As MMORPG.com readers may or may not know, NCsoft and NetDevil announced today that they will be closing the doors to Auto Assault on August 31st of this year. This afternoon, I had a brief conversation with David Swofford at NCsoft about the decision and what brought this announcement about.
In the end, and this probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, it really all came down to low and ebbing numbers. The number of players on the server was small, and it finally reached a point where it didn't make sense to continue.
I think David summed it up best when he said, "What we were putting in, we weren't getting back".
In the end, while they may be games to us, MMORPGs like Auto Assault are a business and a business that loses money just doesn't make any sense.
"It's unfortunate for the players," said David, "any time you have to close something down, but sometimes you have to make these decisions as a company".
The decision, I am told was made mutually between NetDevil, the makers of the game, and NCsoft, the publisher, and while the announcement may have seemed sudden to some, it was a decision made over time.
According to David, their decision was "certainly not sudden. We were looking at the numbers over time and saw that it was the right time."
Auto Assault launched in April of 2006 and will be one year and four months old at the time of its closing.
MMORPG.com will continue to follow this story as it progresses.
For those who may have missed it, here is the original statement as it appeared ont he Auto Assault Website:
NOTICE: Today NCsoft is announcing that it will be closing down service for Auto Assault at the end of the summer. The service will close at midnight on August 31, 2007. As of today, any player currently in the service with an active billed account will not be billed again. If players have previously purchased time via multi-month billing or time cards that extends their service past July 31, NCsoft will reconcile these accounts appropriately. There will be more announcements coming soon regarding the shut down of Auto Assault and its impact on current accounts. Please check back at www.autoassault.com for more information.