Tabula Rasa Shutting Down, Layoffs Planned

By Blake Ellison, Nov 21, 2008 11:28am PST Tabula Rasa (PC), the MMO designed by industry pioneer Richard Garriott, will shut down on February 28, 2009.

"Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn't performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for," reads a letter on the Tabula Rasa website.

The team added that the game will become free to play starting January 10 before the game sees the plug pulled at the end of February.

In closing the game, NCsoft will lay off an undetermined number of employees. "We're going to be scaling down the TR team in preparation for the end of live service," said spokesman David Swofford to Kotaku. He added, "We currently don't know how many people will be affected by that."

NCsoft plans to reward the loyalty of remaining players with free time on the company's other MMOs, including City of Heroes, Lineage II and the forthcoming Aion. Players with active paid accounts as of 12:00 PM CST today will be contacted directly by NCsoft about redeeming that time.

"We can assure you that through the next couple of months we'll be doing some really fun things in Tabula Rasa, and we plan to make staying on a little longer worth your while," promised the letter.

The MMO's death toll may have been sounded earlier in November when designer Richard Garriott announced his departure from NCsoft, citing "new interests" following his return from a space flight.

Tabula Rasa was announced in 2001 and was finally released in 2007 to what Garriott admitted "was a rough launch."

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  • I liked this game, personally. I played it in beta and then for a while at launch. The only reason I canceled was the wife thought it was too grindey and in the interest of keeping my wife interested in gaming (as opposed to running her off) I changed games.

    The only thing I could pinpoint about it I thought was lacking was character development was pretty thin. The inability to respec was pretty off-putting since the dev's liked to come in and nerf things that you were then stuck with.

    Oh well ... the market shrinks again. I guess after the KOTOR MMO fails we can all declare there is no point to any MMO except WoW and it's 'raid grinding till your eyes bleed' fun.