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.