Asheron’s Call is over, which should finally free up the line for your dial-up modem.
Developer Turbine and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that it is ending support for its 1999 massively multiplayer online role-playing game Asheron’s Call and its sequel, Asheron’s Call 2. The servers for both will go offline January 31. This marks the demise of one of the first MMORPGs, and it is an example of how games can survive for a decade and a half by maintaining a small, dedicated community.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2,” reads a post on the Asheron’s Call facebook page. “This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you. This game is a labor of love, and it’s not easy for us to bring it to an end.”
Asheron’s Call is a fantasy RPG where players get online with each other to complete quests. It came out around the same time as Everquest, and it found a large enough audience to support its 16-year run. It started at Microsoft under Xbox game publishing boss Ed Fries.
“It’s incredible to me that Asheron’s Call has survived almost 20 years,” Fries told GamesBeat. “It’s a testament to the world the developers created and the incredible fans they attracted that made it such a rich and compelling experience.”
Asheron’s Call also led to Turbine going on to developing The Lord of the Rings Online. Most recently, Turbine has shifted to mobile games like Batman: Arkham Underworld and Game of Thrones: Conquest, but it still supports a raft of MMOs as well.
“We have had a phenomenally long run; one of the longest in the world of MMORPGs, and that in and of itself is a spectacular feat,” reads the Facebook post. “We are proud of our legacy, and the entire Asheron’s Call team has been honored to adventure with you for nearly 20 years. We thank you very much for being a part of it.”