Patrick Gann
City of Heroes Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Takes Questions
NCsoft celebrates. Again. And we got in on the action with a mini-interview.
04.29.09 - 9:10 PM

Two NCsoft celebrate an anniversary within the same week. Last week, we reported on Guild Wars' 4th anniversary. Now we celebrate the 5th anniversary for City of Heroes, one of NCsoft's most successful subscription-based games.

The "create-your-own-superhero" MMORPG, which eventually absorbed sister-MMO City of Villains in one complete package, boasts a strong and dedicated fanbase.

As part of their celebration, developer Paragon Studios opened the floor for questions from the press. We managed to get in two questions, and we made them as "hard-hitting" as we knew how. Lead Designer Matt "Positron" Miller fielded are questions. They are as follows:

Q: With the MMO market reaching a point of saturation, how long do you hope to keep City of Heroes running? In terms of concrete numbers, if possible...not just "as long as the fans keep coming back for more." Do you hope to see a 10 year anniversary celebration in 2014?

A: Our subscriber numbers and retention rates have shown extreme resilience over the years. We've never experienced the massive drop offs that many other MMOs have seen, and we were fortunate enough to have released at a very opportune time in the history of MMOs reaching a point of profitability relatively quickly.

So by that account we definitely anticipate City of Heroes being around in 2014 for the tenth anniversary, and beyond. Our game is better than ever and our player community is active and involved. With the latest free update we have done, Issue 14: Architect, we have seen a significant uptick in subscribers in just a few short weeks.

Q: NCsoft specializes in PC-based MMORPGs, but with the success of hack'n'slash Superhero Action RPGs like X-Men Legends and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, have you ever thought about porting City of Heroes to a console?

A: We are always evaluating that possibility. Consoles bring with them a whole slew of advantages that MMOs can take advantage of: universal hardware, automated account set-ups, excellent graphics, and a massive audience. But with these advantages also comes some challenges like publishing timely fixes to client bugs, Standard Definition television resolutions, hard disk space and providing the same level and frequency of updates that PC users enjoy onto a console.

Not that these issues are insurmountable, but they do make MMO developers think twice about the product they are creating. In my opinion the console version of City of Heroes would be a different game with the same locales, enemies, and effects that the PC version has, but to a lot of people that just wouldn't be "City of Heroes."

We'd like to thank Mr. Miller for his time in answering our questions. Yesterday (April 28, the actual anniversary date) was a big day for Paragon and NCsoft, and we wish them luck and success for the future.