On December 30th, 2005 the end of the world came… for the folks residing in the MMORPG Ashron’s Call 2 that is. They knew it was coming too—had known for some time—as the folks at Turbine that produced AC2 had announced the coming Armageddon well ahead of time. The sin that brought about the end was one of the gravest of all: being unprofitable. There just weren’t enough people playing the game to justify maintaining it so they shut it down. Which isn’t to say that no one was playing it as the game had its fans many of whom were present during the final moments. Ellen Ripley made sure she was there to witness the end and she’s written an interesting article detailing the event that includes plenty of screen shots.
If you’ve never played a MMORPG then it might be a little hard to fathom why this would make for interesting reading, but the folks who do play these games often end up investing hundreds of hours of play time over the course of several years that gives them a close emotional connection with the characters they’ve created and the world they resided in. It’s not all that dissimilar to how people felt when the TV series MASH came to an end. It’s going to leave a big gap in some folks lives for awhile, which may seem a bit silly for what is honestly just a game, but I’ve seen folks get horribly upset over losing even sillier things. I was never a big fan of AC2 myself despite spending some time as a beta-tester on it back at the beginning, but I can imagine what it might have been like for these folks by just thinking about what it would be like to have World of Warcraft shut down today as that’s my particular MMORPG addiction at the moment. Fortunately, given the gazillions of dollars WoW is currently raking in for the fine folks at Blizzard, I don’t have to worry about that happening anytime soon. I’ll probably grow tired of WoW and quit playing it years before it goes offline.