August 26, 2005

AC2 Shuts Down

Just a few months after releasing an expansion pack for the game, Turbine announced that they wereclosing Asheron's Call 2. I played AC2 briefly, but was turned off by the (at the time) overwhelming system requirements that brought my FrankenPuter (assembled with care, duct tape, and electricity) to a screeching halt. Although the graphics engine produced beautiful results (individual blades of grass that parted as you ran through), the gameplay was just not on par with AC1. It will be interesting to see how this affects other Turbine products - AC1, D+D Online, and Lord of the Rings Online...

What happens to the ruins of an online game?

Come to think of it, I still have the CD. Looks like they are offering a free month's play if you rejoin... might be worth a revisit for a few parting screenshots.

Posted by Jason at August 26, 2005 6:08 AM | TrackBack

What does happen to the ruins of an online game? can it be saved on a server somewhere to be toured, a lonely explorer strolling through the otherwise soulless ghost-town of game play?

Even that image conjures up a materiality that oversimplifies the issue, but like the closing of a theatre produciton, underscores the ultimate ephemerality of the ludic text. It also, I think, asks us to think of game play in some of the same terms as history, of a peopled world now gone, or altered beyond recognition, but constructed and reconstructed in memory and parting screenshots.

Posted by: Ryan at August 26, 2005 11:09 AM | Permalink to Comment

Well, I'm not really sure. There have been some attempts from fans of other games to recreate the world on their own server, but with AC2, I find it unlikely that Turbine (the company) would allow this, since their game engine is part of what makes them money. The AC2 engine also is likely either the same or similar to the engine running their two forthcoming MMoRP games coming out: D+D Online and Lord of the Rings Online. I doubt they'd want their code out and about.

Which means, I'm guessing, that the world will disappear, leaving - as you say - only reconstructions and parting screenshots.

In any case, I doubt Turbine made many fans by the move, since they just released their expansion pack for AC2 a little while ago. Thanks for your $30... we're closed.

Posted by: Jason at August 29, 2005 10:24 AM | Permalink to Comment
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