The rocky road Saga of Ryzom has walked over the past four years appears to be drawing to a close. The game, originally launched in 2004, is a unique approach to the Science Fiction genre. Over the years the game has prompted a number of interesting innovations in online games, including the user-content generation system Ryzom Ring and advances in streaming art content to the user.
Still, financial problems have plagued the game almost as long. Nevrax, the original developer of the title, filed for bankruptcy near the end of 2006. The German company GameForge stepped in to run the service in a sort of reduced capacity, and has been keeping the servers live for players since. GameForge's French outfit, which ran the game, then ran into financial problems themselves in October of last year. Ryzom players were made aware that time may have been running out for the game.
A discussion of the current state of the servers is below.
Despite warnings of 'shutdowns within days/weeks', the world of Atys has remained live through November and December. The hammer may finally be falling, though: Ryzom Community Manager Boroshi has informed the players that servers that come down may just stay that way at this point. One of them, Arispotle, is already down and is unlikely to return to service. Aniro and Leanon, the two other world servers, are still up and kicking for the moment ... but that might change at any time.
Who knows, though? Ryzom seems to be the little game that could, at this point. Perhaps GameForge will find the money to go on, or another investor will enter the picture. Right now, though, comments to the Ryzom boards indicate players are taking the chance to have a blast of fun before (what might be) the end.