NCSoft has decided to pull the plug on City of Heroes once and for all. The game and the studio working on the game, Paragon Studio, will be no more. In case it wasn't made clear enough, imagine NCSoft is Bane and Paragon Studio/City of Heroes is Batman...now imagine Bane just breaks Batman's back. Eh, only this time Batman stays broke.
Despite going free-to-play during the late-middle of 2011, Paragon sent out the sad words earlier today notifying gamers and the community at large that they will no longer be employed to work on City of Heroes. Community manager Andy Belford makes it clear that gamers shouldn't be sad, but should be happy about the great experiences and time afford in City of Heroes, saying...
Thank you. Thank you for your years of support. You've been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn't have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.
Belford explains further up in the goodbye letter that effectively immediately the cash shop for City of Heroes will be closing and all subscription fees and billing will come to cessation. The game and its services are expected to come to a full end before the year is out and Paragon has stopped developing content for the game.
There's no mention what will happen to the property or software once the plug is pulled, but I wonder if NCSoft will be nice guys and gals about this and offer up the network development kit so the community can let the game live on with private servers running the latest code? NCSoft's blatant disregard for Tabula Rasa lends the belief that City of Heroes is more than likely going to end up the same way.
You can read the full love letter and goodbye graces to the fans by visiting the Official City of Heroes Website. I'm sure you'll find plenty of further useful information on the forums as well.