing that somehow they are better business people than the actual business people. The one thing that might save the game, which is them paying more for the game, is apparently the one solution not on the table. I mean, Kickstarter a million or two to pay NCSoft to run the game another year. Yet that doesn’t seem to be an option.

    Self-centered wankery is all this is.

  4. I would count Sony out… I mean, they also have EQ, EQ2 and Vanguard – all of which are fantasy MMOs. I mean, I wouldn’t count them IN either. Sadly, I think CoH is done, but just because Sony has DCU doesn’t mean they couldn’t make room for a second super hero MMO.

  5. Wilhelm wrote: “Along with SOE having DCUO (and being out of the orphan business and into the closing titles business themselves)….”

    To be fair, if you are refering to SWG, that was a LucasArts decision. SOE was continuing to develop SWG right until the end.

    But NCSoft should keep that example in mind. Many of us who played and loved SWG have not forgotten that LucasArts blithely abandoned its most faithful fans in favor of its shiny new toy, SWTOR, and I personally believe at least some of the bad player press SWTOR received was a result.

  6. @Aerynne – I am referring to SWG, EQOA, and MxO actually. And if we want to get picky, the case could be made for Tanarus and Cosmic Rift, depending on how wide you want to cast the MMO net.

    There were legitimate reasons to close them all, and in the case of SWG the reason was external to SOE in the form of LucasArts wanting to favor their new baby in SWTOR.

    But the fact remains that SOE has now closed as many or more MMOs than most of its competitors have running. And the other two closures tend to indicate that SOE is not a charity and won’t be taking on any more basket case MMOs (Which it did with MxO and Vanguard).

    Of course, NCsoft is still the champ, with five MMOs closed once CoH is gone. I wonder how people who played those games view NCsoft now?

  7. Well in my case I just /ignore ncsoft from now on. I spent maybe ~105€ this year for CoX plus the $$ for gw2 but sorry ncsoft I don’t buy any future expansions for gw2 or use the the shop and I certainly will not buy wildstar or any other product from you. :P

    *sigh City of Heroes was fun but I have not much hope that the sell the IP, points to Tabula Rasa and co………………………….

  8. I gave up on CoH when WoW came out. Then i tried it again six years later, and just couldn’t understand enough to get into it for any conceivable length of time.

  9. Pingback: Put That Back | Hanging Up The Cape

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