Long ago, in the dark ages of 1999, Turbine released its first MMORPG, Asheron's Call. Microsoft published the title in its original release, but Turbine reacquired all publishing rights in December of 2003. The servers have remained online since then and Turbine has continued to update the game, but we've finally reached the end of an era. Turbine recently announced that Asheron's Call would be seeing its last major update this month.
"Once this next update is in the hands of the players, the updates to Asheron's Call will be limited," wrote Asheron's Call producer Robert Ciccolini. "We intend to fix critical bugs and continue maintenance and support on the game. While there is always a chance we will put out a small update if time permits, players should have the expectation that updates will be limited to maintenance, bug fixes, and perhaps balance iterations of February content such as the new Coliseum."
Players don't have to be afraid that Turbine is closing the game though. Servers will remain online and the game will continue in maintenance mode.
"Let me reiterate that we have no plans to close Asheron's Call. We plan to keep the game open and the servers running," said Ciccolini. "Although this change of focus is necessary for our company, we love the Asheron's Call games and we want them to live forever. We understand that players who have been enjoying our monthly updates will be disappointed at the change to Asheron's Call."
Turbine is also working on extending the game's life by making the game free to active accounts and providing players the ability to run their own private servers.
"Our long term plan is to make the game free to all active accounts," Ciccolini added. "We are working on a date in the not-to-distant future where all active accounts will be able to play the game for free. Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 will be a gift to our loyal players. In addition, we have been working within the company to start an initiative sometime near the end of the year to allow players to run their own Asheron's Call servers. We intend to put the call out to tech savvy enthusiasts that love Asheron's Call to create a community for players who want to run their own Asheron's Call servers."