Giant Bomb News


City of Heroes, Developer Paragon Studios Shutting Down

The long-running MMO will officially go offline by year's end.

It's been hanging around since 2004, but as of 2012, City of Heroes shall be no more.

Nobody likes it when an MMO shuts down, but it's especially heart-wrenching when it happens to an MMO a lot of people actually liked. City of Heroes was one such MMO that, sadly, finds itself very near its end.

Publisher NCSoft, who picked up the rights to the game from original developer Cryptic Studios, announced today that the game would cease operation before the end of the year, and that developer Paragon Studios would also be closing. The game's yearly subscription fees and microtransaction-based online store have also ceased as of today.

Launching in 2004, City of Heroes has endured developer transfers, years of competition against other MMO juggernauts, and even seemed to be doing okay in a free-to-play remodeling that took place last year. No reason was given for today's announcement, save for a brief mention of "a realignment of company focus and publishing support" at NCSoft.

Paragon's community manager posted a brief farewell on the company's site, and made special mention to any potential hiring companies out there to keep an eye out for former Paragon employees, saying "Hire these people. You won't regret it."

When City of Heroes' date of closure is officially announced, we'll undoubtedly start planning for some kind of live stream send-off.

Alex Navarro on Google+
Edited by Etaber

CoH was my gateway drug for MMOs back in 2004. I stopped playing a few years ago but I had thought it was doing reasonably well with free to play. I know there was a really tight knit community for CoH, I imagine their forums will be interesting to read today.

Posted by Owlright

City of Heroes was the only MMO I ever liked. What a goddamn shame.

Posted by CitizenJP

This was the first MMO I ever played. And it was a damn good one too. So many memories. R.I.P. :'(

Posted by crusader8463

I just got home from work and read about this over at Blues News and it made an already crappy day even worse. COH was the only game I played for a long time. I made so many guys and met so many cool people in that game. Breaks my heart to see it go out like this.

Posted by Dberg

Woop woop, another MMO Death segment to be!

Posted by onimonkii

people in game right now are protesting at city hall

Posted by Top Flight Security

I'm really going to miss COH. Been playing since issue 1 and I'm sad to see it go....

Posted by JazGalaxy

I wonder how this works out financially. I mean, the game was great. It was the most fun MMO experience I've ever had. Moreover, it seemed to be doing well. So at what poitn did they start losing enoguh money that the studio shut down? Did they just do it too long? was there never a plan for the next step?

Edited by artgarcrunkle

This is getting iced and DC Universe Online is still running lololol.

Posted by Hurricrane

NOOOOOOOOOO. I got addicted again when it went free! :(

My first MMO and the one I had the most fun with. It actually made you team with people and talk. Met a couple of my best friends on there. FREEDOM SERVER FOREVER!


Another nail in the MMO coffin.

I played this when it first came out and thought it was really great for the time. I grew out of it years ago but it still seemed to be the best superhero MMO around. As lots of posters have said the character creator itself was endless fun.

Edited by Nights

Man, this is a bummer. COH is one of the few MMORPGs I really enjoyed (and I've played a lot of them). It also has one of the best character creators to date. So many options. It came out in 2004, but I still think it shits all over DCUO.

Posted by Animasta

@artgarcrunkle: DC universe online is like mainly populated with PS3 players anyway

Posted by JohnDudebro

@PsEG said:

I guess it's time for me to break out Captain Concussion one more time before the year is over.

City of Heroes was such a fun MMO, and I rather enjoyed the four years I spent playing it.

Long live the Circle of Jerks. Jerk for life.

You were a Jerk too? Those were some pretty awesome times. One of the best guilds I've ever been a part of.

And if we're nominating stream names, I propose we go Silver Age: "NOT a Dream! NOT an Imaginary Story! The DEATH of City of Heroes!"

Edited by Silver-Streak

@Animasta: That is semi impossible, as the PS3 and PC servers are separate (They never used their integration idea). So DCUO's mostly full PC servers seem to disprove your theory.

Posted by fox01313

Didn't play a ton of CoH but thought it was rather good & too bad to hear this news that they couldn't just find some other project for them to work on instead.

Posted by SmilingPig

They should release the server client for the game.

Posted by Deathshroud

Is it terrible that I am really hoping and looking forward to a live stream of this game dying out?

Posted by Ramone

CoH was my first and only MMO, I had some good times with it and it's sad to see it go.

Posted by lclay

Looking forward to the City of Heroes shut down live stream!

Posted by ShatterShock

Oh man. I knew this day would eventually come, but I thought it'd be after a sequel game came out. Not like this. Not like this!!! :(

I remember being in second wave beta back in 2004. I thought City of Heroes was the greatest MMO ever made. The fast paced combat and the departure from fantasy or sci-fi seemed revolutionary at the time. The game had flaws like repetitive maps and little to do besides combat, but I made so many great characters on that title that I didn't care. Soon, I'll never be able to play them again.

Perhaps I should be happy that going free-to-play extended the game's stay of execution for as long as it did. Clearly the boost didn't last long enough, and the economic realities can no longer be ignored. Still, a small part of my heart will always be in Paragon City.

Posted by Ladnar

Loved City of Heroes. Didn't play it as much as other MMOs but sad to see it go. Was an amazing game in all its forms. Good luck to Paragon people in their future ventures.

Posted by SortedeVaras

Damn that's one of those games I always wanted to try but never got around to playing. Guess those free to play dollars aren't so great.

Posted by Animasta

@Eujin said:

@Animasta: That is semi impossible, as the PS3 and PC servers are separate (They never used their integration idea). So DCUO's mostly full PC servers seem to disprove your theory.

can't remember where I heard it but I had heard that the PS3 version was populated more. Maybe that never happened! but regardless, it's still newer

Posted by fluxbit

What an absolute shame. I bought City of Heroes from BestBuy, on release day, back in 2004 and immediately fell in love with the character creator. The MMO itself wasn't anything to sneeze at, either... so many good updates over the years... some graphical, some mechanical.

It's one of the few games my wife will go out of her way to play. In fact, she's playing it on her iMac right now. She's pretty bummed about its closing.

Posted by EndlessLotus

Eh. The villains counterpart is better....

Posted by onimonkii

@EndlessLotus said:

Eh. The villains counterpart is better....

it's all the same game

Posted by papercut

What will the name of the Giant Bomb super hero/villain be called?

Posted by Terrents

No one ever talks about champions online. Its made by the same guys and its way better! I still play it

Posted by ageofquarrel

Man this bums me out, I remember when I got in to the beta how siked I was. Easily the character creator was the best thing ever at the time.

Posted by Chris2KLee

Shame, had a great time with CoH, but it had been awhile.

Posted by Geebs

@Terrents: It's really, really not.

Posted by TooSweet

It was my first MMO and I spent a few years playing it. Made some great friends I still talk to even if we don't game together much. Sad to see it go.

Posted by Silver-Streak

@Animasta: Oh! I see what you're saying. Although the PS3 version released at the same time as the PC version, it's definitely one of the first F2P MMOs on the PS3 itself (Although I guess Freerealms sort of counts) so it could be attracting people to that.

Posted by Top Flight Security

@artgarcrunkle: It's only good on the PS3 version. I really don't like it on PC.

Posted by Phat2

3rd stream, woop woop

Posted by GunsAreDrawn

I never ever played this game because I was kind of too young for MMO's when it came out but I could always see it was something special. Sorry for all the fans of the game.

Posted by Jrad

@ageofquarrel said:

Man this bums me out, I remember when I got in to the beta how siked I was. Easily the character creator was the best thing ever at the time.

The word you want is "psyched" unless your misspelling was intentional.

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair

City of Heroes/Villains remains the only MMO that ever actually entertained me beyond the first couple of hours.

Sad news and feel bad for the developers

Edited by LifeByDegrees

I remember following this and Star Wars Galaxies from just being a bunch of text documents- to their actual release. The possibilities were positively amazing. I remember flying to Washington, D.C., just after the events of 9/11- picking up the PC Gamer World of Warcraft cover. That era is coming to a close. I wonder what we will see next?

Thank you to the developers that have created and worked on these dreams.

I'm looking forward to your watching your next future possibilities.


Posted by ultrapeanut

Oh my god, so sad if not exactly shocking. Today was already such a shitty day for me in a death-by-papercut way, and now this.

I haven't played regularly in years (so I'm part of the problem~) but it was always so comforting to know I could log back in and revisit my characters. By far my most beloved MMO ever.

Posted by NarcolepticBat

Yay. More GB content!

Posted by cruxking

I got this back in 04 played the living hell out of it too. Im always sad to hear about closures and Servers being shut down but this one hits a bit harder than most of the others.

Posted by Eeptog

This is terrible, this is actually one of the best MMOs i have played and i was hoping to spend some money on it soon.

They need to find some way to keep it going, set up private servers like SWG or something at least.

Posted by dvorak

The first MMO I actually played a ton and really enjoyed. This actually really sucks. I'll definitely be making a visit to it before this is all over.

Posted by zudthespud

An MMO is closing down? Can't wait for another "Not like this..."!!!

Posted by AxleBro

live footage of the death of city of heros?

Edited by PenguinDust

GB better be there when they turn out the lights again. City of Heroes came out in 2004, that's 8 years ago. I think that's a pretty good run for an online game. Sad to see the studio itself closing though. Sad times, indeed.

Posted by jakob187

Does this mean that City of Villains will also be seeing a shutdown?

It's sad news to hear, especially because the community that did play it...whether they stayed with it the entire time or not...seemed to love it. People always spoke fondly of the game to me.

Sad to hear, man.

Posted by DeviTiffany

NCsoft owns both Paragon Studios and Arenanet, so I wonder if NCsoft canned they guys at Paragon and their game so NCsoft could focus more on profiting from Guild Wars 2.