City of Heroes MMO
The City of Heroes MMO is a superhero-themed MMORPG owned by NCSoft.
It was originally developed by Cryptic Studios and released on April 28, 2004. Control of the MMO was then transferred to Paragon Studios, a subsidiary of NCSoft.
City of Hereoes was a subscription-based MMO considered revolutionary at the time because of its costume creator, which allowed users to create characters using a vast array of options.
The MMO adopted the Free-To-Play/Pay-For-Features/Subscription hybrid model on September 13, 2011.
On August 31, 2012, NCSoft announced the shutdown of Paragon Studios and the planned sunset of the MMO. The news resulted in the single-largest protest campaign to save the MMO. At one scheduled protest by MMO players, their presence in one single city zone required the game server to create 33 instances of Atlas Park. "Atlas Park 33" or "AP33" became a rallying point for protesters to keep the game going for for NCSoft to sell the property to another company.
Despite the protests and the devastating effects on NCSoft's own financial value because of the negative publicity, the MMO was shut down on December 1st, 2012.
In 2019, it was revealed that a fan-made private server existed running the last known code for the MMO, which was the beta version of Issue #24.
The private server version of the game has been dubbed City of Heroes Homecoming, and it has expanded the original game including the almost-completed zone Kallisti Wharf, allowing self-recruitment into supergroups, the elimination of supergroup currency, the inclusion of thousands of new base items, and base transfer.
It is important to note that NCSoft still owns all rights to the MMO and could at any time legally order the shutdown of the private servers.
Although the game had been shut down, information about the MMO continues through the Paragon Wiki website, and two separate development groups are attempting to create a similar environment.