It’s never nice to see or hear that an MMORPG is shutting down. 2019 may be a good year for most MMOs especially the top five to six, but there are new casualties this year. Earlier this month, we learned of two new game closures. Therefore, here’s our revised list of the 5 most popular MMORPGs that is now shut down and officially dead.
Wildstar is gone forever. This free to play (wasn’t when launched) MMORPG gave us the bright, colorful and unique world of Nexus that showed bags of promise. Two factions, the Exiles and the Dominion vying for survival and ownership of this foreign world was just the tip of the iceberg. The game’s combat was fresh, its dungeons and raids at end-game hard for those that dare to do it. Overall, Wildstar offered many high points, like its amazing housing system and movement mechanics amid a wave of carbon copy MMORPGs. Unfortunately, lack of content and players over four years since release mean NCSOFT, its publishers, ran out of patience. Wildstar was officially shut down in November 2018.
4. Cloud Pirates
Only a few months since its release, the plug was pulled on Cloud Pirates. The aerial PvP arena MMO did see some life during its run. The game utilized clever progression systems while keeping the focus on the fun team-based combat and air ship classes. Developers My.com still have not come out with any explanation or reasoning for sunsetting the game. For us inquisitive folks, its easy to see why. The PvP ship battle game just isn’t popular enough to gain the traction and playerbase it needs. According to game data tracking site SteamSpy, the average peak concurrent players on Steam isn’t great. It averages 200 players online at any one time, which is not at all healthy for an MMO of any kind.
3. Bless Online
Neowiz announced in June 2019 that Bless Online will shut down in September. This brings to a close, one of the most notorious Korean MMORPG in recent history. What made Bless infamous you ask? Well, it failed in two of its native region launches for starters, then decided it was going to launch globally on Steam, it promised plenty of improvements both to quality of life and gameplay, and none of them were fulfilled at launch, and even the performance of the game was worst than ever before. They charged a buy to play fee at early access then made it go free to play, all the while, funding a new Bless game for the Xbox One called Bless: Unleashed, out later in 2019. The warning signs were there when players called them out, but the hype train was too strong, and the backlash came like a tsunami. Don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Bless though, the IP is like a roach.
We see a theme here. If you’re going to make a brand new MOBA game, it needs to be bloody brilliant or no one’s going to be playing it. In Paragon’s case, this isn’t why the game shut down for good this April. Paragon was a decent MOBA that had all the right ingredients, but lacked the manpower to maintain. Epic Games – you know them as the creators of Fortnite – was simply swamped with the game that is making them rich. That’s Fortnite if you haven’t already guessed. Therefore, they announced that Paragon was difficult to maintain, and would rather focus their energies on a game that actually brings in the money. Makes sense.
1. Marvel Heroes
At top spot is Marvel Heroes, yet another superhero MMORPG game that lost to the bad guys. The bad guys here are the developers themselves. Marvel Heroes started off very well. Its blend of ARPG gameplay meets Iron Man and co worked pretty well on the PC. It’s the game that Marvel fans flocked to, to play as all the newly released Heros that came out with each MCU release. Where it all went wrong however, was with a greedy, hastily designed console port. The Omega launch alienated a majority of the core player-base. In addition to that, bad mismanagement at the top of Gazillion Entertainment didn’t help the developers’ cause. This resulted in Disney pulling the license. Marvel Heroes officially went dark in November 2017. We’re still wondering if we’ll truly see a proper Marvel MMO.