NCsoft's Lineage stands as one of the first massively multiplayer online role-playing games to gain massive popularity, having dominated South Korea's online gaming scene since it launched there in 1998. However, after more than a decade, its time will be coming to an end--in the West, at least--as NCsoft revealed through the game's official website that it would be taking Lineage's North American servers offline on June 29.
In its statement, NCsoft said that it had decided to shut the game down due to its sales performance. As part of a recent earnings report, the publisher blamed slipping sales for the game as a reason for an overall decrease in revenues.
"After much deliberation, NCsoft has made the difficult decision to shut down Lineage servers in its Western markets," the statement reads. "Unfortunately, after more than 10 years, the original Lineage franchise is no longer financially viable in the West…We know that we have incredibly loyal fans that have stood by us for the past 10 years. As painful as it was, as a business, we had to make a very difficult, but necessary, decision."
NCsoft has suspended account creation as of today. The publisher does not plan to continue charging anyone with an active subscription to the game and intends to refund any unused game time with credits applied to individuals' accounts. NCsoft also said that it has reactivated all existing Lineage accounts that are "in good standing," allowing previous users to play for free until the game's official shutdown.
The publisher also said that current account holders will be able to try other NCsoft titles free of charge. Applicable players can view the Player Appreciation Rewards program on NCsoft's website for more information.