Asheron’s Call was one of the most successful massively multiplayer online role-playing games, both in terms of popularity and longevity. The game was launched in 1999, and while it’s been in critical condition for a few years, it’s nevertheless stuck around as a playable MMORPG.
All of that’s coming to an end. Turbine, the game’s developer, announced on Facebook that after 17 years, both Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2 are being shut down. “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2, and will close both services on January 31, 2017.”
Asheron’s Call was originally released on November 2, 1999, and was published by Microsoft until 2004. It’s been having some issues for a few years, as Engadget reports, with its support being limited to maintenance only. Some fans attempted to use crowdfunding to purchase the games from Turbine, an effort that has so far failed, along with hopes that the game might be moved over to private servers.
On a related note, Turbine is undergoing some other changes, with Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online being sold to a new studio, Standing Stones Games, according to PC Gamer. Daybreak Games is assuming global publishing responsibilities that were previously Turbine’s job.
According to a post at LOTRO.com, “We’re embarking on an exciting adventure as Standing Stone Games, a newly independent studio staffed by people who have been working on DDO and LOTRO for many years. The teams remain very much committed to both games and are thrilled to continue development and operations of these games as an independent studio.”
That’s quite a shakeup of the MMORPG industry. While it’s unfortunate that the Asheron’s Call franchise is shutting down, at least some other MMORPGs will continue on. Current Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2 players will be able to continue their adventures until January 31, 2017. At that point, their quests will officially come to an end.