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'City of Heroes' developer shuts down, game prepares for end times

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"Thank you, and I'll see you in the skies, one last time." Andy Belford, Paragon Studios

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The world's first super hero massively multiplayer online game just found its kryptonite. City of Heroes is shutting down and effective immediately Paragon Studios has closed its doors.

The world's first super hero massively multiplayer online game just found its kryptonite. City of Heroes is shutting down and effective immediately Paragon Studios has closed its doors.

"In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios," Andy Belford, community manager at Paragon Studios, wrote on the site's official website. "Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

"By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it."

City of Heroes was original developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCsoft in April, 2004. The game has since seen nearly two dozen major free updates. The last was released in May.

The game's development was moved from Cryptic to Paragon Studios in 2009. The game switched to a "hybrid" subscription model in June, 2011.

Belford wrapped up his open letter announcing the demise of both the game and its developer, by thanking the community who have for so long supported the game.

"Thank you," he wrote. "Thank you for your years of support. You've been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn't have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.

"Thank you, and I'll see you in the skies, one last time."