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The life of an MMO is often and uncertain one, if it stops making money for the publishers it’s going to be closed.

SOE has decided that Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Vanguard and Wizardry Online will soon be joining the MMO graveyard. SOE’s Michele Cagle released a statement which explains why this is being done now.

“At Sony Online Entertainment, we are always evaluating our portfolio to ensure we’re providing players with the best gameplay experiences. At times, as part of this commitment, we have to make the difficult decision to sunset a game so we can refocus our resources on other areas in the best interest of our company and player community.”

Vanguard has had a tough ride over the years and there was hope in the community that it could recover its users but that plug for that will be pulled on 31 July. A notice has now been posted on the Vanguard site to all the players. SOE’s John Smedley commented:

“But here’s the deal…player population numbers have decreased making it difficult to justify the resources needed to support and update this game. 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.”

An announcement was also posted on the Free Realm forums by Steve George:

“Free Realms has truly been a labor of love for SOE (even our own president’s kids are huge fans and active players of the game!). In a nutshell, the game has reached a stage in its life cycle where players are growing up and moving on to other games.

When we first released the game in 2009, it was one of the very first free-to-play MMO for kids and teens, and we couldn’t be prouder of everything we have accomplished together in the game. While today’s news might be a disappointment, we’re sincerely excited about what’s to come for the game before we say goodbye, including player celebration in-game events and more!”

Smedley had taken part in an AMA this evening which oddly enough didn’t contain lots of  outraged comments from the various communities. On the closures Smedley said  “the game wasn’t making money and we couldn’t update it”.

Should Planetside 2 players start thinking about digging graves for the troops yet? Probably not, that sounds pretty safe for now with Smedley saying that Planetside 2 will run for “hopefully 20 years” and they are “consolidating our franchises so we can support the titles we want to be there for the long haul. that’s why we did this.”

Just so you know the closing dates…

  • Vanguard and Wizardry Online close 31 July
  • Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures close 31 March

With the MMO market being highly competitive it comes as no huge surprise that these are now being closed down it’s just a real shame for anyone who has invested serious time and money in ant of these games over the years.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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