I'm going to toss my two cents in.
First, I very much appreciate the anonymous employee coming forward with this information. Most of it had been uncovered previously, but it's still encouraging to have it confirmed. But far more importantly, I'd like to thank NCsoft's Director of Corporate Communications, Lincoln Davis, for taking the time to step forward and provide open, straightforward reasons for CoH's closure that have been debunked for months.
Allow me to address them individually.
"The operating cost, annual revenue figures and other financial information shared by this anonymous source are simply wrong."
While I'm not privy to Paragon's operating costs, the revenue figures are corroborated by NCsoft's own quarterly revenue reports - so either the claim is not wrong, or NCsoft had been falsifying their own financials regarding the game - take your pick.
"The studio was unprofitable before the shutdown."
Interestingly enough, in each of its previous closures, NCsoft had openly cited lack of income and interest as the primary cause for the shutdown. CoH was written off with an uninformative "realignment of company focus and publishing support". There are two possibilities at play;
1} Was CoH as a game unprofitable? A glance at the revenue reports, as well as the game's own population numbers disproves that theory - income-wise, the game had the equivalent of sixty thousand subscribers, a solid population by any standard.
2} Was CoH as a game profitable, but the studio's side project ran it in the red? If that was the case, then the problem could have been solved by simply axing the said project and the associated costs, rather than eliminating the entire revenue stream.
"While we looked to sell the franchise multiple times, we were unsuccessful in finding a suitable partner that we thought would support City of Heroes’ fans in a manner they were accustomed to for years to come."
To begin with, what NCsoft neglected to mention was the fact that in the months leading up to the shutdown, Paragon Studios had been negotiating with NCsoft to buy the studio out. So if the game's own developers weren't considered to be fitting custodians, I would very much like to hear who would. A clear list of requirements for the prospective buyers would only help all parties involved, if what mr. Davis says about NCsoft's wish to find a suitable partner still holds.
So it's basically just internal reshuffling of assets, a rename or two - I'm a bit skeptical about the "more independent" line too, it would be quite the about-face from NCsoft's usual management approach. I wish ArenaNet and Carbine all the luck - I think they'll still need it.
Hey there, thanks for covering this. Yeah, we know it's one hell of a long shot, but from just the appeal standpoint, I believe we made a pretty good case. Of course, we've got no way of knowing if Disney would consider it anyway, since they don't go buying stuff around on a whim, but if they decide it's worth buying, I don't think NCsoft's directors could afford to refuse - quarter before last they lost six million dollars, they released two blockbuster games yet their investors are fleeing in droves... if word got out they refused money for a property they planned to bury, they'd be a laughingstock.
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