The Naked Gamer: The Day the Heroes Left

The Naked Gamer is a regular opinion column that strips back the superficialities and looks at the flesh underneath. If you’ve got a topic you’d like discussed, drop columnist Kristy Green a line!

On the 30th of November, Paragon Studios will be closing their doors and City of Heroes servers will be shut down. This beloved Superhero and Supervillain MMO has been operating for over eight years and will leave a giant hole in the industry.

This is something that no gamer should let pass in silence or brush off like it doesn’t matter. It does matter, it matters so very much.

It might seem like it won’t affect many people but this should be a huge wake up call for all of us that love our MMOs. You might think because the game was free to play and only had a small but loyal following that it was a prime target. City of Heroes though was still making a profit after all this time – it was still a fun game that many enjoyed.

It is a reminder that no MMO is safe since we will always rely on ongoing support and services to play. All it takes is a publisher or developer to decide they don’t want to keep going and they can sell it off to new people or shut it down completely. We should all stand together whenever we hear the talk of closure of any MMO.

Save City of Heroes tried everything to stop their beloved game from shutting down. They wrote letters, signed petitions and showed Paragon Studios and NCsoft that the game was still wanted but in the end, there was nothing they could do. It was really wonderful to see the community rise up and stand together (heroes and villains alike) to try and save their favourite MMO.

City of Heroes had some awesome features that I hope don’t disappear when the servers go black. It was a really fun game that was easily accessible and let you play as your very own made up hero or villain. Imagine the weirdest, intriguing hero you can think of and I can assure you, it could have been real within Paragon City.

My favourite feature was being able to design how my hero looked and that was how my hero always looked. I spent hours in the character creation making my amazing hero and imagining all the awesome feats she will perform. My favourite was the charming metallic Valkyrie hero with red lighting sparking around her body. When you look that cool from the start, would you ever want to have appearance changed by gear or a new outfit?

I also asked my friend what his favourite feature is because there are too many to remember. He has played the game a lot longer than I and so he knew it better. He said enjoyed how accessible the game was and how easy it was to find a group. With the Side Kick system, it didn’t matter what level you were. You could group with anyone, whether they were higher or lower than you. You could also affect the difficulty of the game easily so it was always a challenge.

After eight long, glorious years, it is sad that this is the end. It’s a little teary and a continued reminder than our favourite games are never safe. All it takes is flicking a switch to see all that we love fade away.

In only a few short days there will be fewer Heroes in this world and City of Heroes will become just another victim.

Let this game not become some forgotten piece of code, let us always remember the fun times we had and continue to keep up the good fight.

Over to you: are you sorry to see City of Heroes go?


  1. I’m very sorry to see the game go, as mentioned in the article – it’s a one of a kind MMO, with many features that never went mainstream.
    The incredible character creator that lets you design just about anything, whether it’s a futuristic cyborg, a S.W.A.T. style tactical agent, a medieval knight, a tights-clad superhero, a Fae creature of some sort – a mix of any of the above or something completely different.
    The easy sidekicking system that was mentioned, the ability to design your own story missions for your friends and SG (guildmates) or even the entire community, complete with fully customized enemy groups and dialogues.

  2. The SaveCoH campaign isn’t over. There are still options we are persuing. Just because NCSoft says it’s over, doesn’t make it so.

    • Kristy Green says

      That is really great to hear!

      I really wanted to write this article but I feel I can never do City of Heroes or it’s players proper justice. You really can’t ask for a better community 🙂
      If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  3. Sean Malloy says

    Just a note: Paragon Studios died on August 31, the day NCSoft published the announcement of the closure of City of Heroes; that same announcement declared that all development was halted on the game and that Paragon Studios had _already_ been closed. The vast majority of the Paragon Studios staff got their pink slips when they came in to work that morning (a traditionally Korean move — fire people out of the blue on a Friday so they can save face by not having to come back to work and face their failure); the only staff who remained were the GMs and a dwindling pool of support staff with admin access to the servers to handle restarts and the like. Paragon Studios _already_ knew how dedicated we were to the game; it was NCSoft that our efforts tried to convince to change their decision.