2012 has claimed Earthrise as one of its first titles to shut down this year. The sci-fi, open-world sandbox MMORPG was scheduled to go free-to-play this year, but developer Masthead Studios has decided to pull the plug on the game servers as of today instead.
In a recent press release, Masthead Studios Director Atanas Atanasov made a very direct statement about what led to the decision.
ÂOne year after the launch of the game, we have decided to stop the Earthrise servers. Earthrise was released too early and did not meet the expectations of its fansÂ said Atanas Atanasov, Director of Masthead Studios. ÂWe did our best to revive the game in 2011, but the time was not enough to keep up with the user requirements. There is a huge interest in high quality open world sandbox MMORPGs, unfortunately the big publishers do not show any interest in the genre. It is unfortunate that low budget companies like ours are trying to bring innovativeness in the already saturated MMO market. I hope that one day an independent studio will be able to release the long anticipated open world sandbox MMO, which everyone is talking about, but no one is making. We tried, but did not succeed. We would like to apologize to those who were disappointed from Earthrise and to thank everyone who supported us during the years."
The good news Â if Masthead can find the investors or a publisher, the free-to-play version of Earthrise may yet return. MastheadÂs mysterious forum administrator that likes to only be known as "The Editor" also expanded on the released news in a forum post to the community:
We tried to make better game in terms of server and client performance. That means to us that we had to fix over 100 problems, reported by you or by our Q&A team, before we start the F2P model. However the latest internal test showed that we need at least 4 more months to complete this task. It is too long period, and we don't have the resources to do that. Atanas did his best to find investors, but it is a very hard task during the world economical crisis.
We don't abandon the Earthrise project completely. But it will be postponed for better times. We even thought to continue providing services for game for free, but it would still require investments. Instead of that we decided to focus on other projects, but it will be Ostiak, who can give additional information. Meanwhile we will keep the Earthrise forums and we will still use them. I hope one day I will put much better news there.
For now, Earthrise will come to a close today. If Masthead can find the additional support, it may return at some point under its free-to-play version some time in the future.
Source: Earthrise Press Release