It was quite a shock to come back home and read that City of Heroes and Paragon Studios are shutting down. Looking at the comments in the forums it seems people are quite surprised by this move.
Shock, surprise, sadness, confusion, anger are probably words that sum up most of the feelings expressed in the forums.
I can’t help but think that the phrase “a realignment of company focus and publishing support” may include an idea to show to investors that they want to increase profit margins but cutting costs for less profitable areas. City of Heroes is profitable AFAIK, but possibly not profitable enough – i.e. they will focus on the Guild Wars franchise since they see potential for more profit there. And that makes investors happy.
I remember seeing a comment a long time ago from an NCSoft representative that they were going to evaluate the different “free to play” business models used by City of Heroes and Aion to see which ones work and how well they worked. They would run each for a year and then evaluate the results. It has gone almost a year now since City of Heroes: Freedom launched. Was this the result of the evaluation?
The game has a great group of developers and a great community. I really hope that the Paragon Studios people will find new good jobs and collegues. And I keep wondering what the “next gen MMO” work they had been hiring for was all about.