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The tragic tale behind the death of City of Heroes and Paragon Studios

The tragic tale behind the death of City of Heroes and Paragon Studios

The death of any MMO is a sad event for its community, but the demise of City of Heroes is particularly perplexing. There was debate, even post-closing, whether the game was profitable, and developer Paragon Studios was in the middle of a major update when the hammer came down. Community members offered to donate. A Kickstarter was suggested. Nothing worked.

This Gamasutra piece is one of the first, on-the-record looks behind the death of City of Heroes, and the shuttering of Paragon Studios. The tales are so heartwrenching, the near-successes so numerous, that it feels like a VH1 "Where are they now?" special, and I mean that in the best way. If you're a CoH fan and feel like torturing yourself over knowing how very, very close the game was to being saved, give it a read. Hell, give it a read even if you don't care about the game, because the article shows how, despite our best efforts, not all of our creations get a happy ending. It's a sobering thought, but an important one.

This story also highlights a fear many share over the upcoming generation(s) of gaming: if always-on and cloud-based games are the way of the future, what happens when a game's continued existence outweighs server maintenance cost? I can still bust out the old Genesis and slap in a copy of Mortal Kombat, but once, say, SimCity stops being profitable, will we still be allowed to play?