End of the road for Tabula Rasa

Servers to shut down in February; layoffs expected

Tabula Rasa was Richard Garriott's foray into the world of science fiction, but publisher NCsoft has decided to finally pull the plug on the struggling game just over a year after it launched.

A note from the Tabula Rasa team stated that "Tabula Rasa will end live service on February 28, 2009."

The news comes just days after Tabula Rasa's renowned creator Richard Garriott quit NCsoft after returning from a trip to the International Space Station.

David Swofford, PR director for NCsoft North America, told Edge that the company is still in talks with the Tabula Rasa team regarding layoffs.

"We're going to be scaling it down as we prepare for the end of the live service." He could not confirm how many will be affected.

As recently as mid-September, Swofford had assured us that NCsoft was still committed to Tabula Rasa, and that rumors of its imminent demise were untrue.

To that, Swofford responded, "When I told you that, that was the case. ... That's what we thought at the time.

"But it's a business decision, all based on return on investment, potential revenue and all that weighed against our other triple-A games out there. ... We determined it wasn't generating the revenue we needed, so we moved on."

He added the game must be completely axed, and that it's "not feasible" from a business perspective to continue support for even a small remaining fanbase.

The game will become free to play on January 10, 2009 to the end of February.

NCsoft said that "loyal" Tabula Rasa players who were active paying subscribers as of 10 a.m. PST on November 21 will be eligible for "all of the following":

  • Three free months of City of Heroes including digital client
  • Three free months of Lineage II including digital client
  • Aion beta access (coming soon)
  • Aion pre-order access (available in 2009)
    One free month of Aion including digital client (available in 2009)

Players who've pre-paid through January 10 will receive refunds by the time servers shut down.

Article supplied by Edge-Online.