City of Heroes and developer shutting down

Paragon Studios' employees terminated, superhero MMORPG to cease operation by November 30.


City of Heroes developer Paragon Studios is being closed by NCsoft, and its superhero massively multiplayer online role-playing game is set to go offline by November 30. The studio's roughly 80 employees have been laid off, and the game, originally released in 2004 by Cryptic Studios with development assumed by Paragon (then NCsoft NorCal) in 2007, will begin to sunset immediately.

Old heroes never die; they just fade away.
Old heroes never die; they just fade away.

"Both NCsoft and Paragon Studios are incredibly proud of the success of City of Heroes, but unfortunately, the continued support of the franchise no longer fits within our long term goals for the company," said Lincoln Davis, NCsoft West director of corporate communications. "All employees at Paragon Studios are affected by this decision, including the management team."

Paragon Studios community manager Andy Belford announced in a blog post that City of Heroes' cash shop and subscription billing options will cease immediately. He praised both the developers and the community that enjoyed their efforts. "To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people," Belford said. "You won't regret it."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 93 comments about this story
93 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
  • 93 results
  • 1
  • 2
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Sov42

I stopped playing just before Going Rogue went live. I felt the game had gotten tired and boring after Architect. It seemed like they were devoid of new ideas at the time and wanted to shrug off their efforts. That, and the Architect system turned the game into a haven for power-leveling. It was such a ridiculous joke that people were going from level 1-50 in as little as a day of playing. Kinda glad they're putting the game out to pasture. Its long past due.

Avatar image for KillerBill316

Fun memories with this game. Quite a shame, but this looks like a case of "all things come to and end." Really though, those guys should be hired. They deserve to have someplace to go with their talents. Good luck to them.

Avatar image for StarkA1

I will really miss this game and the in-game community. I have never spent so much time or money on one game. Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall as the population continually dwindled over the years. The most telling statement was how many recent comments there were of "I have fond memories of playing that game" but that did not equal a current paying customer. They picked up some steam in producing content for the last year but it was not enough and not differentiated enough from previous content, let alone what was available in other, more modern MMOs. But, I loved every little bit of it.

Now, with more time to sober the outrage I initially felt at the announcement of its closure, it is hard to not see the disadvantage the game faced versus the current landscape of video games.

The only thing I get to be happy about is I don't have see some old forum posters continually destroy the game anymore with their overly righteous attitude and disguised vitriol at any player that disagreed with them even in the slightest. Good riddance, Forum Cartel.

Avatar image for suplax

Yep me too , played it years ago for some months.

A great game for its time , but i enjoyed DCUO more though.

Avatar image for angubaranar123

Too bad, years ago I played CoH/V for months.The customization is awesome and it's still the best superheroes MMO (CO and DCUO completely sucked).Making it partially f2p (in reality you'd miss a lot of content with the free subscription) was the first sign of CoH/V being let down. I'm wondering from where Blizzard will copy "new" WoW's features after CoH/V closes.

Avatar image for sumdood

The character customization in this game was second to none and set a new standard for MMOs. However, the rest of the content was mediocre at best, but still the game was successful and lasted a long time for an MMO standard. Sad to hear Paragon Studios is being shut down, but that is how the gaming industry works and the employees know this; most of them will find work on bigger and better projects if they haven't done so already.

Avatar image for Jagaren

Sad to see. Lots of great memories on that game. I've logged more hours fighting for and against the likes of Arachnos than any other online game in my life. Hopefully the development team gets picked up in the near future. They're quite a talented group of individuals.

Avatar image for AlexFili

Another reason to be very careful where you take your money, especially for virtual goods in online games.

Avatar image for Brokendemise

That's a shame. It's one of those games I've wanted to play ever since I was a kid but never got around to because I couldn't pay for the monthly subscription. I forgot it went F2P but now it's too late. Sad to see them go.

Avatar image for Raeldor

@aesoprjigheioug I wish when they shut these games down that they would open source the servers. Let the community run their own servers if they want to keep the game going.

Avatar image for zinoalex

Can't say as I'm sorprised. This has not been a good year for studios wiyh many being shut down-mainly by Activision.

Avatar image for Taix34

The only Real Memory of this game i have was flying around areas and stuff like that i have played this game in ages but i might re install this for one last hurrah for this game,Good Luck to all the employees i think you've made a lot of people happy making this game.

Avatar image for Lonzac

Just saw this and an very sad to see it go, thoughts go to the staff who have given so much to the game through the years.

Avatar image for bakagami

@aesoprjigheioug I'll sign even though it is probably a waste of time. COH was my first MMO

Avatar image for SS_Gokou

I'm more sad about people laid off than the closing of the game itself, given that there may be private servers of that game. But seriously laying of people? They could have transferred them to Guild Wars 2 or something. Talk about loyalty to their employees. Tsk tsk tsk.

Avatar image for Erebus

I suppose this fate is destined for Guild Wars 2.

Avatar image for RitsukoEX

@Erebus Quit HATING!

Avatar image for LesserAngel

@Erebus Hell, for any game that requires an online connection.

Avatar image for Erebus

@LesserAngel Not necessarily. Ultima Online, the first successful MMORPG is still online 15 years later. Everquest has been running for more than 13 years, Dark Age of Camelot has been going for 11 years. City of Heroes lasted 8 years, and probably had more players than most of the games I listed.

Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus

@aesoprjigheioug Complete waste of time.

Even if all 7000 people continued playing it regularly, that won't turn enough profit to make it worth while.

Signing a petition is the easiest thing anyone can do, because they know no-one will call them out personally for not acting upon that which they have signed for.

Avatar image for pimpofdoom

I wonder if anyone will literally kill themselves over this news. I know just how serious some people take MMO's and the time they invested in them.

Avatar image for maniaxe613


Thanks for the link. I signed it.

Avatar image for Seryll

well, looks like NCSoft found where they're gonna get more servers for Guild Wars 2. Another company that disregards the best interests of their customers between all their merchandise games. What happens when GW2 starts its decline in player pop like TOR and Rift and every other MMO thats started since WoW came out. Oh well, lost a stable community.

Avatar image for snxx

This news makes me sad. I've played, literally, more than a couple dozen MMOs and, for me, City of Heroes was always the best. Was a paid subscriber for two and a half years, 500% more time than what I spent in any other MMO. I'll always have fond memories of CoH, the friends I made there, my supergroup, exploring Paragon City, super-jumping around, defeating giant monsters, joining the seasonal events and fighting crime. Heck, you could spend hours and hours in the character creator alone! I've bee playing some recent MMOs and still see them doing some things that CoH did better years before.

I've not played it in years, but I'm sure as hell will download it again and take a final tour around Paragon City. For the Altimates! CoH is part of my history and one of the best games I played.

"You gave them all those old time stars

Through wars of worlds - invaded by Mars

You made 'em laugh - you made 'em cry

You made us feel like we could fly"

Avatar image for bakagami

@snxx Yeah, I played for over 2 years as well but dropped it after the Enhancement Diversity nerf.

Avatar image for blackace

I played it for about 6 months as well. Loved the game, but was also playing EQ2 and then WoW and really didn't have time for all of them. So I just quit CoH and played WoW & EQ2 for year and then quit EQ2. Unless you are single with no life at all, if very hard to play 2 or more MMO faithfully. At least with GW2, I can play it casually on my own time and don't have to worry about a subscription. Same thing can be said for Planetside 2, when that finally gets released. R.I.P. City of Heroes. You were a fun and entertaining game

Avatar image for TheArcade

Only 65 comments in this article? See this is what I'm talking about. If the series were on console in addition to PC more people would know/care about City of Heroes. At least then if it were an online RPG with offline campaign & co-op. Those people who paid for the subscription on the PC version and now feel neglected can come over to consoles to get back into playing City of Heroes. Say goodbye obscure super hero franchise, thanks a lot for ditching your fans..

Avatar image for TheArcade

What's that? City of Heroes is confirmed for all 3 major consoles!? Holy **** on a turtle that is the single most awesome thing I ever--oh wait the PC game is going free-to-play and the devs are determined to kill the series. So much for City of Heroes reaching star-studded status, I only wished they brought it over to consoles and turned it into an RPG that allows you to fully customize your heroes (since consoles suck at MMO's making it into an RPG would be the only viable option).

Who knows? Perhaps the series would've reached a wider audiance. It could've become so lucrative NCSoft wouldn't have reason to shut them down, jobs will be saved.

Avatar image for Undietaker


Yeah cause being on PS3 REALLY helped DCUO, ohh wait... it turned f2p in 8 months, the quickest turnaround in MMO history at the time...... nevermind.....

Avatar image for LandauTST

@TheArcade Yeah...don't be ignorant and act like it has to do with it not being on consoles. It has 0 to do with that. They already reached a HUGE audience. Not to mention they considered it a huge success and saw the number of people playing the game sky rocket once CoH: Freedom was released.

This is nothing more than the parent company just being an arse and not giving a damn about the consumer again. They're laying off an incredible team and slapping their fans in the face. The game was by no means dying, there was no plug that needed to be pulled, this is literally just NC Soft taking it out back and shooting it in the head.

Avatar image for Thirdrail1

City of Heroes was the first MMO I ever really enjoyed, but I can't say I'm sorry to see it shutting down. I'd rather have these guys working on something new than continuing to mess with a game that has been painfully outdated for so long. I hope Gamespot will keep us apprised of new games designed by the old Paragon crew. They really did a lot of cool stuff with CoX over the years.

Avatar image for Golden_Gonads


These guys have all been given the sack, and given that there is a surplus of MMO dev's looking for jobs these days, I doubt we'll see anything special out of them.

Avatar image for Valen_Ca

You know it is things like this that makes me wish that MMO developers would release some sort of 3rd party server patch for their games when they shut down their servers, that way people that still enjoy the games can either buy dedicated servers so that they can still play with some of the friends or even set it up on their own PC and solo the game.

Avatar image for rarson

This is why I hate playing games that rely on a connection to online servers, especially when you pay a monthly subscription fee for the game and it gets canned anyway (ahem... EA).

Avatar image for Kraghil

I really hope all the people who get laid off find new homes amongst other companies fast.

Never played the game myself, but for what iv'e seen and read about it they seem very talented and passionate in what they do. I wish you all the best of luck in the future!

Avatar image for Lynnea

@Suikogaiden This is probably not the place to ask for a refund.

Avatar image for BigDawgSteve420

Not surprising really. Me and my best friend loved this game at first and played the hell out of it the first couple months but both quit before reaching a half a year, and then didn't even stick past two months with City of Villains. I gave it a try again a couple months ago but couldn't get past 3 days. Sad to see people losing their jobs though.

Avatar image for LandauTST

@armorninja49 "Shame to see that plate of prime rib taken away...but at least we still have this bread that was moldy right out of the oven..." what I got from that :P lol

Avatar image for LandauTST

I honestly haven't played it in a long time, but I have a lot of great memories on it. It really is a shame they're shutting it down. Champions Online, DC matter how much newer those may be, they don't stand up to CoH at all. Looks like I'll be returning while I can. It will be greatly missed :/

Avatar image for badboy

This game is too old, it's older than World of Warcraft. It has to die one day, especially since there are much better alternatives like DC Universe.

Avatar image for LandauTST

@badboy "Much better alternatives....DC Universe...." ...Does not compute.

Avatar image for Janpieterzun

It will be missed, CoH got me hooked on MMO rpg's and the character creator is why i play champions. Made plenty of friends that turned to RL friends from CoH, this is a sad day.

Avatar image for oflow

RIP City of Heroes. On of the old school MMOs that paved the way. Still had one of the best character creators of any mmos even to this day. Had a lot of fun in this game pre WoW.

Avatar image for stziggy

It's sad. These MMOPRGs are slowly dying. It' is a fad that has come and gone. Sure a few still hang on, but it is dying.

I can't get over how often I see the Rock Band/Guitar Hero games in the bargain bin these days.

Avatar image for Janpieterzun

@stziggy Thank god for your analytics even though its the most successful genre in PC gaming but YOU feel its dying.. so it must be. Any good stock tips guru? Give me a good covered call writing strategy. Moron.

Avatar image for stziggy

@Janpieterzun @stziggy

The most successful genre right now is the casual market.

Yes I do think the market is dying: APB, Star Wars is shrinking, Eve Online, and Ashron's Call 2 just to name a few. Let's not forget the Matrix realm's entry. Warharmmer 40000 backed out of it's mmorpy entry. So yes, I do think it is dying!

Avatar image for LesserAngel

@stziggy @Janpieterzun I thought that even though EVE has a small player base, it's been steadily INCREASING since launch?

Avatar image for Kraghil

@Janpieterzun @stziggy That is a harsh response don't you think? It is indeed his opinion, no need to be so blunt and calling him a moron. He is entitled to it no? Even if you don't agree with it.

Avatar image for Fenixx

This really sucks. I first got into the series when City of Villains released. Got the collectors edition for it and loved every second of it. Then I ended up buying the Heroes version and I think that was even more fun. I haven't played for a few years but the thought has been in my head over the past few months that I should maybe play it again. It was only about a month ago that I was telling my girlfriend of all the great times I had with this game. It's really sad to see it go. Sure, we have Champions Online and DC Universe, both of which I've played and enjoyed also, but they're not the same. Farewell Paragon City, you will be greatly missed... =(

  • 93 results
  • 1
  • 2