Can City of Heroes Be Saved?

I was aware of this before the Massively story released, but fans of City of Heroes are attempting to rally to save their game. There’s an online petition (which I signed,) and talk on the City of Heroes forums about “discussions” between Paragon management and both NCSoft and investors, and additional calls to action elsewhere.

Will it work? I don’t hold out much hope, as much as I would like to see City of Heroes survive. NCSoft has dismissed efforts to buy their shuttered games in the past, definitely with AutoAssault and (it is rumored) with Tabula Rasa as well. So NCSoft deciding to keep CoX around through some sort of arrangement would be unprecedented. But then, the closure itself is unprecedented; never before has an MMO this healthy (and the numbers which have come out in the meantime have done nothing but reinforce my opinion on this) been shut down before. City of Heroes may or may not have been profitable, but populations were still strong and people are still playing it, and that population should be able to support its continued existence were it run by a less cutthroat company.

Like I said, I’m not especially hopeful, but to paraphrase Miracle Max, it’s only mostly dead. There are a number of potential solutions that involve keeping CoH around without NCSoft backing off of its closure decision or selling it outright to another company. They could license the game, for example, letting some other group run it and bear the expenses for doing so while keeping a slice of royalties off the top. They could (although I consider this incredibly unlikely) open source or Creative Commons the code, allowing what would be clean and legal private servers to continue operating the game. More creative business types could probably come up with even better and more innovative solutions.

I believe City of Heroes is a game that’s worth saving. But me just saying that doesn’t mean anything, because I personally have no skin in the game, as it were, having supported Champions Online with a lifetime sub instead. So to put my money where my mouth is, I’ll make a pledge. If City of Heroes is saved, by whatever means short of something really unacceptable, I will buy a six month subscription to it. I have no doubt that I will get my money’s worth out of it; it’s a game with many great features and I know I’ll find a welcoming community, one of the best in MMOs.

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5 responses to “Can City of Heroes Be Saved?

  1. Thanks a lot for this. Every mark of support – and boost in publicity – is important and valuable. I’m glad to meet another comrade in this, our greatest fight (whether we win it or not).

  2. Pingback: CoH: To Save Or Not to Save? « Why I Game

  3. I’m with you on this one, Ardwulf; I can’t see it happening. I would be one of the first to stand and cheer if someone did manage to save City of Heroes – it’s my first MMO – but it would be a surprise on par with having Kate Beckinsale come to my house, profess her undying love for me, and offer to take me to LA where she can keep me in a lifestyle to which I would love to become accustomed. That’s pretty much how unlikely I find it.

    And honestly, I’d rather see CoX go out now, arguably on a high note, rather than die years from now after it’s become a neglected ghost town.

  4. Thank you for all of your support!! I am touched by your willingness to get a six month subscription. I have met some very awesome people playing this game. When it does get saved you are welcome to join us. I play on the Triumph server and my global is @Ventus vis Vires if it interests you we also use ventrilo for voice chat.

  5. Thank you very much for the thoughtful commentary, and especially for the pledge of future monetary support. Nobody is asking NCsoft to commit an act of charity. We simply think there’s a better way for them to handle the situation than a complete shutdown.

    Whatever happens, we’ll keep fighting. We are heroes. This is what we do.