Since my head is stuck in MMO news, gaming, and discussion for a part of my day, I have been known to conjure up hypotheticals to keep me amused. After all, the news is often so weird and unexpected that my daydreams might one day happen — you never know!
One of those I’ve been pondering lately is what would happen, exactly, if a studio brought back online a rather popular long-deceased MMORPG. Say, City of Heroes or Star Wars Galaxies. Just out of the blue, “Hey guys, we’ll be reactivating the game next week, officially. See you then!”
While those two titles are almost certainly forever lost to us, it’s not the craziest of questions. We have seen dead MMOs revived (such as Asheron’s Call 2 coming back for a short run, or Shadowbane in other territories, or Hellgate: London). It all depends on whether the code is still out there, the servers capable, and the studio willing. Plus IP issues and all that. Anyway, it’s feasible, it’s possible, just not that likely.
But hey, who knows? I mean, we’re seeing an interesting surge of interest in classic servers, what with Old School RuneScape, World of Warcraft Classic, RIFT Prime, and the like. People miss what they used to have. They miss the old times. They want to go back. As a retro gamer, I get that. So maybe there are studios thinking that they could make a quick and relatively easy buck by flipping back on the switch to a game.
It would be the event of the year, I can tell you that. If City of Heroes came back next week? It’s all anyone would be talking about for a good month. Players still carry many torches for that game.
There would be a lot of questions and issues to work through. Who would handle it? Would old characters be available? Would it pick back up from the last patch? Would there need to be hardware and software improvements to handle the changes in the years that have since ensued? Maybe it wouldn’t be a “relatively easy” move to get some money, but still, this is my daydream.
People would rush in to play these games. Some would be coming back home while others just curious. And then there would be those players who never really got a chance to try out these titles but subsequently felt bad that they missed out back when it was operating. Not that that is me and SWG, oh no. Look elsewhere for your shame.
I think about this whenever Paragon Chat comes up in discussion or I log into that client. The second you’re in that program, you can believe that CoH never died. It’s still there, somewhere. Still online. And while it really is just a shell of the former game, it’s amazing how so little can trigger a wave of nostalgia and instant believe in its current operation.
I do wish, and not for the first time, that there was a place that old, unwanted, or unpopular MMOs could go to retire as an alternative to being shut down. A museum or a discount studio or something. It burns me that I can play an arcade-worthy Ms. Pac-Man on a keychain device these days but I can’t log in to, say, Marvel Heroes that shut down two years ago. (Speaking of which, can you imagine how much money Gazillion would be making from Infinity War tie-ins?)