Codemasters slays Dragon Empires

The UK developer/publisher cancels its fantasy-themed MMORPG due to "technical issues."

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LONDON--In what is beginning to resemble a wholesale slaughter, yet another high-profile massively multiplayer online role-playing game has been canceled. Today, Codemasters announced that it had "taken the decision to cancel further development of Dragon Empires," its fantasy-themed MMORPG. While thanking the game's online community, the UK-based developer/publisher blamed unspecified "technical issues" for the game's demise.

Originally announced in September 2001, Dragon Empires had a long and checkered history. The game was first delayed in April 2002 but was brought back for the 2003 E3 and even began live testing in July 2003. However, the game was delayed again in January and was ostensibly on track for a fall 2004 release date--until today.

So far, 2004 has seen a massacre of MMORPG games, with Mythica, Ultima X: Odyssey, True Fantasy Live Online, and Warhammer Online all getting the axe. However, Codemasters insisted in a statement that "the decision to close Dragon Empires' development does not impact on Codemasters' long-term ambitions in the massively multiplayer online gaming market, and the company remains very active in evaluating future opportunities."

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