Sometimes I just want alliteration in my headlines.
The news today from Perfect World Entertainment, owners of Cryptic Studios, is that they will be killing off the Foundry, the player content creation portal, for Star Trek Online and Neverwinter.
The Foundry in both games will be discontinued come April 11, 2019.
Anybody who created or played in a mission from the Foundry before March 4, 2019 will get special in-game items in acknowledgement.
As for why the Foundry is being discontinued, the announcement says:
Our team at Cryptic strives to create excellent content and maintain a high standard of quality for our games. However, the legacy knowledge required to maintain the Foundry at our quality standards is no longer available.
Given that they describe the Foundry as a “passion project” elsewhere in the announcement, it sounds as though the person whose passion it was has left the company and PWE isn’t willing to spend the time and money to get somebody else on board to handle it.
This is unmistakably a blow to those who champion the idea of user created content as an answer to the age old problem of players consuming content faster than a studio can make it. The Foundry was pretty much the poster child, the prime example, the proof that such a solution was viable.
And, of course, there are those who actually play Neverwinter and Star Trek Online and who look to the Foundry to provide interesting and diverse content as an adjunct to what the company provides. That avenue will soon be closed.
PWE vows to continue to creating top notch content for these games, but it seems unlikely that the pace of such content, even were it stepped up, could off-set what will be taken away come mid-April.
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