Dedicated City Of Heroes players are campaigning to convince NCsoft against shutting down Paragon Studios and switching off the servers. A petition now numbers in the thousands, "non-stop" events are being coordinated and even a crowd funding initiative has been suggested as a potential means to keep the company afloat.
Last week, NCsoft announced that "effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year." Within days, the community launched the Save Paragon City! campaign, which plans to demonstrate a clear demand for the City Of Heroes servers to stay open, stating that the MMO "brought together families, offered comfort during troubling times, and inspired charities that have raised nearly $30,000 for children, members of the armed forces, and to fight hunger."
“We’ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years. It’s time to do it one more time,” said Tony Vasquez administrator of the Titan Network, an alliance of City of Heroes fan sites, and one of the organizers of the Save Paragon City! campaign.
More than 13,500 people have already put their virtual signatures on an online petition, most claiming that the game isn't responsible for a recent drop in NCSoft's bottom line.
Players have organised "non-stop schedule of activities" on the servers in order to show their support, including virtual rallies and contests, billed to potentially be the "biggest costume contest in online gaming history." Other ongoing projects beginning this week include a crowd funding drive in which the community has pledged to financially assist acquiring the game from NCsoft and partnership discussions with industry leaders regarding acquisition of the City of Heroes game property.
Will this work? Maybe. Online petitions and fan campaigns certainly has the power to affect change (just look at Mass Effect 3's ending), but money always tends to win out at the end of the day. Either way, we wish them well.