Auto Assault: What Happened

On August 31, 2007, Auto Assault was given the final shutdown, after a failed attempt to sell the IP to NCSoft, despite various offers from 3rd parties to buy the rights to the IP and continue running servers based around the game.

Auto Assault is one of the shorter running MMO’s, from April 2006 to August 2007. The title suffered from, as many starter MMO’s do, the lack of subscribers that eventually pulled the project into the ground.

Auto Assault takes place in the distant future, and is a post-apocalyptic MMO. The player takes control of a vehicle that is equipped with weapons, and all of the action is real time, 3rd person perspective. It is only during short intervals in safe cities that the player is able to leave their vehicle and actually walk around. Despite the game’s shortcomings, the concept was very creative, and offered a nice alternative to the usual walking around and bashing stuff with a sword, to driving around and shooting stuff.

The question that is inevitably asked is; “Was Auto Assault doomed from the start?”, and the answer to that question is a defiant “probably.” Auto Assault had the unfortunate timing of being the “Starter MMO” released by Net Devil, who reportedly has a staff of a whopping fourteen people. Without a doubt, Auto Assault is a niche title that didn’t appeal to the massive audience, but even then it didn’t appeal to enough of an audience required to keep an MMO floating on the water. The project was ambitious for such a small development team, and as many risky titles go, this one fizzled out. Wrong time, wrong company.

Net Devil does not currently have any other MMO’s on the market, although the developer is currently working on two titles for release in the 2009-2010 time frame.

Asheron’s Call 2: What Happened

Dear AC2 subscribers,

In spite of our hard work and the launch of Legions, AC2 has reached the point where it no longer makes sense to continue the service. We will be officially closing the Asheron’s Call 2 service on 12/30/05. Until then, we plan to run live events, but we will not be adding any content or features.

We deeply appreciate the many dedicated fans of AC2 who have stood by us over the years. You have our sincerest gratitude.

Best regards,

Jeffrey Anderson
CEO, Turbine

Asheron’s Call 2 launched on November 22, 2002, as a sequel to the popular Asheron’s Call, developed and published by Turbine Entertainment Software. The game boasted an extensive crafting system with no level caps, that allowed players to excel in everything from various armor crafting, to weapons making, and onward. Experience was gained by questing, monster hunting, and even turning in treasure for gold. The player vs player mechanics were always consensual, offering a combination of duels, pvp zones, and pvp dedicated servers.

So what happened? Asheron’s Call, the original, is still running! For starters; Asheron’s Call 2 failed to gain the attention of the fans of the original, who cited massive gameplay changes, calling the game a sequel “only in name.” Asheron Call 2’s subscriber numbers peaked at a paltry 50,000, and depleted down to an estimated 10 to 15 thousand, as estimated by While Everquest/Everquest 2 shared the same scenario as Asheron’s Call, the major difference is that Everquest 2 managed to bring in enough new players to supplement those that would not transition over from the original, enough to stay afloat and continue expanding. Everquest was, and still is, a household title to the MMO genre, and such an ambitious venture did nothing but benefit SOE. Asheron’s Call, on the other hand, is not a household name, and was not equipped well enough for such a project.

Asheron’s Call 2 is lived on by its predecessor, Asheron’s Call. Although Turbine refuses to reveal numbers, it is estimated that Asheron’s Call has dropped below 10 thousand subscribers, meaning its days may be numbered as well.

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