Four of Sony Online Entertainment’s MMOs will be shut down in 2014, according to an announcement given to IGN. Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures will both bow out on March 31, while Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online will conclude on July 31.
Of the four, the biggest surprise is perhaps Wizardy Online, from Japanese developer Gamepot. The free-to-play MMORPG was released in the U.S. less than a year ago, on January 30, 2013. Star Wars: Clone War Adventures debuted on September 15, 2010 on the PC, while Free Realms appeared on PCs on April 28, 2009 (and the PS3 on March 29, 2011). Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is the oldest of the bunch, having debuted on PC back on January 30, 2007.
SOE confirmed that while the teams working on the games will soon be without a project, they will be reassigned and not laid off.
In a statement to IGN, SOE explained the situation:
“At Sony Online Entertainment, we are always evaluating our portfolio to ensure we’re providing players with the best gameplay experiences. At times, as part of this commitment, we have to make the difficult decision to sunset a game so we can refocus our resources on other areas in the best interest of our company and player community.
“With that said, it is with a heavy heart that we announce our decision to discontinue development on Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online. Although these closures will occur later this year, in the spirit of full transparency, we are announcing this now so our players have time to adjust to the news and make plans to enjoy the time remaining in these games.”
More details on the end of the four games is expected in the coming months.