InnoGames, publisher of the pirate-based MMO Kartuga, recently announced the closure of that game as well as the developer Ticking Bomb Games.

Not too long ago, Kartuga’s closed beta was reviewed by GameOgre in a first impressions by Kyt Dotson–but that closed beta has not succeeded in reaching InnoGames’s high expectations for the title. This, it is said by the publisher, is the reason why the game is being closed down.

Hendrik Klindworth, CEO of InnoGames states about the decision: “It wasn’t an easy step for us. During the recent months, Ticking Bomb Games and InnoGames have worked hard on the game. Together with Ticking Bomb Games we have come to an agreement: the priority was to have an organized schedule for the studio’s closure, to keep the employees’ needs in mind, and offer as many of them a position at InnoGames as possible–all those things we’ve managed together.”

Players who have cash in the Kartuga shop will be able to transfer that money away from the game to other InnoGames titles by August 14th; however, the hard deadline for the game shutdown has not been announced. Just very soon.

We’ve seen a number of MMO games close this year as the market shifts; but this closure comes extremely swiftly, with our impressions being posted in March and the closure announced now in July. The market is a hairy place for publishers and that means some will flourish and some will fade away.

Kartuga had a lot of potential, the exciting setting and high-quality graphics stood out especially, but the closed beta and player feedback showed that it wouldn’t fit the companies’ goals for the future. Now InnoGames can focus even more on cross-platform projects currently in development in-house,” Klindworth continued. Two new titles will be announced later this year.

Browser-based MMOs, such as Kartuga, have a specialized market niche that includes cross-platform gaming with mobile devices. While to many PC players, mobile and browser-based games may seem less twitchy and therefore less adventurous; mobile gamers also have a specific set of needs with small screens, low power requirements, and the ability to enter and exit games casually.

That means that new MMO games designed for the browser and mobile will be held up to a different litmus.

Klindworth reasoned: “Thanks to the partnership with Ticking Bomb Games, we’ve learned a lot we can apply to future projects. It also strengthened our dedication towards cross-platform-titles, which are playable on a number of internet-based devices, as the future of InnoGames.”

I suspect, from these quotes, we can probably expect to see more browser-to-mobile MMO games appearing on the market from InnoGames.

Farewell Kartuga.

via InnoGames official Kartuga shutdown announcement.