Just over a year after going free to play, NCSoft has announced that they are closing City of Heroes down. Created by Cryptic Studios and launched in 2004, the game put the Korean MMO publisher on the map as far as American audiences were concerned (their Lineage games were pretty big overseas, but never caught on here).
My dad played City of Heroes when it launched and I tried it out a year later, but I only needed a few hours of my 14-day trial to know it wasn’t for me. XP debt in 2004 felt ancient and dying often meant I was having to make up for lost ground pretty often. And the environments weren’t very exciting and the game, well, wasn’t very exciting with little depth to boot. NCSoft split the City of Heroes team away from Cryptic in 2007 so that Cryptic could work on projects like Champions Online and Star Trek Online, which felt a lot like City of Heroes with the same generic interface, average graphics, Star Trek characters and less flying. A large expansion/sequel for the evil ones of us, City of Villains, was launched a year after its debut, but with the launch of World of Warcraft, they had little room to grow.
Recurring payments and the Paragon Market will cease operation immediately and the game will cease operations entirely on November 30th.