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Hellgate London - unbelievable - a farewell :(

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Bluebottle, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle Guest

    Before anyone complains - some folk consider HGL not an MMO, though it has a subscription base and allows for a large number of players to be online at one time and groups of them can form instances... I think it' a significant contributer and bellweather towards PC MMOs.

    :wall: I cannot believe the seemingly disasterous plummet of a mainstream game such as Hellgate London in such short order. Consider the timeline and major events:

    November 07 Huge Launch much fanfare, sold out on most store shelves prior to Christmas. Significant "Founder" membership drive between Nov 07 and Feb 2008 (reportedly many thousands of founder subscribers each shelling out $150 for one "lifetime" subscription some bought more than one).

    March 2008 - much more fanfare, cool new features and Stonehenge expansions availble, regular subscriptions pick up. Comerica reportedly signs a major deal for the overall IP rights and potential spinoffs - books, the Movie, The TV Series, the Shulgoth cuddly toy etc.

    April 2008 Major expansion into Korea - deal signed with leading Korean distributor - things looking even better - huge sales numbers.

    May 2008 - The development team seem to be going gangbusters, some really useful updates - Item Mail, additional storage, shared storage - things are starting to really look good. New cool items appearing every few weeks!

    June 2008 Launched in Japan - Hellgate London rockets to the top of the sales charts - many accolades towards its seeming success.

    July 11 - WHAT JUST HAPPENED - almost the ENTIRE development and support staff get laid off with 30 days "redundancy" - all sorts of strange reports about possible bankruptcy, the Korean distributor claiming rights to the IP. Finally some sort of semi-official "announcement" appears in the official forums on July 15th from Bill Roper declaring that HGL is still alive, regrets that the staff are laid off, assures us that the core members are still there and that all subscriptions are now free... no further billing and that's all we hear!

    July 17, a post goes up on the official Hellgate Forums that the Forums will cease on July 18 - so no idea how any more detail will be provided. What about the "lifetime" subscribers - some who may have only enjoyed as little as 5 months of gameplay? What about the subscriber who was just charged for a 6 month block?

    It boggles the mind to even begin to understand how such a hyped-up, reportedly stellar game as recently celebrated as a phenominal success in Japan only a few weeks ago comes to such an immediate demise so quickly - to sum it up - "it aint natural"!

    Now there's a mass speculation about what will happen, lots of really unhappy people, threats of lawsuits.

    I'm just sad since I just bought this for my Dad's 75th birthday, he likesFPS/Multiplayer games and lives over in the UK and we've been meeting up to play Hellgate regularly and it seems to work just fine between the UK and California..... so what does Bill Roper think I should say to my dad?

  2. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Nice lifeboat. ;)

    Sad to hear such a new game might be going belly up. I've never played HGL, but always heard good things about it.
  3. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle Guest

    It had a shaky start technically (but many games do), it just seemed like everything was turning around for Flagship and wham - the rug gets yanked. It is still minutely possible that something could be salvaged but I'm not holding my breath!
  4. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle Guest

    ... some glimmer of good news - the forums are staying up :)
  5. I am sorry to hear that Hellgate is apparently having problems...but it is quite good to see your name here, nonetheless! :-D
  6. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle Guest

    Likewise, good to see you are keeping busy! I still get around, went back to playing Guildwars and still hang in UO from time to time :) Work is taking up ever increasing chunks of my formerly free time right now :(
  7. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Mar 11, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I still fail to understand where all the money went. I am one of the Founders who spent $150 upon release, in addition to my $50 for the game itself, and I can't believe this game could have been so poorly managed to run through all our founder money so quickly. Flagship had to be seriously hemmoraghing money in order to go under so quickly after a "successful" release.
  8. mecantile

    mecantile Guest

    It probably boils down to where the money was filtered and a cost-benefits analysis as to why things are happening. Servers alone are expensive to run, then you have maintinence, dev staff, PR, marketing, etc. It could be that they were spending more than what they could handle in the long run.

    I am shocked they pulled Mythos though as that was a highly visable RPG during its development. I played the beta of Hellgate and was not too impressed, but to Flagship's defense they have gone to extensive measures to help regain interest in the product.
  9. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle Guest

    There was an excellent interview/analysis performed by 1UP/GFW on the whole Hellgate/Flagship/Mythos shables:

    Bill Roper: 'Hellgate Wasn't As Good As It Should Have Been'

    After reading that, I softened my stance on Bill Roper being negligent - he failed despite trying extremely hard to succeed at any cost to his own well-being! That would be a bit like criticizing a pilot for crash-landing a plane with a serious mechanical failure while it could have been avoided if he went out of character and took the engines apart, it wasn't his job to do that!