SOE, better known as Sony Online Entertainment, has announced that they are shuttering four MMOs over the next few months. Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures and Free Realms shut down March 31st; Vanguard and Wizardry Online will shut down on July 31st.
“At Sony Online Entertainment, we are always evaluating our portfolio to ensure we’re providing players with the best gameplay experiences,” the company said via press release. “At times, as part of this commitment, we have to make the difficult decision to sunset a game so we can refocus our resources on other areas in the best interest of our company and player community.”
Vanguard players have been treated to a forum post describing and explaining why their game is going away, posted by Community Manager Yaviey,
But here’s the deal…player population numbers have decreased making it difficult to justify the resources needed to support and update this game. This is an older game and we’re experiencing more and more technical challenges to continue running and updating it in a way you deserve. Simply put, these are issues that cannot be fixed in the long term and as a player, we would be doing you a disservice and going against our company commitment to provide the best gameplay experiences. So given this information, sunsetting the game later this year is the inevitable conclusion.
SOE also stated that decreasing audiences have become the cause for the sundown of Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, having seen players migrating to other games. In the case of Wizardry Online it will be the result of a mutual agreement between SOE and licensing partner Gamepot to end the arrangement.
Plans for the closures are still months away, but these closures will no doubt change the MMO landscape.
Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley is planned to field questions on Reddit in an AMA about the closures at 6:00 p.m. EST. Questions have been answered on Reddit in “I’m John Smedley, President of SOE. AMAA“.