This year's Biggest Surprise goes to the news that Tabula Rasa is closing for good in February of 2009. Some might think this was no surprise at all, considering the exodus of players over the past year, and the recent news of Richard Garriott leaving NCsoft to pursue other interests. We chose it because of the vivid community still surrounding it, with the actual finality of a closure a surprise to us all.
What makes this an even larger surprise is the fact that the September closure rumors were quickly denied by NCsoft themselves. Recent reports of several new and exciting game features, plus the announcement that players would have a chance to return to Earth in the game made us firmly believe that TR was making a strong comeback. In game, we started to see more players running around in the world, more players in chat and full groups again. The PlanetTR weekly events were filling up like they did in the old days, and we were optimistic.
For whatever reason it was too little, too late for NCsoft. The publisher is not in the market of losing money, and we understand that. Yet if we see another closure of an NCsoft title any time soon, it certainly won't be on our Biggest Surprise list.