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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 @09:22PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @09:55PM (#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

  • by shoptroll (544006) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @09:56PM (#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.
  • Re:huh, wha? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mattcelt (454751) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @09:56PM (#8186435)
    No one heard about it because really, I don't think anyone cared. After their great big fuckup [slashdot.org] with the previous version of Myst, the Myst series became unimportant when most of its user base was alienated and frustrated and like me, decided not to buy anything more from Cyan.

    I couldn't care less about a company that distrusts its users, releases alpha code as a finished product, and doesn't respond to those who take the time and energy to write to them.

    Hmm. This story may be 'news for nerds', but I'm hard pressed to think it matters.
  • Generic Response (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2004 @03:28AM (#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.
  • by FireChipmunk (447917) <chip AT force-elite DOT com> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @03:37AM (#8187052) Homepage

    Ubi didnt kill live because of lack of interest. there was a HUGE interest going on.

    It is a simple case of economics. If there aren't X number of customers Cyan couldn't cover the burn rate of Y. If you aren't making enough money, isn't it better to change early, instead of going [url=http://www.enron.com/]bankrupt[/url]?

    PC Gamer was highly impressed with it. the real reason it was killed was most likely because the morons who coded the network side of the game couldnt hack it.

    That makes me [corelands.com] a moron?

    Anyone who played it new that the netcode was POORLY written.

    I am afraid you should stop speaking out of your ass now. If you looked at the auctual use of in-game bandwidth, URU uses signifigantly less than most common First Person Shooters. I should know, I wrote an Ethereal [ethereal.com] plugin while I worked at Cyan [cyanworlds.com]. This plugin would disect our own protcol. We closely examined every byte that is sent over the network.


    The True cause of the lag lies mostly with the Client. Improvements to this were being made. But since the online part of URU has been stopped, they will never see the light of day.


    URU Might of come before its time, and I am deeply saddened to see a project I worked on go down this path.


    -Paul Querna
  • by cjmnews (672731) <cjmnews@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:02PM (#8190751) Homepage
    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 because it was not online. The lack of a compelling reason to play was a big thing for me. This is why I did not buy the game.

    Other issues I saw with the online version is that in order to play with others, you had to go to the age solo, then share the age linking book. This seems an odd way to implement multiplayer interaction.
    Then there was a compelling reason to not share your age because the other person could come in and solve the puzzles for you, whether you wanted them to or not. I can just see the guy with the strategy guide coming in to solve a puzzle for me with out giving me the chance to solve the puzzle.

    Also some of the puzzles were exceedingly difficult. Lack of "hands" was a problem at times.

    I am a Myst fan, and I refused to purchase the game, and if someone gave it to me, I would not pay for an online service unless the value was worth the cost. In my opinion the online service was NOT worth the cost in the state it was in at the end of the BETA test. Not to mention this was the only application that caused my 256MB XP machine to increase the size of the cache file.

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