Krypton Radio Newswire
In a surprise statement yesterday, Paragon Studios announced that would be closing its doors forever. All development on its popular City of Heroes online game has been halted, and the service will close sometime before the end of 2012. It was parent company NCSoft’s decision to close its wholly owned subsidiary. No explanation for the closure has yet been offered. All recurring billing and Paragon Market purchases have ceased effectively immediately.
The players went immediately to the City of Heroes the official forums to express their shock and disbelief; the move came as a surprise to nearly everyone, as from a player’s perspective the game had been doing very well. A petition to get NCSoft to save Paragon Studios and City of Heroes has been set up at change.org, but the move may be financially motivated. The revenues City of Heroes generates may be enough to sustain Paragon, or enough to allow NCSoft to move forward with its next big project with which to grow the parent company, but not both. By the end of the year, despite the petition, City of Heroes players may be displaced by the hundreds of thousands.
City of Heroes was launched in 2004, developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCSoft. The game was the focus of a heated copyright infringement dispute launched by Marvel Comics. Marvel’s assertion was that the superhero designer features of CoH made it possible to infringe on Marvel-held copyrights by allowing users to recreate copyrighted character designs. The suit was thrown out when it was discovered that Marvel’s legal team had fabricated its own evidence.
City of Heroes was followed by the release of City of Villians and various other spinoff titles; most recently Krypton Radio reported on a promotional effort as recently as last April for the eigth anniversary of the world’s most popular superhero MMO. Obviously, at that point Paragon had no clue that NCSoft might be planning to shut them down before the year was out.
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