Massively multiplayer online games can be a difficult industry to break into and succeed. For every Blizzard or Sony Online Entertainment, there are several smaller companies brimming with ideas about how to inject change into the MMO market. Some succeed by breaking from the World of Warcraft paradigm. Most do not.
Writer James Matson writes about these titles that begin full of promise but ultimately meet a chilly reception by MMO gamers, in an article at Atomic. He touches on the fact that the sometimes high price of the box sale paired with monthly MMO fees, sustained over some months, leads to some serious disappointment when the MMO fails and the servers go dark. Matson specifically cites the examples of Auran's Fury and (what is currently Namco-Bandai's) Hellgate: London. "This would appear to the be the first tendrils of a new kind of gaming plague that's arrived with MMOs, games that can be rendered useless due to mismanagement, poor sales or just bad luck," Matson writes.