Posted in WildStar

6 reasons why it’s high time WildStar was resurrected

I don’t know if you realize this, but this weekend marks a sad anniversary for some of us in the MMORPG community — it’s the third anniversary since WildStar was shut down by NCsoft. This happened back on November 28, 2018, and a lot of us are still feeling the aftershocks of this even three years later.

Again, boilerplate disclaimer applies whenever we talk about WildStar: This wasn’t a perfect game. I know that. Carbine was a bit of a mess. I know that too. But it was a game that I loved dearly and miss quite a lot.

While I suppose there are only so many of these “boo hoo I’m sad my game is gone” posts that can be written before there’s nothing else to say on the subject and my readers are annoyed that I keep bringing it up, I want to go beyond a residual regret to lay out a quick case for why it’s actually a great time to bring back this MMO.

1. It’s a solid product that’s generating zero revenue for NCsoft. Even if you’re not going to commit to forming a development team to continue expanding a game, it’s not too difficult to hire a few people to maintain some servers and keep it in maintenance mode while you rake in some extra cash.

2. NCsoft would generate a nice amount of publicity and goodwill by bringing the game back — or handing it off to the community or another developer to handle. Again, WildStar is doing nothing for the company right now. A free shot of PR isn’t a bad thing.

3. MMO players are starving for good releases. Just look at how popular New World’s proven to be this year as the first really big launch we’ve had on the level of WildStar and Guild Wars 2. And with so many disaffected WoW and Blizzard players out there, WildStar’s colorful world and ex-Blizzard developer design might hit the spot.

4. WildStar’s built up some solid word-of-mouth recommendations in the past few years, creating more interest in a potential future community of players. Sometimes games — like TV shows or movies — need some time to find their footing and audience.

5. People can’t stop talking about WildStar. It’s weird, because it HAS been three years. There’s been no peep from NCsoft on this property. But as one observer noted on Twitter:

6. In 2021, we certainly see that MMO players are very open to titles being brought back from the dead as official games (Fallen Earth), emulators (City of Heroes), or legacy versions (WoW Classic). Players aren’t just looking forward for their entertainment — they’re looking back in time as well.

So what do you think? Is it high time that WildStar defies its own death and emerges back into the MMO space?

9 thoughts on “6 reasons why it’s high time WildStar was resurrected

  1. I really liked WildStar, wrote a ton about it. It had the best Halloween event! And Player Housing was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

    But it also had some terrible flaws, especially that nearly everything that required group play was overly complex, competitive, and buggy. It took the worst aspects of high-end WoW and doubled down on it. I’d certainly be good to see it come back, but it would need quite a few tweaks to maintain eyeballs to any degree.

    Frankly surprised that NCSoft hasn’t sold the IP.

  2. I never thought Wildstar was a particularly good mmorpg but it was obviously at least as good as dozens more that are still running. If it hadn’t been owned by NCSoft I doubt it would have closed down. At most it would have been passed around various game agregators like a parcel. And that would have been better. For all we might complain about Gamigo wasting the potential of Rift, at least I can still log in and play my characters if I get the urge.

    That said, you have to assume NCSoft know their business. They don’t exist to run art projects or museums. They’re there to make money. If Wildstar was as potentially profitable as people like to say it could be, NCSoft would probably be doing something about it, wouldn’t they? It can’t just be pride that keeps them from bringing it back or selling it on, surely?

  3. If it was so non-profitable to shut-down I wonder why they are holding on to it. Why not let it go the way of City of Heroes where people can still enjoy the game? Do better NCSoft.

  4. If the rogue servers continue at the pace they are going at the moment, this point will become moot. It seems a bit dumb for NCSoft to throw this opportunity away.

  5. I’d go back in in a heartbeat. Agree with Leo that they need to tone down the challenge level to make it more accessible and fun, but it was close to being great.

  6. All right, I’ll play devil’s advocate here. Please keep in mind that I don’t care one way or the other, so this is purely hypothetical arguments from “an imagined Wildstar detractor.”

    1. It’s a solid product — It got canceled, which tends to be something that “solid products” don’t do.

    2. NCsoft would generate a nice amount of publicity and goodwill by bringing the game back or handing it off to the community or another developer to handle. — The game was small and never took off, so IMO while it *might* generate a blip in the gaming press for a day or 2, it would then go back to almost nobody caring about it and get canceled all over again.

    3. MMO players are starving for good releases. — And WildStar is already demonstrably *not* one of them. It had its flash in the pan already, so unless it’s getting an FFXIV-style reboot, simply turning the servers back on won’t do anything for it that it already failed to do the 1st time.

    4. WildStar’s built up some solid word-of-mouth recommendations in the past few years, creating more interest in a potential future community of players. — Not in any of the gaming communities I am a part of….. Confirmation bias on both of our parts? I’m not in groups that care about it, so I hear nothing about it, while you are, so you see it all the time?

    5. People can’t stop talking about WildStar. — See number 4. 1 tweet mentioning that people at MOP (which is “your community,” so of course you’d hear a lot about it there) are talking about it can’t be scaled up to “the wider world.”

    6. In 2021, we certainly see that MMO players are very open to titles being brought back from the dead as official games (Fallen Earth), emulators (City of Heroes), or legacy versions (WoW Classic). — I’ve never even *heard* of Fallen Earth, so I can’t say one way or another how good an analogy that is or not. Emulators have been around for at least 20 years, so one for WS isn’t any different than one for Warhammer Online or SWG or what have you. And WoW isn’t the only (and wasn’t the 1st) game to release legacy servers — and legacy servers aren’t resurrected games, but are different modes of *extant, successful* games (which WildStar isn’t), so you’re comparing apples to quantum mechanics here.

    **

    So anyway… like I said, I don’t care one way or the other. I played it a little here and there, and nothing was “wrong” per se, but it just didn’t “do it” for me either. Quite a few other games fall in the same category for me and many are quite successful — WoW is one example 😉

    But yeah, to me it reads that you really liked that game and are still sad about it being gone, so you actively seek online spaces with the like-minded, which is an echo chamber, and makes it seem like that there’s a lot more support than truly exists. I’ve “devolved” to being a casual gamer anymore, so I don’t “keep up” with much other than MOP and a few gaming blogs. You are the quite literally only person I’ve seen mention WS even in passing since its demise, so…..

    Since we see the world as we are, it means I’m in my own echo chamber, obviously, so I have no idea if I’m right or not, or if you are. Hence me simply calling this an exercise in devil’s advocacy. If WS does come back, then cool. Doesn’t matter to me, as I don’t think I care to try playing it again, but it also won’t pick my pocket or break my leg, so if it does come and you get to play it, then more power to ya and all that.

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