Two weeks ago, NCsoft closed Paragon Studios, halting all development on one of my favourite MMORPGs: City of Heroes. What’s more, the server is scheduled to shut down once and for all at the end of November. This comes as a shock to the online community, as we had no knowledge of the game or the developers struggling. However, like the heroes of Paragon City, we refuse to go down without a fight. Many Internet sites have popped up, giving tips on how to save our game. I’d like to impart some advice of my own.
Sign the Petition
Okay, okay, this is not the most original advice ever, but it strikes me as the least any fan of City of Heroes can do. Adding your name to the letter takes a few seconds. As I’m writing this, the petition is reaching close to fifteen thousand supporters, making it harder and harder for NCsoft to ignore our cry. Click here to join the fold.
Express Why You Are a Fan
A petition letter makes for a good start. Unfortunately, any random Joe with an Internet connection can type in his name (or someone else’s for that matter), discrediting our protest in the eyes of the bigwigs at NCsoft. We have to prove that we’re not just whining because we’re bored or want to “stick it to the man”. As fans, we need to show the company what City of Heroes really means to us.
Wondering how to go about this? Well, you could write a blog, post a comment on Facebook or Twitter, record a podcast, or put together a video relating your favourite moments in the game, your fondest memories, what makes the game special to you, etc. If online platforms and social media don’t do it for you, then good old pen and paper can do the job. Just write the folk at NCsoft a personal letter expressing why you’re so passionate about their product. Titan Network provides some great tips here. Help City of Heroes become the most popular game on the Web, not because it’s closing shop but because you love it.
Keep Things Civil
The news of Paragon Studios shutting down is undeniably upsetting, but we must refrain from lashing out in a fit. As six Star Wars movies have shown us, anger never leads anywhere productive. Obviously, all letters sent to NCsoft should keep a respectful tone. Signing the Internet petition and adding in the comments section, “You assholes better bring back the game, or I will firebomb your office!” doesn’t help anyone.
I’ll go one step further and suggest that we also stay respectful in the material we post on websites and social media platforms. Calling NCsoft a bunch of “clown-shoe wearing morons” in your blog only breeds resentment, not just from the decision-makers but from those who might otherwise have shown their support as well. Even if you know no one at NCsoft will ever read the comment, it still reflects poorly on the community. We are heroes. We are above this. Don’t be negative, and don’t feed the trolls, who feed on situations in which emotions run high.
Play the Game
There was a huge uproar a couple of years ago when Jay Leno took back his hosting gig from Conan O’Brien on The Tonight Show, but NBC looked at the ratings and saw that no one was watching Conan despite all the noise. The result: Leno was in, and Conan was out. Don’t let the same thing happen here and allow NCsoft the powerful (and not unreasonable) argument that “no one is playing”. Log on to your favorite City of Heroes server, fight crime on the streets of Paragon City, and show the company that the game is still alive and kicking. The worst that can happen is that you’ll have fun with the best MMO community out there.