So the news broke yesterday (Massively link) that Sony Online Entertainment (home of Everquest, Planetside etc) will be shutting down four of its less popular MMOs. That’s pretty awful news for fans of the titles (Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Vanguard & Wizardry Online).
I’ve only tried Vanguard, Wilhelm has a nice summary of his thoughts on each game plus some links to other thoughts from around the blogosphere on this. The loss of Vanguard is tragic in that it was a game with huge unfulfilled promise. I played it both solo and with a friend in the spring of 2012 as a break from the theme-park norm. It is a very deep and detailed game in its mechanics, although many areas lack polish to this day. The interesting and varied classes, diplomacy sphere and complex crafting are often hailed as particular strong points. I created a vast array of alts to pre-unlock the races before the free to play conversion, alts that I sadly will never get to play now.
This move by SoE runs somewhat counter to the new ‘value proposition’ of the subscription that will be in effect an ‘All-Access’ pass to all of their games – they have cut down the variety of the games on offer by quite a bit. I’m basically left with EQ2 and, perhaps in the future if the PSS mess is resolved, EQN. I have zero interest in shooter games (PlanetSide) and DCUO never gelled with me either. Not that I’m that tempted by the new deal anyway but removing Vanguard, the only other SoE game I’d be likely to dip back into isn’t increasing that likelihood at all.