Today NCSoft announced that they will close down Tabula Rasa at the end of Februari 2009. It does not come as a big surprise, early this year NCSoft did say thet they would give the game about a year and that it would have to make about 8 million USD for that year, which was their break-even point for operating the game.
Tabula Rasa has not quite made those numbers. I’m sorry to see the game go away; I played it in beta for a while and about 7-8 months from release and to large extent I did enjoy the game. But there were some annoying issues which never got fixed and pretty much everyone else I played with disappeared after a while. But given the less than stellar inital results I do not think they had that much resources to work with in the first place in the past year and they did some quite nice things in some updates.
WIth NCSoft operations focusing more to the region near ArenaNet in the US I guess the people that have worked on Tabula Rasa may be at risk of losing their job or relocate, I guess. Not a nice situation to be in, so I hope that works out.
For those that want to try the game a bit before the end NCSOfts says that the game will be free to play from January 10th 2009 until the end.
It seems that there will be an open beta for Chronicles of Spellborn after all, although a fairly short one. It is restricted to the countries for which there asre assigned publishers (Frogster and Mindscape), i.e. German-speaking countries, France, Benelux and Scandinavia+Finland.
Being in one of the “lucky” countries I will certainly spend some time this weekend to try it out.
The uncertaintly and concern about having different publishers and potentially some kind of restrictions or blocking based on where you are located does get a lot of negative comments on the TCOS forums, so I hope they drop the idea entirely or make it reasoably easy to bypass if you want.
A quote from Mirage, PR manager for Spellborn as least give some slight hope.
“For European Territories (except UK) there will NOT be any IP blocking.
Mindscape and Frogster will NOT do any IP blocking.”
Still a concern in Europe what restrictions they may place on UK players, but it at least seems any restrictions put in place by the not-delayed publishers will not be based on IP address.