Shadowbane closing May 1

Ubisoft and Stray Bullet Games' PVP-focused MMORPG calling it quits six years after launch.

The first few months of 2009 have begun to resemble a graveyard for massively multiplayer online role-playing games. At the end of January, Namco Bandai and Flagship Studios' first-person-shooter role-playing hybrid Hellgate: London was taken offline. The following month, NCsoft turned the lights out on Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa. Now, one more MMOG is in its death throes, as Ubisoft has announced that its fantasy online RPG Shadowbane will shut down on May 1.

"We come to you now with regret and sadness, but also happiness and pride," a Ubisoft representative wrote on the game's official Web site. "Regret and sadness that it has finally come to this and as of May 1, 2009, the Shadowbane servers will be powered down once and for all. Yet happiness that it lasted so very long, and pride to be able to stand before such a passionate community to thank you for your undying support and unwavering loyalty to Shadowbane."

Based heavily on player-versus-player online gaming, Shadowbane launched to mostly positive reviews in March 2003. After signing on to publish the title in 2001, Ubisoft eventually purchased the game's license and developer Wolfpack Studios. However, in 2006, shortly after revealing that Shadowbane would become a free-to-play, ad-supported venture, Ubisoft announced plans to close Wolfpack.

Many members of the defunct Wolfpack went on to form Stray Bullet Games, which was contracted by Ubisoft to continue supporting Shadowbane. The independent studio is currently at work on a new MMOG, rumored to be in development for the Nintendo Wii.

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Discussion

44 comments
Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

That's why mmo's suck, you can't play them without the servers unlike normal games. I was just playing Megaman X the other day for example.

Skullcandy
Skullcandy

I was surprised to learn that Shadowbane was still up and running. A decent game but bug-ridden and nothing new. MMO's are now sadly just another genre. Play one and you've really played them all.

kilaan
kilaan

I played this game for 6 months when it first released. The biggest cause of death was bugs. I remember a huge battle taking place with 100+ people from each side. By the time the battle actually took place it was basically 5 vs 5 because everybody else crashed from the infamous sb.exe error. The other major reason it failed was because it took so long to get a really good town going (couple months) and it only took at max a couple days to lose it.

Tionde
Tionde

Sad to see a game that it obviously liked by many, go down. I am suprised however, that in all these posts that reference about 2000 other MMO:s, LOTRO isn't mentioned a single time. Its a great game with a solid player base, and i doubt it will be shut down before the montain of dooms fiery chasms swallows the internet. My condolances to all Shadowbane players, hope u find a new MMOto make your home.

bigelf72
bigelf72

This is good news. Most Shadowbane players will find a better home in Darkfall. Darkfall is the most hardcore MMO ever made, hardcore FFA players will love it.

Dungeoncrawler1
Dungeoncrawler1

I played this game when it first launched. Very hard-core and not for anyone wanting to bank-sit. Frustrating sometimes because of the heavy pvp element. You could be out trying to level your toon and get ambushed by another guild. It was a good night if you were able to get one level a session. Have not played in a very long time but glad to see it lasted for so long. Sorry to see it ending. Good luck to all the players.

akguc
akguc

I had an assassin , it was fun to attack a lone shopper unaware your presence, it was like silence of the lamb. The only problem with it was technical for me, there was alot of lag and after some point I had to quit.

neil108
neil108

Shadowbane seems like it would have been a lot of fun. Never played it. My experience with MMOs, those being both warhammer and AoC. They are great fun for the first 2 or 3 weeks when the mass influx of player population is there. After that dies down, the MMO becomes useless as the population within the game world becomes too spread out. THis happened in both AoC and Warhammer. You may say but Wow is great its the only MMO thats going to be around that is worth a damn. ? Whats the point so if you want to play an MMO thats going to be around you have to play WoW. Sorry, ill pass. never played wow since the start of that game and i'm certainly not going to plow thru 80 lvls just to start playing it today. Bring back classic RPG gaming, but its kinda hard to do that when companies arent making a profit and have no incentive to create these games.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

Always sad to see a MMO go down, especially if it is well liked by its players. Hopefully something new and fresh will come out of its ashes.

WorldMusc_basic
WorldMusc_basic

Best MMO I've ever played in my life. I beta tested AO, WoW, Everquest etc. But Shadowbane hands down was the greatest political and pvp based mmo ever. You had epic battles, 3am seiges, rampant pking. It was amazing. For those of you who played this, we will always remember the great years we had. Btw for those of you who play WoWcrap, all the top Arena guilds and early 60's were Shadowbane guilds. Best game ever *sheds tear off to play Darkfall

Raeldor
Raeldor

I played this game when it first came out. It had a lot of potential, but definitely wasn't for care bears. Pvp was pretty hardcore, and you could even steal items from other players which was cool. They should open-source some of these games. If they're going to die anyways, why not give some hobbyists a crack at it?

Khasym
Khasym

Well, since I appear to be the fogey here, I'll clue those who don't know in Shadowbane was a latecomer contender against Everquest way back in the days before WoWdom. From a game standpoint, it wasn't too bad. It had a pretty detailed character creation system, that still puts even WoW to shame with it's depth. Sadly, that really was ALL Shadowbane had going for it. Just like most modern MMO's do against WoW, Shadowbane never struck the chord with the gaming market. It was just too smilar to Everquest once you got past the creation system. And Everquest was still expanding and evolving, just like WoW does now. Shadowbane fell off radar once Ubisoft shelved Wolfpack Studios, but it never truly shut down. The costs kept getting less and less, until the servers were jsut turned over to run for free. But by that time, Ubisoft really lost interest in the game. I'm not really sure if today's announcement constitutes news, only because Shadowbane itself has been mainly absent from the MMO world. The game itself still ran, but then again, so does Ultima Online. But I don't know how many people are even aware of what UO IS, let alone an even less successful game like Shadowbane

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

I've never heard of this game before. Also, Hellgate officially died this year but most people know it died a couple months after it came out.

Gooshnads
Gooshnads

shhhaAAAdow b..ane???? what is this? lol never really heard of it o.O

PiNwOrM
PiNwOrM

Iceman, way to fail. The game is entirely free, not pay-to-play. It even says so in the damned article. Baffling..

Hazzerz
Hazzerz

Heard of it, but I never tried it. Regret that now.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

if you want a mmo that's going to be around for eternity, play wow. That game isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The only MMO that will come out that will compete and decrease the subscriber numbers of wow will be the next MMO blizzard launches.

iceeman
iceeman

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Inconnux
Inconnux

Yet another MMO that bites the dust. I remember when it came out, people flocked to it then a couple months abandoned it. Makes me wonder when we will be reading about other 'flash in the pan' MMO's like Conan and Warhammer shutting down

lenson
lenson

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

enix165
enix165

Aw, this sounded like it would've been fun to play, but I never knew about it until now...=( And bongsyas_23...SAD day?! If that day comes, Blizzard'll probably start work on a REAL sequel to Warcraft 3, which would make me very, very happy. =P

Subacetylene
Subacetylene

haha, makes me wonder when WoW will have this day... probably never though... the game is way too popular for its own good.

shufflezoom
shufflezoom

man...that makes feel so bad that i havent played the game in years.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

all mmos go down eventually. At least this one had a good run!

Megawizard
Megawizard

I had never even heard of this before. O_o From reading the comments it seems like it was awesome though.

xempler
xempler

I actually played this game up until last year. If you like hardcore PvP, this was the game to play. Free for all PvP, city building, sieges, etc. The best part of this game was the deep politics involved from various guilds within the game. Alliances being formed, broken, back-stabbing, guilds paying off other guilds to stay out of fights, paying mercenary guilds to join in fights.....just awesome. Those who have actually played this game will know what I'm talking about. It's sad to see this game shut down.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

it will be a sad day in gaming if something like this ever happens to WOW.

Csalbertcs
Csalbertcs

Aw man. This game had mad pvp, but they had too shutdown servers eventually. It's an old game with a dieing community. By no means is it a bad game. Now is your chance too play it for a week. :P

huladog123
huladog123

I never knew that MMORPGs were shut down like this. I just assumed that once they were online, they stayed online forever.

LagMan_pt
LagMan_pt

Haaa pay monthly to play a game, no thanks expecially when youre paying when youre not even playing, and thats lame, with the money you have to pay for these fees you could buy new and refreshing games not play the same one over and over again. Id rather pay for a game once and play it whennever i want withought wastingo more money, or go from one of the many free options out there

GrimGravy
GrimGravy

i remember talking about this game with a buddy back in highscool crazy

joeyfine
joeyfine

It was a good time. i remember back in 2003 playing this one. made it to level 34. fun fun

glhx2112
glhx2112

I had forgotten about this game. I had a few friends take some time off from EQ and jump over to DAOC & Shadowbane... I remember watching Shadowbane, I thought it was ok, but I never got caught up in it. EQ took enough time away from my life. I'm sad to see any game go away. I wonder how many people were still playing?

cayne_phoenix
cayne_phoenix

ur not alone athenian29, i also never heard of this game...

athenian29
athenian29

I know I'm going to get tons of -1 marks for this, but I've never even heard of this game before. It sounds like an older WAR, though, so it's a pity it had to close. PvP has always been gaming's heart. RIP.

coaltango
coaltango

i've never heard of this game ever in my life

Jedi_Dad
Jedi_Dad

In all truth, there can only be a handful of MMOG's. Most gamers who frequent/play those types of games can't play 2-3 each day for meaningful amounts of time. In addition, each MMOG has its own money to pay monthly fee. In the end, typical gamers settle on 1 or 2 that really interest them and focus all their time and money there. This is why I get so confused why more and more publishers are trying to create a MMOG. The odds are not in their favor unless it is a really solid universe with stellar/creative gameplay (a la KOTOR_MMOG).

konradak
konradak

Wow. I forgot all about this game. I remember when I used to play it. It had such great ideas and things that even now-a-days MMORPGs still don't do. Unfortunately, the lag ended this for me... Good to see you go though. It was fun.