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SOE sunsetting Vanguard, Free Realms, Wizardry Online, Clone Wars Adventures

Saturday, 25th January 2014 14:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Sony Online Entertainment has announced it will sunset Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Vanguard, and Wizardry Online.

During a Reddit AMAA, SOE boss John Smedley said the firm was consolidating its franchises so it can “support the titles we want to be there for the long haul, that’s why we did this.”

Smedley went on to explain the reason for the closures further.

“The real problem is maintaining the code bases when we update our authentication or security updates,” he said. “It’s really that simple. The costs scale with the userbases. It’s just getting prohibitively expensive in terms of time to maintain these games.

“We no longer have the resources to dedicate to maintaining the code base such that it can stay in sync with our platform and our security needs. We’ve been running [Vanguard itself] at a loss for a long time. We haven’t told the players that but we felt it was the right thing to do to keep it running.

“We’ve done it for seven years and it’s just time to shut it down. I will say that we have kept our MMOs running longer than anyone in the industry. We continue to keep them running long after they are profitable because it’s the right thing to do for our players.”

As for Wizardry Online in particular, Smedley said “this particular game didn’t work in the US.”

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online

Until the games are shuttered by SOE July 31, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online players will be automatically upgraded to the new SOE All Access program starting April 2.

Each MMO’s respective Marketplace is no longer under development, so players will need to log into another eligible SOE game to claim their monthly Station Cash. For the same reason, the 10% discount on Marketplace items will not apply to items in the Vanguard or Wizardy Marketplaces, although members can apply it in all other eligible games that they may choose to play.

“We do hope that you will try other games in our SOE portfolio, including the upcoming EQN Landmark, while enjoying full membership status across all eligible games until Vanguard and Wizardy sunsets,” said SOE in the FAQ. “In either case, the Station Cash will remain in your SOE wallet after the sunset, and can be spent in any eligible SOE game.

“Any game time remaining on your account at sunset, will be applied on a prorated basis to your new SOE All Access account, should you decide to renew at that time.”

More information on the closure of Vanguard can be found through a blog post from the game’s community manager.

Wizardry Online players can find out more information through here.

Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures

Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures players will be able to continue playing these MMOs if they are a member of the SOE All Access program until these games are sunsetted March 31.

Standalone members of Free Realms or Clone Wars Adventures are not affected by the changes to SOE All Access and willl continue to be members of these games at only $4.99 (FR) or $5.99 (CWA) per month, until closure.

Lifetime memberships will remain in effect until closure.

More information on Free Realms can be found through here and Clones Wars here.

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1 Comments

  1. TheWulf

    I’m sad about this. Free Realms was genuinely a fun little distraction. I’d stop by it every christmas with a friend of mine, and we’d do the Christmas content. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. It was nice to have more than one (Puzzle Pirates) puzzle-themed MMO around…

    And frankly, the more difficult chef and gathering games were way more fun than grinding in any MMO has ever, ever been. It was so completely opposite the usual predatory MMO standard.

    /salute

    I’ll miss you, Free Realms.

    #1 6 months ago

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