Long-running superhero-themed massively multiplayer online role playing game City of Heroes is to close down within the year.

The video game's developer Paragon Studios is to be closed down by its parent company NCsoft in order to realign the company's focus and publishing support.

All development on the game has ceased immediately and plans are underway to close the whole game down.

"As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately," said Andy Belford, community manager at Paragon Studios.

"We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in-game in the coming weeks."

City of Heroes first launched in 2004 and Belford has praised the work carried out by the team at Paragon over the game's duration. It has had 23 major updates and two expansions entitled City of Villains and City Heroes: Going Rogue.

"These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed," Belford continued.

He lastly thanked the community who supported the title throughout its existence, telling them to remember the good things behind the game.

"Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team," he said.

In City of Heroes players create superhero characters that team up with others to carry out missions and take on criminals in the ficticious Paragon City in the US state of Rhode Island.

It was praised for bringing a breath of fresh air to the massively multiplayer online role playing game genre when it was released, which was saturated by sword-and-sorcery titles, much like World of Warcraft.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801441966-ADNFCR
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