Canceled MMOs of 2019

The end of the year is here and that means it is time to look at the games we lost this year. It wasn’t as bad this year as it was last year but there are still quite a few games to get through. Here are the canceled MMOs of 2019.



Blacklight Retribution

At the end of 2017 Perfect World gave Blacklight Retribution back to its developer Hardsuit Labs and for a brief moment it looked like the game would have another chance at life. Sadly it wasn’t to be and after a couple of years on Steam the game finally shut down.


ROSE Online

Though ROSE Online had been in Maintenance Mode since 2016 it still came as a bit of a surprise when ROSE Online shut down. The game had been live since 2005 and 14 years is a great run for an MMORPG. There was news of a mobile spin-off late last year but sadly there hasn’t been any news about it coming West.



Orcs Must Die! Unchained

After the success of Orcs Must Die! 2 it only made sense that Robot Entertainment would start working on a new game in the series. It was initially released in beta in 2014 and stayed there until April 2017 when it officially launched. In April 2019 the game was sadly shut down and, for those doing the math, it spent more time in beta than it did live. At the time of its shutdown the game had been running at a financial loss for several months.


Survived By

Survived By town

A permadeath bullet hell survival game kind of sounds like you just vomited some words but this is exactly what Survived By was. Sadly the development team decided to stop working on the game after it became clear that they wouldn’t be able to meet their original vision. This was the second Digital Extremes game that has been shutdown after Amazing Eternals in 2017.


Kritika Online

En Masse shut down the Western version of Kritika Online earlier this year and then just a few months later announced they were bringing it back! Yes, you can actually play Kritika Online right now on Steam where it is called Kritika: REBOOT.



QC Games closed its doors, putting an end to their 4v1 game Breach. The game had been inspired by Shadow Realms, a game that had been in development at Bioware and was canned before the public ever saw it. Though we did get a chance to play it. No reason for Breach’s shutdown was given but considering the studio disbanded entirely it isn’t a stretch at all to assume money was an issue.



The Culling

The Culling

Times have been rough for The Culling ever since they decided to immediately start working on a sequel to the game. That sequel was a Battle Royale game, a completely different genre to the first game. To say it was an unpopular move would be an understatement. Just a couple of weeks after the sequel launched they closed it and went back to work on The Culling. They even went so far as to make the game free to play. But by then the damage had been done and their players had left.


Dragon Nest Europe

Dragon Nest Europe

Action MMORPG Dragon Nest shut down in May this year, but the game isn’t gone entirely. It can still be played in most regions of the world, including North America. Unfortunately IPS from outside of North America are blocked so that is little consolation for European players. This isn’t the first time a region of Dragon Nest has shut down though so there may be hope in the future.



ELOA aka Warlords Awakening


ELOA has the rare misfortune of being one of the few games that has been shutdown three times. The first time it was an illegal beta version of the game that was stolen from Webzen who had released it in the east. Webzen contested the game and it was shut down. Then Webzen launched their own version of the game which ran for just a year and was sunsetted due to low population. Then it was brought back again, this time not by Webzen under the name Warlords Awakening. Sadly it only lasted a year too.


Atlas Reactor

Atlas Reactor was Trion’s answer to X-COM and sadly it flew under the radar of most gamers. After Gamigo bought Trion they promised to release content for all their games, including Atlas Reactor but it seems that after consideration they decided to shut the game down instead.



Worlds Adrift

Worlds Adrift

Bossa took a break from their usual games like Pigeon Simulator and I Am Bread to make an MMORPG that had a lot of promise. Sadly, the game didn’t gain enough traction to be commercially viable so the studio decided to shut the game down.



Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Mavericks was one of those games that never actually got released but it had so much hype and potential that people were talking about it like it was going to be one of the great games in the genre. Sadly, the company behind it suffered from financial woes and the project came to an end as the company closed down.




Lazarus the mmo alpha and beta list

Indie MMO Lazarus never made it out of Early Access but it had an amazingly unique premise and those who played it loved it. After 3 years in Early Access the studio decided to sunset the game as they were facing the financial strain of keeping it going.



Bless Online

bless online dragon

Bless Online was once hyped to be the next big thing in MMORPGs but after waiting years and having more than a few issues the game’s release wasn’t quite what anyone expected. Bless Online has shut down but it isn’t the end quite yet. Neowiz is hard at work on a re-imagining of the game called Bless Unleashed.



Fallen Earth

Just a short time after celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fallen Earth the game was shut down. This may not be the end. There’s hope for a reboot in the future and the studio is hard at work on that already. There is no date for this reboot though so for now we have to do without.



Durango Wild Lands

Durango Wild Lands Review Zebraceratops

Nexon’s survival mobile game Durango Wild Lands shut down after just 6 months. Though it should be said that it was in beta testing for 2 years. The fact that the developers released one final patch for the game before it closed made it all the more depressing. It’s likely that Nexon’s ongoing financial issues had a role to play.



Behaviour Interactive announced that DEATHGARDEN, their survival shooter/battle royale game had a decreasing player base and for that reason the game would be shutting down. This is another title that technically never made it out of Early Access, but these days Early Access is more of a soft launch than a beta.


Dragon’s Dogma Online

Dragon’s Dogma Online was one of those games that never actually made it to the West, but that didn’t stop a lot of Westerners from playing it anyway. It was actually a follow-up to the 2012 action RPG Dragon’s Dogma and it was Capcom’s first MMORPG. Dragon’s Dogma ran for 4 years before it was shut down, a pretty good run for a game that was a studio’s first MMORPG and never got a global release.


Maintenance Mode

These games haven’t been shut down yet but for most games once they go into Maintenance Mode their days are numbered. These are the games that were put into Maintenance Mode in 2019.


Ragnarok Online 2

Ragnarok Online 2

Gravity moved the development team that was working on Ragnarok Online 2 onto other projects and ended development on the game, but it is still playable for the time being.


Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Oddone Games developer Young-chae Kim said that Tree of Life had been a project he had dreamed of making his entire life. Ultimately he couldn’t make Tree of Life a better game due to inexperience. So they ended development of the game and started working on other projects.



Battleborn gameplay

Battleborn had the misfortune of being released at the same time as Overwatch while competing for the same audience. Since then the game just hasn’t had the population necessary to keep going. 2K announced that Battleborn is now in Maintenance Mode and they’ve been kind enough to let players know that it will only be around until 2021.


Elder Scrolls: Legends

The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Players of the Elder Scrolls card game Elder Scrolls: Legends had been patiently waiting to hear about new content for their game when it was announced on Reddit that none would be coming. Elder Scrolls: Legends hasn’t shut down just yet, though who knows how much time it has left?


Honorable Mention

Foundry System in Neverwinter and Star Trek Online

Foundry STO

The Foundry System, which allowed gamers in Neverwinter and Star Trek Online to create their own missions, was sadly shut down earlier this year. While this is just one feature in a larger game, it was a beloved feature that meant a lot to players of those games. For that reason we wanted to give the Foundry System an honorable mention.

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Build a Legacy in Survived By

Have you ever wanted to create your own family tree in an MMORPG? Well you can do that in Survived By…except everyone else in your family is already dead and soon enough you will be too. Then it’s time for the next generation to take over once again. You see, Survived By is a roguelite, 2D bullet-hell MMORPG where dead characters are replaced with their next of kin.

Currently in Closed Beta, Survived By is in the same vein as Realm of the Mad God and StarBreak. It features retro-style pixel art (albeit much more detailed than the previously mentioned games), permadeath with item drops on death, a player-driven in-game economy, and dozens of creepy monsters that want to eat you for dinner.

Survived By town


Last Bastion of Civilization

A permadeath game just wouldn’t be the same if humanity wasn’t on the brink of destruction, and Survived By doesn’t pull any punches here. The game starts off with a brief introduction that introduces the World Tree and the sudden influx of man-beast hybrids known as the Chimera. We learn that the town of Sagila was the first hit and had no chance to defend itself.

We’re then dropped into the tutorial where we learn how to play the Harbinger (ranger-type) class and prepare to defend the village of Harsa. Then the Chimera attack…and we’re killed alongside everyone else. That’s right, you die in the first 5-minutes of the game! This isn’t just a fake tutorial death either; it actually counts as your first character.

Of course this also helps tie in the Ancestral Legacy system as well. Whenever a player dies they’re awarded Valr and legacies based on their level and how many achievements they complete. Legacies come in four rarities: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Legendary, which generally become more useful the higher the rarity.

Players can use Valr to upgrade up their existing legacies, sell legacies for Valr, or spend Valr to unlock a random legacy. Up to four legacies can be equipped when a new character is created and players can use special currency to change these later on. Typically, legacies provide a raw stat bonus such as damage reduction, increased critical damage, movement speed, and more health. There are some more interesting choices, however, such as a legacy that makes enemies explode upon death.

Survived By


Pick Your Poison

As far as MMORPGs go, the controls in Survived By are fairly straightforward and simple; WASD is used for movement, left-click is your basic attack and right-click is the class ability. Right now there six classes in the game that all play a little bit differently. These include: Alchemist, Druid, Geomancer, Harbinger, Infiltrator, and Sentinel. The main things that separate each class are the types of armor they can wear and their class ability.

The Alchemist uses staves and spears and can lob corrosive potions at enemies that do damage over time. Druids wield totems and can transform into powerful bears with increased damage. Geomancers equip pickaxes and summon turrets that attack enemies and block attacks. Harbingers use bows and can shoot a volley of up to six arrows at different enemies. The Infiltrator is the stealthy dagger class that can go invisible and unleash a barrage of knives. Finally, there’s the sword and board Sentinel who can nullify enemy projectiles in an area.

In addition to have different abilities, each class can obtain different modifiers to their weapon. Generally, basic attacks are straight line projectiles, however, there are variations such as the“flanking shot” modifier that reduces the overall range but also sends out short-ranged projectiles at your sides. This allows players to stock different weapons for different situations. Flanking shot is great for crowded dungeons, but a long-ranged modifier might be better for sniping bosses.

Initially, the Alchemist, Infiltrator and Harbinger are available at the start and the Sentinel, Druid, and Geomancer can be unlocked by raising each of the previous classes to level 10. The first time around, it can take about an hour or so to carefully reach level 10 on a new character, but once you’ve stockpiled some silver, equipment, or crafting materials it can be done fairly quickly and makes unlocking new classes easy. Due to the number of “coming soon” signs in the class selection screen, it’s safe to assume that there will be at least a few more class options before the game is released to the public.

During my time with Survived By, I heavily favored the Sentinel. Although he’s not as offensively powerful as most of the other classes, his anti-projectile field provides a ton of survivability and has made me less cautious when going into more difficult dungeons. On the other hand, I struggled with the Infiltrator and Harbinger due to their squishy nature despite having way more firepower.

Survived by legacies


Cash Shop and Other Concerns

There are four types of currency in Survived By: Silver, Valr, Bloodstone, and Electrum. Silver is the basic in-game currency that can be used to purchase items from NPC vendors or equipment from the public auction house. Valr, as previously mentioned, is used to upgrade legacies. Bloodstones are time-gated currency obtained from completing daily challenges that can either be used to purchased certain NPC items or traded for Electrum, which is the cash shop currency.

Currently, Electrum is the only currency that can be used to purchase certain cosmetic skins or convenience items like more bag space, character slots, or health potions. However, you can also exchange Electrum for Bloodstones that can be used for items to be sold on the auction house. It’s a roundabout way to kind of make the game pay-to-win, but it also makes things friendlier to free players because they can exchange their daily currency for Electrum as well. Additionally, there’s no PvP in Survived By (as of writing this), so paying for better gear only reduces the grind a bit.

Furthermore, in order to help mitigate the feeling of pay-to-win, the game would greatly benefit from level requirements for gear. Right now any level character can wear any tier equipment they can get a hold of. This means that if someone traded enough electrum they could be level 1 walking around in tier 10 equipment and completely steamroll anything they ever come into contact with. I’m sure some people might find this fun for a bit, but it also eliminates a feeling of progression, which people tend to play RPGs for.

For example, I purchased a tier 8 sword when I first created my Sentinel and I was able to clear dungeons 5 levels higher than my character for quite a while. There wasn’t any real challenge until the enemy’s caught up with my gear level. This wasn’t the most compelling gameplay, but it was my 5th character and I wanted to speed through the beginning content. However, if a brand new player did this, they might not enjoy the game for what it is without the constant risk of impending death.

A few of my other major concerns have to do with optimization, map layout, and endgame. When you’re playing a roguelite, the last thing you want to encounter is lag or massive frame rate drops. Even with an i7 and GTX 1080, I constantly experience fps stuttering when fighting just a couple of enemies. A game with 2D graphics shouldn’t have any performance issues with that kind of hardware, and I really hope Survived By fixes this issue before launch. Additionally, the UI scaling has issues for a lot of settings outside of 1080p. The UI will either take up a massive portion of the screen or become so small it can’t be discerned; a scaling feature would be very beneficial.

The way the map is laid out, it’s rather cumbersome to get around the world. The game areas are broken down into tiers that radiate out from the world tree. Normally, players would be able to walk in a straight line and encounter increasingly difficult enemies, however, “fissures” were inserted that completely block off access to the next area. Many of the areas are quite large and it can take a long time to find the exact entrance to the next zone, which can be frustrating when you’re ready to move on. Having multiple breaks in the fissures, or some sort of signs, would greatly help players looking to progress.

Finally, there’s very little to do once you reach the cap of level 25. Apparently a few planned dungeons are still missing from the game, but there aren’t many actual goals besides maxing out legacies and unlocking achievements. There have been some cool limited events with special monsters and gear drops, but I would like to see some type of evergreen content. On the forums, there have been suggestions such as allowing players to work together to rebuild the world and defend forts or villages from increasing chimera attacks. I think this would definitely be a fun idea to get players working together.

Survived By dungeon


Overall, I really like what Human Head Studios and Digital Extremes are trying to do with Survived By. There aren’t many permadeath, bullet-hell MMORPGs on the market, especially not as good looking as this one, and it’s always nice to try something new.

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Bullet Hell MMO Survived By Heads to Closed Beta

The folks at Digital Extremes have had their heads down and hard at work on Survived By, a retro-styled bullet hell permadeath MMO. That work is now yielding some big results as the team kicks off a Survived By closed beta, releasing a new build with new features.

survived by closed beta

The new build of Survived By is bringing on the heat just in case “bullet hell permadeath MMO” didn’t already sound challenging enough with a new 10-player raid and hard-mode dungeons, along with updates to the MMO’s visuals and UI.

The raid, known as the Conduit of Fire, will feature new enemies, three bosses to square off instead of just the one like in normal dungeons, and (naturally) rare rewards including crafting reagents to build unique weapons and armor. The new hard dungeons, meanwhile, tweak existing locations with more rooms, more monsters, and more loot.

Survived By is also holding its first-ever in-game event called Prophecies of Sin. During this event, players will need to battle a new boss monster atop the Ziggurat of Sin in the Burning Sands area for a chance at exclusive skins, gear and titles.

Prophecies of Sin runs from now until July 25th, while the closed beta is taking in more players who sign up. While you’re there, you can also get some more details on the event here.

Our Thoughts

Sounds a lot like things for Survived By are moving at a nice, steady pace development-wise! We’re definitely looking forward to this next phase of this unique MMO’s growth and hope players in-game enjoy whatever bullet hellish challenges they take up.

Source: press release

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Survived By is a Retro-Style Roguelite Bullet Hell MMO

The combination of retro graphics, bullet hell shooters, MMOs, and a roguelite permadeath game are all coming together with the Survived By reveal. The newest MMO from publisher Digital Extremes and developer Human Head Studios has been officially detailed and is entering its closed alpha.

survived by reveal

Survived By pits up to 100 players in a fight against a mysterious corruption that has taken over the villages and towns of the World Tree. Players can select a variety of classes to beat back the hordes of monsters, explore dungeons, and craft powerful new weapons. According to executive producer Ryan Jackson, Survived By is trying to create a game with “a tremendous sense of wonder and an addictive blend of crafting, social team-work and twitchy bullet-hell madness”.

One of the bigger wrinkles comes in Survived By’s unique death mechanic, where dying takes away nearly all of your equipment and grants you the opportunity to play as a descendant of your slain character. The new heir to your character carries a part of your previous hero’s legacy with them in the form of new buffs and stat boosts.

Survived By will be free-to-play at launch and is currently accepting registrations for a chance at the closed alpha test on its official website. The MMO will also be playable at this year’s PAX West for anyone attending. Until then, you can check out a teaser trailer for the game below.

Our Thoughts

Well this one certainly came out of left field! We’re most definitely intrigued by everything being offered in Survived By and are absolutely looking forward to learning more about this unique MMO experience.

Source: press release

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