The Coronavirus forces the cancelation of Overwatch League matches in China as fear about the illness spreads. The matches were set to take place in February and March but will now be put off to later this year. This was meant to be the first season in league history where each of the 20 teams hosted matches in their home cities and four of those were set to take place in China. Each location; Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou were expected to host 2 events. The first of these events were meant to start on February 15th, just a little over two weeks from now.
Blizzard took to Twitter to announce the cancelation of the events, saying:
“We have decided to cancel our February and March matches in China in order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff. We hope fans have a safe and happy Lunar New Year, and we remain incredibly excited to play Overwatch League matches in China later this season. We’ll share more information about when and where the matches will take place at a later date. Thank you for your support and understanding!”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Coronavirus have an impact on the entertainment industry. In fact, with movie theaters closed in China over what is their biggest movie-watching weekend, it is likely that the global film industry will feel the effects of this for some time to come. Major Chinese blockbusters that were meant to release for the Lunar New Year will have to be rescheduled and this will likely impact Western-made movies like Dolittle.
It is also having a major impact on tourism as a number of airlines around the world have announced they will stop flying in and out of China for the time being. Many Western countries are also organizing having their citizens who are in the Wuhan area brought home. However, when Japan did this they found that they ended up bringing back with them a number of people who were ill. Which could just further spread the illness.
The latest estimates as of writing this have the total number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus at 7,817 globally. 5 of those are in the United States, 3 in Canada, while China has 7,711 cases. Cases have also been confirmed in Australia, Germany, France, Finland, and the UAE just to name a few. Even Ireland, which has no direct flights to Wuhan where the Coronavirus started has a handful of people in self-imposed quarantine.
As this illness continues to spread across the globe it is likely we will see more events like the Overwatch League canceled.
Minecraft cancels graphical update after it proved to be too technically demanding. Mojang made the announcement on the official Minecraft site earlier today saying that the Super Duper Graphics Pack was no longer in development and that it was canceled. The announcement stresses that they weren’t happy with how it performed across devices. But, they are “looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look.”
The Super Duper Graphics Pack was announced during E3 2017 and many were looking forward to its release. But, it is good to hear they won’t be completely abandoning the idea of a graphical update. It will be interesting to see where they take things next. For now though, here’s the full statement from Mojang.
Some of you might remember us announcing the Super Duper Graphics Pack during E3 2017. Super Duper was an ambitious initiative that brought a new look to Minecraft but, unfortunately, the pack proved too technically demanding to implement as planned.
We realise this is disappointing to some of you – there was a lot of enthusiasm for Super Duper from inside and outside the studio – but unfortunately, we aren’t happy with how the pack performed across devices. For this reason, we’re stopping development on the pack, and looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look.
Minecraft is available on a wide range of platforms, and we’re constantly trying to make the most of the technical architecture of each one. We’ll be able to share more on that subject very soon.
Thanks for your patience, and sorry for not following through on our plans!
Throughout the history of MMOs, there have been a lot of titles that have never come to be. Many of these are canceled for monetary reasons, but sometimes they’re canceled just because they aren’t as good as the developers had hoped they would be. We’re taking a look at 7 MMOs that were canceled before launch.
World of Darkness
Its been 5 years since World of Darkness was officially canceled and lifelong fans of the IP still hold out hope that it will be revived. Every time there is news about the World of Darkness IP, gamers fall out of the woodwork asking if it will be the MMO. However, it never is an MMO and because trends have moved on it likely never will be. We know that the World of Darkness MMO had a troubled life from the very start. CCP was disorganized and often took developers off the project to work on their big money maker and studio darling EVE Online. In fact, an insider told The Guardian that there was one manager in particular who was problematic. They said he had no vision for the game and often couldn’t answer basic questions. It was a sad end to what looked to be a very promising, very dark MMO. Thankfully, the world has been able to see the game as it looked before it was canceled thanks to a beta player who leaked a number of screenshots and their playtest manual. Press E to Seduce.
It was intended to be the next chapter in the Everquest saga. Everquest Next, a voxel-based MMORPG, was going to take the genre into the next generation, but around 2015 doubt started to be cast as to whether the game would ever be released. They had cut ties with Storybricks and layoffs were spreading throughout the company; they even laid off the forums. Then in early 2016 the game was canceled. It honestly wasn’t that much of a surprise at the time. News had been sparse and it was pretty obvious it was coming. Of course, that’s no consolation for all of those people who spent $100 on Landmark, which was only supposed to be a companion to the game. The loss of Everquest Next marked a big turning point for the genre. Since then we’ve been in a slow decline.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Project Copernicus
While fans of the Kingdoms of Amalur game were very much looking forward to Project Copernicus, the MMORPG based in the Amalur universe, it was the real world drama around the game’s eventual demise that it is best known for today. You may be familiar with the 38 Studios saga, which only came to an end this January, 7 years after the drama unfolded. This involves former baseball star Curt Schilling, the state of Rhode Island, and even the FBI. From the various investigations into what happened at the studio, it appeared that some studio execs knew the $75 million Rhode Island had given them wouldn’t be enough to finish Copernicus and that they failed to notify investors. Thankfully, not all hope is lost for Kingdoms of Amalur or Project Copernicus. THQ Nordic bought the IP which included the games late last year. While it seems unlikely they’ll make Copernicus that little bit of hope still remains.
If ever there has been a TV series that deserves an MMO it was Stargate. The game was intended to revolve around the earlier story from SG-1 which involved the Tau’ri (humans from Earth) and the fearsome Goa’uld, aliens who had enslaved Humanity and scattered them across the galaxy. Playable races included Humans, Goa’uld, Jaffa (genetically engineered human soldiers made to serve the Goa’uld and treat them as gods), the Asgard (highly intelligent little grey aliens). Quite a lot is known about the game despite the fact that it was canceled before it ever left closed beta. Sadly, the company developing it went bankrupt and no public attempts to release the game were ever made. Clips of the game have been seen in other forms of media, however. Footage from the game was used in the opening sequence of 2008 film WarGames: The Dead Code. More footage was used in the first episode of the TV series Stargate Universe.
Before Anthem, Bioware was working on Shadow Realms, a 4v1 game that few people in the world ever got to see. Thankfully, we happened to be attending Gamescom the year it was shown and we have an article all about it. Sadly, Shadow Realms was canceled just a few months later. In the announcement, it was explained that Bioware was simply moving on to other projects. The game was a delightfully dark take on the 4v1 genre that itself didn’t seem to last very long. With all the talk about Anthem at the moment, it’s important to take some time to remember the game Bioware stopped making so they could make Anthem. One can’t help but wonder if things would have gone a bit more smoothly for them if they had stuck with Shadow Realms.
True Fantasy Live Online
The development of True Fantasy Live Online was nearly completed when this game was canceled. By that point, it had already gone through two years of complications. One such complication was the integration of voice chat, which Microsoft insisted was necessary. Level-5, the Japanese studio that was developing the game also reportedly struggled with online network coding. Relations between Level-5 and Microsoft soured as Microsoft grew frustrated by Level-5’s inability to meet their demands. Meanwhile, the Level-5 CEO said that part of the issue was Microsoft’s inexperience in dealing with Japanese developers. He also implied that the companies didn’t part on good terms. Looking back at footage of the game now it’s amazing to see how close we were to living our true fantasy live online (see what I did there?).
Imagine a world where Rome never fell. That was the concept behind Mythic’s Imperator Online. The game was originally intended to be Mythic’s follow up to Dark Age of Camelot, but, as with all the other games on this list, that wasn’t to be. Sadly, while Imperator Online looked like it was going to be a very promising Sci-fi MMORPG Mythic opted to cancel it as they felt it wasn’t coming together as a AAA experience. They instead went on to make Warhammer Online.
Of course, all of this is a very incomplete list of games that were canceled before they launched. We also have an article on games that never made it out of beta and one on canceled MMOs if you’re itching to read more on the topic. You can also browse our Shut Down tag where you’ll find a whole lot of news announcing the shut down of beloved games.