WildStar to Succumb at Long Last

Back in 2013 it was WildStar and The Elder Scrolls Online who were going to buck the free to play trend as both pledged to make MMORPGs that were able to sustain the monthly subscription model.  The Elder Scrolls Online didn’t want to pollute their game with the necessary evils that come with free to play and WildStar thought they had an out in their PLEX-like CREDD idea.

WildStar went live in June of 2014 while The Elder Scrolls Online was up and running in April of the same year, and before too long it became a coin toss as to which would have to go free to play first.

The Elder Scrolls Online blinked first and announced the end of mandatory subscriptions in January of 2015.  WildStar held out until May of the same year before announcing a free to play option.  Neither made it a full twelve months before they had to conform to the reality of the market.

But, while The Elder Scrolls Online went on to adapt and even thrive, the same could not be said for WildStar.  It got an initial boost, but soon sagged.  Likewise, it jumped on to the Steam bandwagon looking for more players, only to find little help and mixed reviews on that front. In the mean time its low revenue numbers stood out every three months in the NCsoft quarterly reports, until NCsoft stopped listing the game at all in in its reports.

NCsoft Sale by IP – Q2 2017 – No WildStar mentioned

And so the death watch began.  NCsoft, which had built up a reputation for rather brutally shutting down games that were not making the cut, including the beloved City of Heroes, inexplicably let WildStar linger on.

The time has finally come.  A story over at Kotaku indicated that staff were informed at a meeting today that Carbine, the studio founded by former World of Warcraft devs who went on to create WildStar, was closing and the game would be shutting down.  The statement quoted was as follows:

Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game,” NCSoft said in a statement. “WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.

It isn’t clear how long WildStar will remain up and running, but with the staff having been given their notice, it cannot have much time left.  If you want a last look at the game I wouldn’t wait around.  Log in now to get your fill and take your final screen shots.

As of this post the WildStar web site is still up and advertising the game as normal, inviting people to create accounts and come play.  No word of the closure has yet been posted though one of the community team did confirm the story in Kotaku in the forums.

Coverage and reactions:

5 thoughts on “WildStar to Succumb at Long Last

  1. Shintar

    I’m astounded by the sheer amount of comments I’ve seen that say something along the lines of “I loved this game, I’m so heartbroken! (Though I’ll admit I haven’t played in months/years…)” If you loved it so much, why weren’t you playing? I wonder if the game would be where it is right now if all those people who proclaim their adoration for it now had actually put their money where their mouths are and had played/paid more often. I guess it’s a reminder that you can’t expect an MMO to just be around forever, supported by someone else’s money.

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  2. zaphod6502

    @Shintar – As someone who played it for about 6 months I can say the game concept was great but the execution was not so great. The biggest problem was the progression ground to halt due to some extremely onerous unlock requirements for endgame content. For those that played casually it brought the game to a complete halt.

    The devs made a lot of noise stating that the endgame content was only for the hardcore but what they seemed to forget is that the hardcore endgame raiders make a very small portion of the userbase. The downfall of the game started when the casual population died and the income dropped off.

    Eventually they reduced the requirements for unlocking content but by then it was too late and the game was a virtual ghost town populated by a few diehard guilds. It is a shame as I loved the style of graphics and the humor of the game world. It was certainly the freshest take on an MMORPG world at the time of its release. C’est la vie.

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  3. Pingback: So Long Wildstar | Leo's Life

  4. Pingback: So long, cupcake! It was fun while it lasted. | MMO Gypsy

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