Dungeon Runners, NCsoft's free-to-play fantasy MMO, will be shutting down on Jan. 1, 2010. "Dungeon Runners just isn't cutting the mustard. If she were a ship, she'd be taking on water. Yeah, she's been taking on water for a long time now. Are my cryptic references too hard to decipher? The game just isn't profitable," said Stephen Nichols, the game's producer and lead programmer.
Nichols said the Dungeon Runners team is down to three members, and they'll be taking the game out in style. Mythic loot will drop more frequently, XP gain will be quadrupled and a nuke will be added to Townston that's going to "blow up on New Year's and take the game down with it."
Of course, NCsoft will be compensating players with paid memberships. "You'll be getting a 30 day game time serial code and digital copies of City of Heroes Architect Edition and Guild Wars Prophecies," Nichols said. You can read his full letter after the jump. Dungeon Runners entered open beta in December 2006 and officialy launched in May 2007, so the game has enjoyed a three-year run. Did you ever try out Dungeon Runners?
Yes, that's right. Dungeon Runners is shutting down on January 1, 2010. The full scoop follows.
Dear Dungeon Runner,
Have you ever had to give bad news to someone before? Sure you have! I've found that the best way to give bad news is to make a "crap sandwich" out of it. You know... you say something nice, drop the bad news bomb, then say something else nice. Sound like fun? Let's do it then!
First, something nice! I've really enjoyed working on Dungeon Runners for the past three years. I've come to know many of you personally and have, without a doubt, had the best time in my nearly 20 year game development career working and playing with you guys! You are dedicated, passionate players that have really helped us to make Dungeon Runners what it is today. Awesome players for an awesome game! Kudos!
Now, it's time for the bad news. Dungeon Runners just isn't cutting the mustard. If she were a ship, she'd be taking on water. Yeah, she's been taking on water for a long time now. Are my cryptic references too hard to decipher? The game just isn't profitable. And, the first rule of business is to be profitable! Man, I must have missed that day in business school... but I digress.
We've been trying to figure out how to fix things for some time now. And, that's where things get sticky. We've got some ideas that could work. But, they're expensive to implement and pretty risky. Those two facts, coupled with the recent loss of some key developers, make achieving the success we seek pretty much out of the question.
As things stand now, we're a three man team. Yeah, we lost two of our five man team recently. Not nearly enough manpower to get where we need to be. Rebuilding the team isn't really an option for various reasons. So, where does that leave us? Can you guess? Yes, that's right, we're going to be shutting Dungeon Runners down at the end of 2009. New Year's Eve to be exact.
Okay, now that the bad news is out of the way, let's get some more good news to make the sandwich complete. NCsoft has worked with us on a plan to compensate Dungeon Runners players. I think we've come up with a nice package for all players with paid memberships as of today (9/16/2009). You'll be getting a 30 day game time serial code and digital copies of City of Heroes Architect Edition and Guild Wars Prophecies. FREE games FTW! I know, it's not Dungeon Runners... but it's still frigging nice! Of course, any of you guys that need refunds for multiple-month membership purchases will be taken care of. And, as always, our helpful support staff will be available to help you with any issues you have.
Wait, there's even more good news! While we may be going out, we're going out in style, with a few changes to the game for the coming "End Time". Mythic loot will drop much more frequently. We're significantly reducing the cost of expensive King's Coin vendors. We're also quintupling the rate of XP gain to help you finish the game before year's end! Finally, we're adding a huge nuke to Townston that will blow up on New Year's and take the game down with it. There's more, but what fun is there in spilling all the beans? Oh, its gonna be a fun time till the end of the year! Loot finding, leveling madness. I may finally make it to level 100 myself now...
So, try not to be sad. It may be the end of Dungeon Runners, but it's not the end of the world! I'll still be working on the game until the very end. We can chat, reminisce and play DR until the lights go out.
See you in the game!
DR's Producer & Lead Programmer