After almost three weeks without any communication at all from NCSoft there was finally some announcement about what will happen with the different player accounts and refunds of paid for subscriptions and Paragon Points bought.
I cannot say that I like that they were silent for that long after the abrupt shut down announcement that was made. That is not a good treatment of customers. It is good that they will refund some of what people have paid, although this is not without its issues if one reads the forums. It does not seem either that customer support has been well prepared for this either, judging from what some people report that the customer support has responded.
Before this announcement a positive interpretation of the silence was that they perhaps could not say anything because there were actual negotiations going on about continuing the game in some way. I think this announcement points to that NCSoft has not been moved in any direction towards continuing the game in some form, that much is obvious.
I think it is also quite unlikely that it will be sold off to some other company – there is probably too much issues around software licenses and intellectual property not exclusive to City of Heroes that the effort is not worth it for them.
Frankly I also think that they are not really bothering to try to keep people as customers. It is not a target demographic for them any longer and such a small part of their whole portfolio. Note also that the only communication from NCSoft (besides the interaction with Paragon Studios employees) has been throught he two announcements made. No in-game information, no emails sent out.
If people do not visit the web site or the forums regularly, they would not know about it – at least not through NCSoft. Even now the last weekend I encountered people in the game who did not know that the game was shutting down. All this to me points to that they are not really interested in making any effort to keep people as customers.
Despite the doom and gloom I still intend to support any efforts to save the game. Futile perhaps, but there should be a place for MMOs and their communities that are not huge mass market offerings. Even if NCSoft does not bother with it, perhaps others with the same or similar passion in the MMO marketplace will take notice.