25 MMOs that lived and died since World of Warcraft launched

World of Warcraft launched in 2004. That makes World of Warcraft 15 years previous, the age of an unruly teen who spends all their time enjoying World of Warcraft. And the cycle begins anew with the upcoming launch of World of Warcraft: Traditional, now in closed beta. Visiting Azeroth on the bottom stage for the primary time, once more, has been jarring for gamers, new and previous. Vanilla features are getting reported as bugs and the a lot, a lot slower climb to the extent cap sans the 15 years of high quality of life modifications and facet actions will definitely result in many gaunt-eyed staring contests within the mirror. Time has been sort to World of Warcraft. It hasn’t been sort to our concepts of what it as soon as was. 

Nevertheless it’s been even meaner to all of the MMOs that needed a bit nook within the caverns of our minds subsequent to WoW. Like battle royale and mobas and survival video games earlier than that, MMOs had been as soon as the most popular shit. Being the subsequent WoW felt prefer it was on each studio’s agenda. Some MMOs discovered footing, however nothing ever toppled WoW. Let’s keep in mind the fallen (and the too-obscure-to-remember-it-fell-at-all). This is a take a look at a number of the notable MMOs that got here and went throughout WoW’s lifetime, with loads of freemium MMOs left out for the sake of brevity. 

Metropolis of Heroes

Launch date: April 28, 2004
Died: November 2012

Metropolis of Heroes was a reasonably well-liked MMORPG through which gamers assumed the position of a superhero and selected their very own powers, combating gangs and prison organizations throughout Paragon Metropolis. All servers shut down on November 30, 2012. A secret fan server has stored issues going for over six years, although. 

Minions of Mirth 

Launch date: December 2005
Died: September 2017

A cult fantasy MMORPG from Prairie Video games, multiplayer options had been taken permanently offline resulting from a ‘exhausting drive failure’. Making an indie MMO ain’t simple. 

Membership Penguin

Launch date: October 2005
Died: March 2017

The recognition of New Horizon Interactive’s cartoon MMO for youths wasn’t saved by its minigames or igloo customization choices, sadly. Providers shut down in March 2017, and it was a dramatic ending, although it was adopted by a successor, Membership Penguin Island. The unique recreation lives on through non-public servers. 

The Matrix On-line

Launch date: 2005
Died: August 2009

Monolith Productions had the uneasy process of turning a monolith film into an MMO. It labored, however not nicely sufficient to maintain gamers round. Unable to slow-mo dodge the inevitable, all providers were shut down on August 1, 2009. 

Darkish and Mild

Launch date: June 2006
Died: 2008

One other fantasy MMO, Darkish and Mild’s hook had been it is, uh, darkish and lightweight development tracks. Bugs and poor visuals overpowered the darkish and lightweight. Providers instantly halted in 2008. Darkish and Mild rights had been acquired by Snail Video games, which made an early access survival game in 2017 utilizing the identical title.

Phantasy Star Universe

Launched: August 2006
Died: September 2012 (Japan)

A bland successor to Phantasy Star On-line, which was groundbreaking as a console MMO again in 2001. By comparability, PSU was a dated dungeon crawler the second it arrived. Western servers shut down in 2010, whereas the Japanese servers hold on for 2 extra years, till a way more well-liked sequel, PSO2, took over.

Dynasty Warriors On-line 

Launch date: 2006 in Japan, 2010 in NA
Died: January 2014 (English servers solely)

Koei’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms hack-and-slash went on-line, however in any other case seems so much like basic Dynasty Warriors. It managed to stay round for 4 years within the West earlier than the English servers had been shut down in 2014. 

Fantasy Earth Zero

Launch date: 2006 in Japan, 2010 in NA
Died: 2011 in NA

An MMO with a posh, canceled-then-sold-and-re-released historical past that has performed surprisingly nicely in Japan however principally flopped within the West. The NA servers shut down simply over a 12 months after launch, although it is nonetheless kicking round in Japan. Assume huge crowds of anime ladies in PvP battles and you have got the image.

Myst On-line

Launch date: February 2007
Died: 2008

Primarily a chatroom for folks to resolve the sequence’ convoluted puzzles in, Myst On-line could not make a case for itself. Official providers resulted in 2008, however as of 2010, Cyan Worlds launched the server supply code. It is largely used as a setting for fan machinima now. 

Pirates of the Caribbean On-line 

Launch date: October 2007
Died: 2013

In an try and cash-in on the recognition of the films, Disney On-line meant for Pirates to coincide with the discharge of Lifeless Man’s Chest. Making video games is not that easy, so it was delayed till 2007. Servers sank beneath the seas in September 2013. 

Shin Megami Tensei: Think about

Launch date: April 2007 in Japan, December 2008 in NA, January 2009 in EU
Died: 2014 in NA, 2016 in Japan

Oddly developed by CAVE, the Japanese studio identified for bullet hell SHMUPs, this Shin Megami Tensei spin-off was a preferred post-apocalypse Tokyo RPG for years after launch. The western servers bit the mud in 2014, whereas the Japanese servers shut down in Might 2016. 

Starquest On-line

Launch date: 2007
Died: 2014

An unconventional, and ugly, sci-fi MMO that permit gamers fly starships collectively. It was Star Citizen earlier than Star Citizen, minus the thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

Tabula Rasa

Launch date: November 2007
Died: February 2009

Richard Garriot’s MMO did not preserve many gamers in its orbit. Servers had been shut off in February of 2009, shortly after Garriott left (or was allegedly outed) from NCsoft.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Launch date: January 2007
Died: July 2014

Sony On-line Leisure was all about making MMOs and Vanguard was one other stab at excessive fantasy, this time from a group led by former Everquest builders. It simply wasn’t a lot enjoyable. Servers shut down in July 2014. 

Warhammer On-line: Age of Reckoning

Launch date: September 2008
Died: 2013

Warhammer’s huge MMO adaptation launched with a bang and provided some superior giant scale PvP with its Realm vs. Realm battles, however it had bother holding onto gamers after the preliminary hype died down and the failings turned extra obvious. Low subscriber counts led Mythic Leisure to close providers down in 2013, although fan servers nonetheless persist.

Free Realms

Launch date: April 2009
Died: March 2014

This was Sony’s kid-friendly try at an MMO multiverse, like WoW sans the cartoon violence and with far more minigames. SOE shut down servers in March of 2014, citing a scarcity of assets.

Battlestar Galactica On-line

Launch date: February 2009
Died: February 2019

A recreation we forgot existed solely referred to as it quits lately. Developed by Bigpoint Video games, the MMO based mostly on the beloved sci-fi sequence was completely shut down in February 2019. 

Hey Kitty On-line

Launch date: 2010
Died: August 2017

A cartoon paradise for Hey Kitty followers, Hey Kitty On-line went quietly into the evening. An actual time for shutdown is not clear, however a fan blog claims the final time they might log in was round August of 2017. 


Launch date: February 2012
Died: January 2014

Some fast historical past: Travis Baldree, co-founder of Runic Video games, the studio behind Torchlight, as soon as tried to make an MMO. Baldree and his group at Flagship Studios labored on Mythic till 2008 earlier than operating into monetary troubles, so the challenge and present work was bought off.  Within the palms of Korean MMO writer HanbitSoft, Mythic was restructured and relaunched in April 2011. Servers shut down globally in January 2014.

Darkfall Unholy Wars

Launch date: November 2012
Died: Might 2016

Darkfall Unholy Wars took an uncommon path to life for an MMO by going via Steam Greenlight. It seemed kind of like Uglier Skyrim PvP.

Marvel Heroes 

Launch date: June 2013
Died: November 2017

Disney ended relations with developer Gazillion Leisure in November 2017 and Marvel Heroes was taken offline later that month. 


Launch date: July 2014
Died: July 2017

An formidable MMO that launched RPG programs right into a persistent shooter gave the impression of a certain factor from the get-go, however monetary troubles led developer Purple 5 Studios to lay off 40 employees and finally stop improvement on Firefall. Servers had been shut down for the largest E3 boother a number of years operating in July 2017. 


Launch date: June 2014
Died: November 2018

Regardless of a catchy mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and a largely constructive reception, Wildstar could not preserve sufficient gamers round to justify the on-going prices. Developer Carbine Studios closed in September 2018 and Wildstar shut down shortly after in November 2018. 

EverQuest Subsequent

Launch date: N/A
Died: March 2016

The follow-up to 2 of probably the most influential MMOs did not even make it out of improvement. Everquest Subsequent was cancelled in March of 2016, although DayBreak Sport Firm mentioned it could dwell on in MMO type as Landmark. About that…


Launch date: June 2016
Died: February 2017

As soon as the formidable first step in direction of Everquest Subsequent, Landmark was a sandbox for gamers to construct in, a bit like a less-blocky Minecraft. It shut down in February 2017, simply seven months after launch (though a closed beta had been playable method again in early 2014). 


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