Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Goodbye to Paragon City

Well, that was kept fairly quiet.

NCSoft and Paragon Studios (well, almost entirely NCSoft) pulled the plug on City of Heroes a week ago. Not being a current VIP subscriber - i.e. a paid one - I didn't get any e-mails notifying me of this, and the first time I found out was by going to the main website to see about downloading the game on another computer.

Monthly subscriptions for MMOs seems to only work for World of Warcraft, and that is such a juggernaut of IP there is evidently no stopping it.

The Secret World went Free to Play in the last couple of days (though still with an initial box charge), while EverQuest is F2P, so is Planetside 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, Star Wars The Old Republic and, crucially to City of Heroes, both DC Universe and Champions Online are F2P.

It seems that the subscription model for MMOs is on its last legs, valiantly claiming its £8.99 a month (or thereabouts) across the world from thousands of players. Unfortunately, those £8.99s really stack up, until you realise you've spent over £100 on your game in a year. Did you get £100 of value out of it? £100 of updates, DLC, new content and gameplay enhancements?

Or is it pretty much the exact same game as the year before, with different coloured hats and a new custom belt option? I think we all know what the answer is, and it's not worth the monthly fee.

So goodbye to Starblayde the Blaster, Pax Imperia the Tanker, Redshade the Stalker and a host of other super-powered characters. City of Heroes had the finest Character Creation menus of any game I'd ever seen, now overtaken by the likes of Star Trek Online and The Old Republic. It was great fun to customise the characters in a host of ways with some excellent power and costume options, but now no longer.

Goodbye Paragon City, and perhaps the pay-to-play model of MMOs with it.

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