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.