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Uru Live Cancelled, Expansion Packs Promised 49

Posted by simoniker
from the crying-shame dept.
Datasage writes "Announced today on the UbiSoft community boards. Uru Live, the online part of Cyan's PC title Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, will be closing down. They were not able to get enough subscribers (even within the free Beta) to sustain the world. Instead Cyan has refocused its efforts, and will be putting out expansion packs for Uru, the first of which, due out a couple months, will be freely downloadable." Andrew Plotkin has written an informative FAQ regarding Uru Live, explaining the now defunct collaborative online part of this single-player PC game from the Myst creators.
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Uru Live Cancelled, Expansion Packs Promised

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  • Suggestion... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @10:22PM (#8186174) Homepage
    Ubisoft ought to consider opening the source of the online component. Open source MMORPG's (or MUD's anyway) have been around forever. It would be cool to see what a few thousand of us could come up with.
    • Re:Suggestion... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by obeythefist (719316)
      There's a couple of open source upstart MMORPG style games being worked on. Currently they're anything but impressive however.

      Having said that, anyone who can put together a successful mostly free MMORPG in open source will pose a real serious threat to the big guys. MMORPG is really begging for a "free" approach. O/S games development sadly lags way behind the rest of the industry however.

      Assuming they can find some kind of paypal/wish/donation system to keep up servers and pay for bandwidth, anyway.
    • You mean the online component that has terrible lag and can only support 35 players per age?
  • Maybe they should have waited to release it before it got out of beta, or made the "Prolouge" or in other words player's beta non laggy and such.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @10:55PM (#8186425)
    The FAQ is pretty much historical interest now, but I also have some observations [eblong.com] about online game design and the progress of Uru Live.

    You can probably tell I'm a raving Cyan fan, and this is a crying shame. The game could have taken off, if they got through the technical problems -- it would have been a slow process certainly, as word got around what they were building. There must have been far more planned than the beta/Prologue phase could show off.

    But it's hard to argue when the guy with the wallet says he's tired of the money drain. Sigh.

    --Andrew Plotkin

    • They certainly could have had one more paying subscriber if it hadn't been Windows-only: me.

      I see that they've now started the Mac version of Uru. Bittersweet news.
  • by shoptroll (544006) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @10:56PM (#8186434)
    Ok, while I applaud Cyan Worlds/Ubisoft for making the bold attempt to take Myst to the Internet, who in their right mind would've thought it would've worked...?

    1) The Myst series has been and will probably remain a series for the casual player. A lot of people who are turned off by the blood and action of fast paced FPS and involving RPGS and RTSes typically enjoy Myst.

    2) People aren't going to pay for a service that they won't make use of.

    3) Casual gamers don't usually have a whole lot of time to commit to a game for an extended period of time.

    4) Since the user base for the Myst series isn't "hard-core" they most likely will not have the time to justify for paying for something like Uru (which was to ultimately become a pay-for service)

    5) Finally, think about it. Myst by myself is cool. Myst with other people no longer sounds like a game anymore? How would puzzles work? What would be the objective of the persistant world? What are people supposed to be doing in this game?

    When you think about it that way. Would you honestly want to pay to play what would most likely become a 3D chat room? (Granted that MMORPGs seem that way sometimes, but the Myst franchise does not lend itself to an MMORPG easily)

    If they had gone through and done something like Battle.net with this (where the service is free), then maybe it would've worked. But I know if I buy a single-player game, the multiplayer had better be free.

    Maybe if Ubisoft/Cyan had did this as a free online thing, maybe it would've ended up doing better. I really can't say though.
    • by ajd1474 (558490) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @11:29PM (#8186629)
      I was a Beta tester for the game, and the concept DID work. Basically you were on a mission to solve the riddle of what happened to a long forgetten civilisation. The puzzles were cool, and the grpahics and everything were great. Basically you had to interact with others to find new places and things to do. It felt alot like Second Life or There, but looked a lot nicer than both of them. I thnk it suffered from a real lack of exposure, and while i dont think it was ever commercially viable as a "pay to play" i think it did add an interesting new dimension to the Myst series...and i am sad that it didnt survive. Having said that.... i got pretty bored with it, as the online component didnt have THAT much to offer me to keep me logging back in.
      • Interesting...

        That sounds pretty cool having the social aspect in there though.

        I haven't really played any of the games since Riven, however the books were very cool, and I've been wanting to make a return to the series at some point (especially once I get a DVD drive and Uru and the 10th anniversary edition containing Myst, Riven, and Exile).

        Cyan has created a really interesting game-world, and I hope they continue it even without the Online play as a deterrance. I would not scoff at downloading add

      • It wasn't a lack of exposure. I signed up to Beta and they didn't choose me so I don't know where they get off saying they didn't have enough people to Beta.

        The only reason I bought the game this early was to participate in the early on-line, else I would have bought it later down the road for a fraction of the price. And as most Myst fans would know if they looked into Uru, you get different options on line once you complete the game. I haven't had the time to complete it (employed) so I didn't make th
      • Maybe I'm not understanding the social aspects of the game, but I fear what you describe would quickly degenerate into people pestering you:

        "dood, i need the aswner to this puzzel"; and ruining your attempts to figure things out yourself: "just click the btns in this order: 5 4 2 6 1 3".

    • For me, it wasn't about the "online" part of Uru Live that I cared about. And in that light your views are beside the point.

      Uru Live was advertised to me much less as an MMORPG, but rather as "new content for the game delivered via the Internet", and that's what I would've liked.

      The Myst world in single player mode is great to look at, has great puzzles and overall an amazing feeling and atmosphere. The single player portion got pretty good reviews everywhere. And that's where I wanted Uru Live to step in
    • Ok, while I applaud Cyan Worlds/Ubisoft for making the bold attempt to take Myst to the Internet, who in their right mind would've thought it would've worked...?

      Uru, at the very least, was a great idea. One of the most original games to come along recently, and hey, no guts, no glory. It's easy for you to see in hindsight that it was destined to be a flop, right? It didn't fail because it was a bad idea. It failed because Cyan made some poor design decisions and some mistakes implementing the multipl

  • Reading the announcement, I saw that to me was the most important part:
    I'm pleased to officially announce that the Mac version of Uru is finally under way.
    It sucks that the Uru Live is going bye-bye, don't get me wrong. But this is some good news.
  • I played through the single player part of URU. It was an excerize in frustration, the game controls are absolutely shocking. Making it 3d world is great - yay - woohoo! Trying to move your character around in that 3d world is frustrating at best - and at it's worse well, fuck this, let's play sommit else. Also played URU Live. Same control issues, but add to that painfully slow and buggy servers to deal with. Cyan won't be getting any money off me for expansion packs, not when the basic game is so severly
    • Control issues? Uru has the simplest and most elegant controls you can have in a 3D game. You can basically move around, jump, and click on hotspots. 75% of it is also reconfigurable. Sure, there are minor camera issues when dealing with the third person perspective, but optional first person perspective exists for a reason. Don't knock the games controls just because you don't know how and/or refuse to take advantage of their full capabilities.
  • Well i dont want to stereotype here, but i would have played extensively had they had a macintosh version. Myst has always been cerebral, and with all the 'twitchy' games out there for windows in retrospect it seems to have been doomed to failure.
  • Perhaps they messed up their signup system or something.

    I applied to get into the Beta months ago and was never accepted (not a peep).

    Huh?

  • Generic Response (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2004 @04:28AM (#8187001)
    Here's my response to just about everything that's going to be posted here:

    1) Myst sucks, why would anyone pay for an online version?

    Everyone has different tastes. Just because I think that 90% of the shows on TV are crap, doesn't mean that there aren't millions of people that watch them. The Myst series has millions of die-hard fans, and they are the major portion of the target audience here.

    2) They were doing just fine up until Myst 3. That game was buggy as hell. Why would I pay for anything else they made?

    Myst 3 wasn't created by Cyan. It was created by Presto Studios. And while the initial release of the game was riddled with bugs, the patched game is one of the most beautiful and well-done adventure games out there. If you don't agree, then you're just one of the people that disagrees. Like I said in #1, people have different tastes.

    3) I was in the beta/I already own it. It's buggy as hell.

    You're right, it is very buggy. Ubisoft, like 99% of video game publishers, pushed the product out into the market before it was finished. And now Cyan is scrambling to catch up. Unfortunately, it just wasn't good enough to support the online version.

    4) The whole idea of the game is broken. It's just a pretty chat room.

    Anyone who says this hasn't even seen the game. Aside from the single-player version, you can play with your friends online. Future expansions were going to include puzzles that would require more than one person to solve (easily). The built-in voice chat, while broken at this time, worked great during the beta, and really made you feel like you were there with the other people.

    5) Myst is just for people who can't take REAL games like FPS and RTS.

    Wrong. Find me a Myst fan who just sits around staring at their computer screen waiting for the next one to come out. These people are GAMERS, they just have a slightly different taste than your average CS-junkie or Evercracker.
  • Here's some '80s Zeitgeist for all my all homies back in the day, who like me wasted too much time in fronmt of the TV:

    Sit Ubu, Sit! [tvacres.com]
  • no Mac version (Score:2, Insightful)

    by log0n (18224)
    which is a shame because Uru/Myst is the only monthly charge game I've ever been interested in playing.

    I'm only one person so my $$ wouldn't do much, but the fact that they left out an entire game community (Mac gamers) that tends to enjoy more the Myst style gaming experience was a real shotgun-to-the-foot kind of mistake.

  • I'll start off by stating I am a huge fan of the first 3 games. I really enjoyed them.

    I felt there were a few issues with the service. Yes I realize that it was a BETA, so the service may not have been complete.
    • The download of new ages was slow
    • The download of new ages was not always error free
    • The download of new ages was impacted by ad blocking software since it went through HTTP
    • There was no compelling reason to solve the puzzles.

    The prior games did not have most of these issues, obviously becau

  • From the accounts I have read, it seemed like the problem with the game was it provided no compelling content for the online gamer.

    That is, it was basically a single player game that happened to have other people running around in it. That's not compelling, that just MMO tacked on to a single player game.
  • Was because I couldn't get it to run under WineX. I bought the game & planned on subscribing, but when I couldn't run it...

    Also around that time my M$ Windows partition ate itself for the umpteenth time, and I decided to stop dual-booting. Not worth the pain. So no I couldn't just reboot into Windows.
  • The first time I tried to play it I got the BSOD. I don't give programs a second chance once they do that. Period.

"You tweachewous miscweant!" -- Elmer Fudd

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