Hellgate: London servers going offline soon

According to Gamespy, Namco Bandai has issued a press release stating that they will shutdown the servers running Hellgate: London at the end of January 2009. It comes as a bit of a shock to me that Flagship Studios managed to do poorly considering a lot of their developers are ex-Blizzard. Unlike the more successful ArenaNet (creator of the Guild Wars series) who also have had their origins in Blizzard, Flagship Studios has succumbed to being closed down for good . Then again, was it really the developer's fault? Maybe it was a marketing problem - namely the subscription fee you needed to play a game that was mostly instanced? Who knows.

The MMORPG is a tough market to go for. Definitely lucrative if you can secure a decent market share, but MMORPG players tend to commit their time to only one game since you usually just don't have time to play anything else!


  1. That's very true regarding MMORPG players tend to stick with one game, or at least one game at a time, considering how much time you need to spend to develope your character(s).

    There are many marketing strategies in use, such as World of Warcraft uses a monthly subscription. Other games, such as the recent Warhammer Online and Age of Conan, may be good games on their own, but competing against World of Warcraft (WoW) is a very difficult task, since WoW has long established it's dominance over quite some time.

    Other marketing strategies where there are no monthly subscription fees either fall into the category of selling new content or expansions, such as the Guild Wars franchise. Even Guild Wars had to incorporate a "shop" to purchase more character slots or PvP skill sets. The other strategy where there are no monthly subscription fees are dominated by MMORPGs from Asia, where you pay to purchase in game items to give you the edge or to help ease up the grind.

    Although in America and Western countries, World of Warcraft certainly seems the most dominant and successful strategy, there has been many games that came and went under the same scheme. However, in Asia, as popular as WoW is, the other side of the coin is just as vast and popular.

    In my opinion, there will always be players out there seeking the perfect MMORPG, as there will always be many developers seeking to attain similar success as World of Warcraft. As long as the games are fun, and constantly updated to keep players entertained, and hopefully reducing the frustration of buggy programming or the grind of repetitiveness, there will always be some what of a following. Although I'm no fan of World of Warcraft, I must admit that it has certainly captured the imagination and hearts of millions of loyal fans, and with the new expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, I expect it will continue to do so for some time to come.


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