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Warhammer Online closes Dec 18th

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Sean, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Sean

    Sean Slightly Crazed
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    Today is Warhammer Online's fifth anniversary, but instead of getting a celebration, the players are getting a pink slip from Mythic. The studio announced that it will be shutting WAR down as of December 18thbecause its licensing deal with Games Workshop has come to an end.

    The official statement gives the important details: "We here at Mythic have built an amazing relationship working with Games Workshop creating and running Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning over the last 8 years. Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals they do eventually come to end and on December 18th, 2013 we will no longer be operating Warhammer Online. As such we will no longer be selling three-month game time codes or have the ability to auto renew your accounts for three months as of September 18th, 2013. From all of us here at Mythic we thank you again for your dedication and support over the last five years."

    Article here
     
  2. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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  3. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    What's really pretty sad, but not altogether surprising, about the whole situation is how EA eliminated the ability to do 6-month WHO renewals back in June. Instead of being upfront with players at that time and telling them that the game would shut down on December 18th, on June 17th they eliminated the ability to do 6-month renewals and told players that it was because "we have discovered the interest in the 6 month game time codes and 6 month auto renewals are very low." [ http://www.warhammeronline.com/article/Subscription-Update ] Then they left players hanging in limbo for another three months with no official word from anyone on what was going on, other than a tweet from Jeff in response to a player's question about whether there would be any news in conjunction with the game's 5th anniversary. Jeff merely said they were working on an announcement.

    And yesterday the official announcement about the closure didn't come out until players who were on 3-month renewals had already started receiving e-mails from EA telling them that they would no longer be able to purchase 3-month renewals and EA would no longer be operating WHO as of December 18th. It took about 3 hours for the official announcement that said the same thing as the e-mails to actually end up being posted on the website.
     
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  4. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    ^ Pretty low and cold thing to do. All about ensuring last drops get milked properly. Nobody wants to stay subbed in game about to be closed, so they rather sit on the announcment as long as legally possible.


    Copy/paste of thread I made about this in Ask The Devs section:

    It is game over for Warhammer Online. Statement by devs implies this was due to Games Workshop license coming to an end. The MMO will be shut down in December of this year.

    What, if anything, does this mean for UO? They are games pretty much underneath the same rooF. Is Mythic simply going to get that much smaller, or will UO team perhaps be able to absorb portions of this soon-to-be-dismantled Dev Team?

    News article about the closure:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200555/Warhammer_Online_to_shut_its_doors.php

    As a sidenote, bit over three months notice before closure of an MMO sounds like an exceptionally short time window for the subs.
     
    #4 Flagg, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  5. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I think that as of April, there's only been one person supporting Warhammer.
     
  6. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
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  7. Adol

    Adol Certifiable
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    From what I read in the comments on that post, they've slowly been shutting down 6 and then 3 Month resubscriptions months ago so as to not have anyone with outstanding, which indicates they suspected it was coming. For once then EA have done something worthwhile then; I was there when City of Heroes was shut down and NCSoft not only closed the game down at incredible short notice, but revoked most of the Devs access rights at the same time so they couldn't even have a final event. You couldn't even resub for the final month only, to get access to all the game one last time, and thus divided the community between those who had running subs, who in turn had to claw back a refund from legal for the outstanding. In the end, the remaining skeletal crew did manage to turn on the already included seasonal content for one last dance... and we Players recorded as much as we could (You'll see on my channel videos of the Ski Slope that I'd become quite good at, and a walkthrough of my own written mission for the game, never to be fixed bugs and all). But they even instantly deleted the forums the minute the game shut down. If you'd not already made outside contacts that was it, your entire history gone in a flash.

    I never got around to trying Warhammer Online. Maybe I will if EA has an orderly shut down in motion, we'll see. But those who did play, you have my eternal sympathies, and I say to you, you've got until December now to achieve what you can, and archive what you will. Don't waste the opportunity.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-04-the-final-hours-of-city-of-heroes
     
    #7 Adol, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
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  8. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    It was only a few months back that EA shut down Tiger Woods PGA online. They gave us 30 days notice and you had to Sub for a full year at a time with it. But I have had a refund for the time I had left without having to ask for it. But refund aside, EA have been shutting the doors pretty dammed fast on online games if they are not deemed profitable. They are tight on cash and share holder come before subscriber
     
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  9. Veldrane

    Veldrane Journeyman
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    Games Workshop is notoriously hard to deal with in terms of licensing so I wouldn't doubt if that had something to do with the shut down. However, I'm also not completely buying that as the reason either.

    Like I said in the thread I started on this same topic - I figured it would get moved to spiels and rants eventually so I just started it there - this could be good or bad for UO but I'm leaning toward bad. If EA takes some of the resources that were assigned to WHO and redirects it to UO then that would be a good thing. However, what is most likely going to happen is those resources that were shared by both WHO and UO are going to be closed and removed from UO's access.
     
  10. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Makes me wonder if this will soon mean even fewer people working on Mythic's Account Management site that is shared by Warhammer, DAoC, and UO. Also, I wonder what kind of downtime and problems UO and DAoC subscribers might have to contend with if what is left of that system after the Warhammer accounts/unique functions are deleted is moved to new servers.
     
  11. Veldrane

    Veldrane Journeyman
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    Hopefully we'll get an update from the UO team at some point going "ok, here is the information we know and here is how it's going to effect (affect?) us". However, i think that's highly unlikely as most information like that will be internalized.

    Plus now that I'm thinking about it, I'm sure it's sounds a little callous that I'm sitting here going "I wonder how this is going to affect my game" when I'm sure some folks just lost their job.
     
  12. Ray_Martin

    Ray_Martin Journeyman

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    They are trying to sell the miniature division off as well. It's all over the Warhammer Miniature community. They released a new set not too long ago as well, with really really high prices. Much higher than usual... and usual is pretty high.
     
  13. SlobberKnocker

    SlobberKnocker Slightly Crazed

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    new ceo named at ea yesterday. who knows whats in store. I guess if they tell you 6 month game codes are no longer available on uo its time to turn out the lights.
     
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  14. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    If it does mean the end is near and that whole 18 yr vet reward title was a tease and a sense of comfort tactic..I just hope they wait till SoTA comes out so I can keep busy till then..
     
  15. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    I see this meaning nothing for UO other than the fact that another MMO is closing, and yet, UO is still pushing along.
     
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  16. Winter

    Winter Lore Keeper

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    I just renewed for 6 months for UO this Monday, so it's still active if anyone is wondering. But this post got me wondering why the UO Dev's couldn't turn on every past event all at one time for a cool and crazy event... TOT artifacts, all the town invasions, Halloween cemetary invasions, trick-or-treating, towns blowing up... everything running at the same time. If UO ever does end, I want it to be like that!
     
  17. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    why did they name a 18th year prize??? pretty weird really
     
  18. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    18th? You mean 16th?
     
  19. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    no no they named a 18th year vet reward...yes wierd yahhh
     
  20. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Ah, ok, was thinking of the 16th anniversary.
     
  21. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    maybe its a hint to the end of time...[hope not]
     
  22. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    It was the 18th year title. It was mentioned in the patch notes.

    http://www.uo.com/article/Publish-83-TC1-August-30th-2013
     
    #22 DJAd, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  23. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    This is exactly what I was thinking. Maybe the big EA bosses have given them 2 more years?
     
  24. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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  25. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    EA's logic would be that reducing (here I'm just pulling numbers out of the air) 25% of web activity means they can lay off 50% of staff.
     
  26. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Well... I guess we sort of saw that coming... but still... doubt it will mean any improvements around for us .... likely more layoffs from EA .... and such. Sad for people losing their jobs.
     
  27. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    The notes for Publish 83 (when it hit TC1) [ http://www.uo.com/article/Publish-83-TC1-August-30th-2013 ] indicate that accounts that are at least 2 years old have some new Subtitle options, as shown below for one of the characters on my oldest account. The titles you see on the gump are the ones for 2, 4, 6, and 8 years of playing. There are also titles available for 10, 12, 14, 16, and apparently 18 years of playing. I'll spare you having to read what I think of the idea.

    vet titles.jpg
     
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  28. old gypsy

    old gypsy Grand Poobah
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    Just to be on the safe side... please, don't anyone close any accounts in the foreseeable future!
     
  29. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    While I seldom am on the side of how EA handles customer service, I suspect that the license came up for renewal, and EA negotiated what they felt was a fair standpoint for a game that was not doing as well as they had hoped or intended. When those negotiations failed, they had no other choice than to pull the plug. That's the danger of licenses, and it's the fate that Star Wars: The Old Republic will meet. In case anyone has forgotten, it's also the fate that Star Wars Galaxies met under Sony. The license is a valuable commodity, and there's probably another game company out there chomping at the bit to "do Warhammer right." EA's not going to chance again on a title that hasn't done well for them, and Games Workshop isn't going to under value its own IP just so EA can keep the game going.

    It's a sad fate to befall any game, but it was inevitable. The reason UO is still running is that there aren't any associated licensing fees... same with DAoC... Those are wholly owned IPs.
     
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  30. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    ^

    It is very true MMOs where Dev studio+publisher have some external license to worry about seem to have shortest lives in teh genre. SWG, Matrix Online come to mind. I'm so glad Ultima franchise and Ultima Online are under one and same roof.

    I wonder just how..unnerwing it is to go through situations such as one EA and folks running SWTOR ended up in; When Luxas Arts sold Star Wars to Disney,EA suddenly ended up having entirely new international mega corp with it's new, potentially unknown agenda holding the license.
     
    #30 Flagg, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  31. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    I figured this would have come sooner, given that they gave away all the Warhammer RPG reference books at the 15th anniversary gathering.

    As noted by others, GW are a fickle lot even by game company standards. They are sticklers for details, insist on outrageous agreements if you want to order / sell their miniatures properties retail, make it against the rules to use proxy minis (minis that aren't directly from them for specific units) in any store that sells their product (otherwise the store could lose their ability to order any product) or at cons (no matter how much that figure from somewhere else looks exactly like your Hero, you have to paint/mod THEIR figures for it, or it's illegal), etc. I don't know of any other company-owned gaming property whose owners are so openly hostile to player creativity AND to their own retailers, with the exception of the card games (where everything has to be standardized, for obvious reasons).

    Plus, when they change editions, you can't cite previous editions for stuff past a certain point, even if they are identical in stats in both. And, all the books they had in-studio for WAR reference were the previous edition of Warhammer Fantasy. Their not having any new edition books LAST YEAR told me 2013 would be the last year for WAR.
     
  32. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    UO will never shut down. Nobody left that knows how -and even if they could, they'd have to find an employee that knows where it is.
     
  33. Velvathos

    Velvathos Lore Keeper
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    Considering that EA will have to go through Disney to to get another license for SW:TOR, I could very well see TOR being next and I agree.. When you look at MMO's that have been cancelled you see Stargate Worlds, SWG, now Warhammer, Star Trek Online (which was revive) The Sims Online, Ultima X, The Matrix Online, LEGO Universe all went under for similar reasons. It's always better for MMO developers to make their own games rather than basing it off another franchise and trying to acquire a license.. That's why there is like a hundred indie MMO's out there..
     
  34. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    These titles all correspond to the original Ultima games I through IX in two year increments. I would not read too much into it.
     
  35. Miri of Sonoma

    Miri of Sonoma Lore Keeper
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    Sad that Warhammer Online is ending. :( I was there for a few months with some of my guild mates. Although it was not home (Britannia is home), the scenery was spectacular! I miss my stallion!
     
  36. Manticore

    Manticore Babbling Loonie
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    We should have sent UO's main hard drive along with the satellite that just left our solar system so it would be hard for anyone to get to it and shut it down.
     
  37. Lord Nabin

    Lord Nabin High Council Sage - Greater Sosaria
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    Warhammer's Closing?

    Just makes me want to say

    Can we have all their stuff? :)
     
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  38. Irulia Darkaith

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    Ages ago, when they first hinted at Warhammer Online, I thought this might be the game to take my attention away from UO. But after a promising start the project was killed, then got started again with Mythic years later. I pre-ordered and waded into the game with great anticipation and was supremely disappointed within in a week. It was a beautiful game, but it got boring very fast. Just goes to show, it's not always about the graphics - it's the content and the fans that keeps the games going.