Namco to shut gate to hell in 12 weeks.

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The sword falls on Hellgate: London, the online action-RPG developed by a team of ex-Blizzard talent. Long-anticipated, it was released in unready condition and never found itself before the company behind it melted away. After the Asia operator shut down local servers last week, Namco announced that the U.S. will also go dark, on Jan. 31 next year.

There’s still a single-player game to enjoy, but it was never really about that. Fidgit’s Tom Chick explains the essential problem at hand:

Hellgate: London was a great big middle finger to its players from well before it came out, up through its launch, well into the clumsy patching process … a textbook example of everything done wrong: PR, design, community relations, post-release support, and even the closing of developer Flagship Studios.

It’ll be on free play for its last few weeks, however, so if you want to grab a copy and enjoy a middling post-apocalyptic multiplayer blast, it’s all yours. How about a hack that lets one take a high-level character “offline?”

The real tragedy in all this is Mythos, the other game in development at Flagship, which was almost complete.

NAMCO ANNOUNCES FREE SERVER SUPPORT INTO 2009 FOR HELLGATE [Namco via GameSpot]

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2 Responses to Namco to shut gate to hell in 12 weeks.

  1. Anonymous says:

    No surprise given the amount of “support” that the developers and community had for it.

    It was launched poorly, had no real revenue stream, offered no real incentive to upgrade to a pay-for-play system, and had far too many bugs. Many were fixed, yes, but they persisted for far too long.

    First impressions make lasting impressions. My first impression: Wow, this is cool, I’m blowing up demons. Then it was… wow, this sucks, I’m stuck in a wall, at a loading screen, and keep dying to monsters I can’t possibly kill (due to bugs).

    But if you like the FPS/RPG genre, pick it up at the dollar bin for single player… if you take the time to download the patches. Otherwise, don’t bother.

  2. Jenonymous says:

    As the owner of a collector’s edition (and someone who thought that $125 or so was a great deal for a “lifetime” subscription) I have to say that I am sad to see Hellgate go. I actually think that the game is salvageable; I really liked the weapons system. Now I have to rush to finish the game, and really didn’t get to explore one of the character classes.

    As far as the patches go; it wasn’t really much worse than Conan is turning out to be, and that game shows no signs of slowing down. I truly hope that someone will buy Hellgate and keep it alive.

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