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How few players do you need to have before operating an MMO becomes ridiculously unprofitable and in need of closing? In the case of The Matrix Online, we found out that the magic number was 500. I wouldn't have even guessed that so few people were in that game when its shutdown was announced, espe...

1 year ago 0 Comments
August 31, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Sony Online Entertainment's Linda "Brasse" Carlson took the stage at this year's GDC Europe to talk about SOE's approach to community management, and in the process delivered a little insight into how studios can (and should) approach shutting down MMOs with waning or nonexistent player populations...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Maybe many of us would just rather remember MMOs as they were in life rather than at the moment of their demise. But I believe that how a game went out is incredibly fascinating for many reasons and worthy of examination. It's in these final moments when an entire community has to say goodbye....

2 years ago 0 Comments
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It's been almost three-and-a-half years since players were forced to unplug from The Matrix Online for the last time, but the memories and music remain. When I first was wowed by The Matrix back in 1999, the dark, action-packed score became an instant favorite of mine. It's a franchise in which t...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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It's time once again for the Frindie Awards, my attempt to shine some light on the best indie, browser-based, free-to-play, and unusual MMOs that are all-too-often ignored by press -- and players. This one is for the little guys! Well, mostly. It's also for those games that seem to have passed un...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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The lifespan of a video game is a funny thing. There are some games that have a definite end, yet you'd wish they'd last forever. These games measure life in replayability, run-through length, or multiplayer matches, but they lack permanence and persistence. Still, you can usually dust them off y...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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I had an interesting revelation this past week. While it seems that we've had so many MMOs shutting down over the year, when I look at the big picture of all of the major titles that have been released, the vast majority of them are still in operation. It made me realize just how resilient and st...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Why? Why do we die in MMOs and receive an infinite number of resurrections? Are we in a type of hell defined by endless combat and suffering, doomed to never escape the cycle? Is this a cruel experiment being performed by supreme alien beings from afar? Does that make us the living undead, immort...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Let's take a look at the acronym MMORPG for a moment. If you're reading this site, you surely know what it stands for: massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Ever since World of Warcraft hit the big-time, MMOs have been cropping up left and right in more shapes and sizes than many woul...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Maybe I'm alone in this, but my jaw just dropped when I came home this past week to see that Massively posted the news that Shadowbane is coming back to life. Granted, it's only going to happen in China, but still, that's pretty incredible. Shadowbane's been in the ground for three years now, and...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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In the last few years, long before rumors that Vanguard would be heading down the F2P path were confirmed, players groused about the state of the game, complaining that SOE was allowing the game to languish with no devs and no updates. Those were exaggerations, of course, but the players were voc...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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You know what I love about the end of each year? The lists. Man, but I'm a sucker for lists, especially when they come in "best of" varieties. In the lull between Christmas and New Year's, there typically isn't a lot happening in the world of entertainment, so it's a good time to look back before...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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We're going to take a brief detour this week from our normal excavations and six-hour-long lectures to address a fundamental question to The Game Archaeologist series. Namely, why write it? Why give attention to games that are "past their prime," have been canceled, or never got off the launch pa...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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Time is always against us, a wise man once said, and truer words were never spoken regarding the MMORPG genre. The glut of titles released over the last few years means that fans have some hard choices to make, and when those choices are coupled with the inevitable game closures, it's rare that e...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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Disclaimer: The Soapbox column is entirely the opinion of this week's writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Massively as a whole. If you're afraid of opinions other than your own, you might want to skip this column. Games die. It's an unpleasant reality but a reality just the sa...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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So apparently, having a picture of a BattleMech as the header for Ask Massively makes everyone expect that there's some big news about a BattleTech MMO somewhere to be found. Sorry, folks -- I'd like it just as much as you would, although I'm not sure that it would necessarily turn out to be very...

4 years ago 0 Comments
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What can you trust when your memories are merely the by-product of intelligent machines tinkering with your brain? When you come right down to it, who's to say that our alleged recollections of The Matrix Online weren't just computer viruses uploaded into our cerebral cortexes -- and that the gam...

4 years ago 0 Comments