When I read that Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2 are closing in January, it was a bittersweet moment for me. Asheron’s Call was one of the first MMORPGs I’ve ever played. I have a lot of fond memories from playing the game but have to admit that, in 2017, it’s probably time for it to close. Honestly, I’m surprised it lasted this long.
When I started playing Asheron’s Call, it was a Microsoft game. I remember playing during an in-game event with a friend of mine. We had a lot of fun! Microsoft revealed shortly after the event that Bill Gates played during the event. When I watched the video and saw my character, playing right next to Bill Gates’ character, I screeched, “No way!!!”. I couldn’t believe I played with Bill Gates! It was a very humbling moment and a learning experience for me: you never really know who’s behind the computer when you’re interacting with people online.
Looking back at moments like that, it helped shape the person that I am today when it comes to picking out video games. Asheron’s Call was a really good game that was a lot of fun for its time. The problem with Asheron’s Call, in my opinion, was their core player-base never wanted the game to change and by not changing, it couldn’t compete with the new games coming out. The genre exploded with MMORPGs: Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies…there are too many to list, and they were good quality games too. So good, Asheron’s Call last a good number of their players. Nothing stays the same, everything changes eventually over time. When your core audience or customer base will not embrace changes to the game, historically, the game slowly dies. Rarely are there enough of these types of players to allow the game to thrive and the game, feeling old and dated, is unable to attract and sustain new players. Previous players may come back for nostalgia, but they usually don’t stay because the issues which caused them to leave the game in there first place are still there.
So while it’s sad to see the game close, I think it’s time if only for Turbine to move on to something else if they choose to do so. For those that are still playing the game, I hope that you cherish the memories that you created in the game and that you have fun for the remaining time that the game will be online. I hope for those that want to continue playing MMORPGs, they are able to find one a new home to create new memories.