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Beloved superhero MMO fan server gets an official license, fans rejoice

NCSoft and City of Heroes fan server Homecoming have come to an agreement

A collection of superheroes and villains gathering in MMO City of Heroes Image: NCSoft
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Superhero MMORPG City of Heroes was officially shut down at the end of 2012, but a group of dedicated fans never gave up on the game. And over a decade after the official servers went dark, the biggest fan server has been given the all-clear via a license from NCSoft, which is a massive relief for players. “Your accounts and characters are safe,” reads an announcement from Homecoming, a fan-run City of Heroes server. “Development of new content will continue.”

Homecoming was built off the original game code, which was uncovered in 2019. The server not only restored the original MMO content, but included new class features, mechanics, and quality-of-life updates. Homecoming has covered its costs off donations; playing on the server is free. However, players had existed in a sort of limbo, waiting to see if the corporation with legal rights to the content would muscle in and shut the party down.

Technically, NCSoft still could exercise its right to end Homecoming, but the people behind the server don’t seem concerned, saying in the announcement Q&A: “We’ve had a really positive and productive relationship with NCSoft for over four years now, so we do not anticipate there being any issues.” For fans who missed their old comfort MMO, this is a huge relief; it feels as though the Eye of Sauron has moved on, removing an existential threat to the project.

Homecoming is a passion project run by players, for players, and it feels like a belated Christmas miracle to see this agreement made public between the server and NCSoft. There isn’t a game that’s managed to reach the heights of City of Heroes’ superheroic crusades and villainous schemes, so it’s good to know that it will continue to live on thanks to the passion of its player base.

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