Hellgate: London closing January 31

Namco Bandai confirms it will shutter Flagship Studios' maligned MMOG; game will remain free to play up until servers brought offline.

The writing has been on the wall for some time, and now it's official: Hellgate: London will be taken offline as of February 1, 2009. As has been the case since Flagship Studios' collapse was revealed this July, Namco Bandai will continue to operate the game free of charge through January 31.

Launched October 31, 2007, Flagship Studios' ill-fated massively multiplayer online game quickly drew withering criticism from its user base due to the prevalence of crippling bugs. The game also suffered from unwieldy expectations, due in large part to the pedigree of its developer. Counted among its founding members were former Blizzard North brass David Brevik, Max and Eric Schaefer, and Tyler Thompson.

Highest-profile of Flagship's founders was former Blizzard North vice president Bill Roper, who oversaw the creation of many of Blizzard Entertainment's most lucrative properties, including Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft. In January of this year, Roper addressed Hellgate's rocky launch with GameSpot, saying, "Unfortunately, even the best and biggest MMOs launch with serious issues. Being able to basically sit and iterate on a game for over half a year isn't something you can really sell to a publisher, or fans, to be honest."

GameSpot's previous coverage and full review of Hellgate: London has more on the game.

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Discussion

186 comments
big-birdy
big-birdy

i agree with the guy below me, and i want to say that, it is NOT only a MMO, in fact i personally love single player, multi-player games normally require teamwork, and even though there a re still little bugs in graphics and other things, the game is still great and for those who it is a rip-off of diablo, I say "It's diablo with high-tech GUNS" that's something diablo will never have

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

I don't hate the company for this; no; but I think the problem was these freakin' players thinking that it was a third Diablo; what the hell?! Go try the blizzards games then, and let's the new companies try their ideas and make it out of paper just one time; I myself bought this game just because it ISN'T like diablo, because I HATE diablo gameplay, its so brainless... Hellgate is a good game indeed, it's a shame that it will be closed; at least we have the single player yet, and it is suberb too.

XileLord
XileLord

I could imagine some kid getting this game for Christmas then by the time he gets to play it the servers are down. Evil company

Hells_rebelion
Hells_rebelion

Nether, where do you see any cheesefactor in diablo III? I think it looks amazing and true to both 1 and 2.

HalfBak3dM0nkey
HalfBak3dM0nkey

Those money-grubbing bastards at Flagship couldn't even throw in a LAN server function, and by doing so they continued to turn this game into a failure in the future without the servers. They shouldn't even sell this game anymore. I mean really, what games do you know of that came out semi-recently and at least feature some sort of online gameplay? Almost ALL of PC games nowadays do. I feel sorry for those that paid the "Finder's Fee", as they were screwed royally by Roper and his goons.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

I AM SHOCKED!!!! I bought this game, I have played some Singleplayer, but never had a chance to try the multiplayer....AND NOW I NEVER WILL. I mean, I think it's a decent game if you are into what it does, but my god, the reason I dont play it much is I just cant find the time. Publishers need to recognise that gameplayers time AND money is limited, and not be so eager to pull the damn plug so quick.

Huscarl
Huscarl

I really like(d) the game. Great background. Never really got the use for the MMO thought. Sure, you get to play in one of the most beautiful places in England (Stonehedge). But I wasn't going to pay for it. But hopefully the story is going to be picked up by someone. It has potential. A friend and I are looking to mak some kind of tabletop versus of it.

kyosukeugc
kyosukeugc

Was a good game... just too short and a little buggy at first. There was so much more they could have done with this that they didn't. It's beautiful and the gameplay is decent.. just was put out too soon.

shufflezoom
shufflezoom

wait a sec this was an MMO? i was thinking of buying it until i heard about warhammer online. @pyroninja That would be a spontanious explosion of crazyness people might be killing themselves especiall that WoW nerd with that crazy room

redskinStu
redskinStu

It would be interesting to see what the average lifespan of these online games is. They don't seem to last very long. After they come out you don't hear anything about them (except WOW, of course).

necronaux
necronaux

3 months of free gameplay, on a game that's being discontinued, hardly seems like enough compensation.

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

This game doesn't appeal to me at all:|

sirfrieden
sirfrieden

I remember thinking "Diablo III is here" when this game was announced. Played the demo for 2 hours and thought "omg Diablo III save us now." Lucky for me Diablo III was announced this year.

KayHangman
KayHangman

The reason I never went for the retail release of the game after testing in the alpha/beta phase is that they went to release without fixing anything I recall as an issue during the alpha/beta phase, for me. I'm really pleased I made the decision I did.

dzimm
dzimm

Good riddance. Bill Roper should personally apologize to every single customer who was ripped off by this scam.

Koal_Jadian
Koal_Jadian

so can I get a refund? Since I can't even play this over LAN (Another brilliant decision by the ex-company heads)

SupaTrupa
SupaTrupa

I'm done with MMO's - I have a life so I can't and don't want to play those things. Action RPG's with a good online component (shared public servers and/or Battlenet) are perfect for me. This game had potential, but short-changed us all with a too early release and some bad decision making. Thank God Fallout 3 is coming out this week.

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

Maybe Blizzard will re-hire those guys and let them work on Diablo 3 - because right now Diablo 3 looks really cheesey.

richmond5
richmond5

This game was over-hyped at the release and it was a big disappointment in terms of production values and gameplay, I'm not surprised at all for this shut down. Only Blizzard (Diablo and WoW) owns the right to publish MMOG because they double..no, triple check the games they create before they release it to the mainstream, or even go through dozens of delays to get us the game we enjoy for years to come.

DemonoftheAbyss
DemonoftheAbyss

thats wat they get for makin it an mmo. the game had so much potential.....

Icky27
Icky27

All because they wanted to make that Halloween release date. And don't slap on an MMO model on a single player game trying to make a few bucks. All developers should take note on the lessons here.

AurusRegulus
AurusRegulus

this sucks for people who bought the lifetime membership thing.

maximus_2
maximus_2

yeah... "shtuff:"... happens ..

BrayneDrayne
BrayneDrayne

@Pyroninja: Mass suicides. I'm not even kidding. Back on point, this game really was sub-par in almost every imaginable way. For an MMO to be both sinfully ugly and run terribly on most systems was not a recipe for success, even ignoring the gameplay (which, tbf, was very addictive, but when I played 5/6 character classes was bugged beyond use and the one left wasnt very much fun).

mullinmagic
mullinmagic

good ridens! it was a pile of cow dung anyway!

Merl57
Merl57

ouch I remember being excited about this game before it came out

Pyroninja42
Pyroninja42

This makes me wonder... What would happen to WoW addicts if WoW, for some reason, was shut down?

zeus_gb
zeus_gb

There was great potential but sadly I found the single player buggy, repetitive and dull. I think more time needed to be spent on this game before it was released.

Viper11023
Viper11023

@ djmillard2 Well said..... I agree, this puts me in fear of GW now....I invested so much time into and now I'm playing Lotro, its starting make me ask. "What is next to hit the fan?" More MMOs need the option of buying a lifetime or being free, but the server cost are out the port side and then some. Its hard to get people to play a game in a MMO "world" People are sick of the gore, loot, gore, gold, loot, gore, repeat! >.

bluevolutions
bluevolutions

Hellgate was a mmo? I enjoyed the game, single player that is. A little repetitive, but enjoyable enough. I also got it last winter for only 20 bucks, And my ethics prevent me from wasting money on subscription fees on a game I already paid for, So hey, I got my monies worth out of it. I find it better to save my money for games like Fable 2 and GOW 2 than waste it on subscription fees. If I did spend money on subscription fees, then I would have more time to whine and complain on forums more than once every six months. To all their own. Happy gaming, or whining!

Killjoy_6969
Killjoy_6969

wow what a piece of crap. i like how they are screwing over the people who not only forked out 60$ for the frigging game but also spent like another 100$ for the damn year subscription. what a bunch of crap. what are we supposed to do with this stupid game now? we bought it for the mmo factor and without that its just a lame game. can you imagine how boring World of Warcrat would be if you were stuck playing it solo? jesus

DrKill09
DrKill09

What's the point of MMO's if so many of them die within three years? :roll: I have nothing against the genre itself, but these companies seem to put these out just for a quick buck.

mysticnamja
mysticnamja

i wish i never spent 60 bux on this POS. For me, the beta was almost exactly similar to the real thing...so... i should trust betas and demos now... there was hype going around that the beta is nowhhere near finished product but was it was plenty near.

IAmDazzle
IAmDazzle

I heard crying about it helps. Please. I think its funny people criticize games like Fable II and Gears Of War II when MMOs are never drastically any different from each other. You can adhere to blind fandom all you want, but there is a reason that games like Fable II and Gears II are popular (I can see where one would could argue about gears, but Fable? My lord. Next it'll be Final Fantasy.). They did it right, and did it well. This game didn't, end of story. No amount of complaining will change it.

Baselerd
Baselerd

this game didn't last long.

Erebus
Erebus

The game was released early. It was buggy, and much of the hallways and rooms looked the same and lacked any sort of inspiration. However, the subscription fees LITERALLY killed this game.

KILLURELLYFAST
KILLURELLYFAST

Yes this game had a lot of potential ...the movies looked awesome ...but it failed. I expected more from these devs

OrkHammer007
OrkHammer007

The only winners in this are the legions of trolls who assured that any interest in HG:L was met with extreme hostility. Even if a company had stepped in and fixed the (relatively minor) bugs, the negative buzz was just too much to overcome. Personally: I thought the game was OK, and had the potential to be pretty good. The single player aspect (contrary to popular belief) is still playable, so I'll keep playing it.

tastycake
tastycake

this is realy one of those moments you ask Was it worth it?

earlthecannibal
earlthecannibal

It's really sad to see a game like this go down the tubes and to see other less original games like Gears of War,Fable 2 etc. stick around, o well i guess people want cute character rpgs and lame fps games now. This game had HUGE potential and given the right set of circumstances would have been a great one!

smghottie
smghottie

That too bad, but to the game was mediocre.

firedrakes
firedrakes

at least you can play it offline. but yeah it was bugger then hell.

martianrobot
martianrobot

Never heard of this game. Oh, but that's probably because I saw the acronym MMOG and clicked a link to take me somewhere else very quickly. Quite possibly to a false news story about KotOR 3 being a single player game or something. *sigh*

Ilthik
Ilthik

Goes to show you can't release $hit on a stick and expect to make it work even if you're Bill Roper. Good riddance.

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

I wasn't really ever interested in this game:|

Scullyy
Scullyy

I never liked it, but it's still a shame :/

Mehfuz
Mehfuz

i played the beta too and never went for the game

Ket87
Ket87

Whist the Flagship guys quit Blizzard because they no longer liked the direction the company was going and after their departure D2 took a turn for the worse with the worst patch in the game's history 1.10, which destroyed the game turning it into a monotonous series of Baal runs. When Blizzard brought back the D2 team for 3 its obvious they were not brought in to develop because its pretty clear that Blizz and the guys who quit are not on the best of terms with each other.

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Ohhhh flagship. I was dumb enough to believe the hype of hellgate...thankfully I got into the beta so I found out it was bad before I bought it. The problem was...everybody saw "EX BLIZZARD EMPLOYEES" as a good thing...but when you think about it...that means they no longer work there for some reason. And though it was not known at the time, blizzard had called back d2 programmers to work on d3 (not all though). So the ones not involved obviously didn't fit blizzards standards, such as flagship guys. And it's not surprising either...all they seem to be able to do is make diablo clones. Mythos was just a cartoony diablo. Hellgate was a firstperson diablo. These guys were terrible programmers, and I really only feel bad for the people who bought HGL, but not for flagship one bit.

leoleez
leoleez

i dont care for Hellgate that much, but how will this affect Mythos?