City of Heroes was a much beloved game for many. Roleplayers, superhero fans, comic fans.. well, it was a game that was, and still is, dear to the hearts of many. I preferred City of Villains to City of Heroes (thus the image!), but I myself still count my characters there as some of my nearest and dearest characters across the years and many games that I’ve played. When NCSoft announced its closure in 2012, a great cry resounded across the MMOspace, and there were many attempts to save it, with support from celebrities like Mercedes Lackey, John Kovalic and Neil Gaiman. NCSoft refused all entreaties, and the game was shut down.
There have been several spiritual successors started out there, although none of them have managed anything playable yet, despite one of them running a very successful kickstarter.
But a ray of hope has been kindled in the darkness.
Nate Downes, President of Missing Worlds Media, announced that he has been in negotiations with NCSoft for the licensing of the dearly departed City of Heroes.
Currently on the table is the possibility that a spinoff company would be made, for the sole purpose of handling this licensing. In a strange game of handaround, this company would license the last current version of City of Heroes, i23, for the creation of what is being called a maintenance mode. This mode would not include any source code, the user database, nor character data, but it would handle the licensing of the game’s trademarks and its game engine. This would allow the projects in the works to become far more than spiritual successors – with access to trademarks and the engine itself, it would be possible to make an actual successor.
Talks have menti0ned the possibility of eventual character data transfers. If this pans out it would allow the eventual creation of transition servers that would allow all of us to play the characters that we lost when the game was shut down.
I’m not holding my breath. Nothing concrete has been written, no actual contracts have been signed, and even if they had, it’s unlikely that anything immediate would happen. But it does mean all may not be lost. I may be able to resurrect Lady Brimstone and Delineation at some point again. And wouldn’t that be something?
For a first hand read, the announcement is on the Titan Network.