Abandoned Online Games?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Hey guys, I'm doing a project and I want to find and explore some abandoned or nearly abandoned MMO's or online options of conventional video games. So, does anyone know any? Even games where you could be stuck in a lobby for eternity would be great

I'm curious about this myself. Something about the desperation of desolation within an online space formerly occupied by thousands. I remember the Escapist did an editorial on this once, visiting abandoned online spaces like visiting an old ghosttown. The problem with MMOs though is that they need to maintain profitability if they are going to exist at all so finding one abandoned is finding one at the end of its lifespan, in which case there will be a small influx of players dropping in for the end of the world party.

Remus:
I'm curious about this myself. Something about the desperation of desolation within an online space formerly occupied by thousands. I remember the Escapist did an editorial on this once, visiting abandoned online spaces like visiting an old ghosttown. The problem with MMOs though is that they need to maintain profitability if they are going to exist at all so finding one abandoned is finding one at the end of its lifespan, in which case there will be a small influx of players dropping in for the end of the world party.

Yes, exactly. I am an Art student and have been studying The Poetics of Space, a book by Gaston Bachelard. In it he argues that what happens to a space/piece of architecture changes it fundamentally and that space can have it's own "lived experience". Right now I am most interested in how this applies to digital spaces, especially since they don't fit our traditional concepts of a space (even though VR and Occulus is changing things, but that also brings up more questions). And you're right, the transitory nature of a digital/gaming space being empty makes them very difficult to find which is why I am reaching out online. Its also the transitory nature that I find so appealling, after all of the work and experiences and interactions the space can stop existing forever. Sorry for rambling :)

Also, thank you for pointing me to the escapist article. I knew someone had done something on this before but I couldn't find it. It is absolutely perfect!

If you have a PS3 you can jump on to Playstation Home before it shuts down early next year.

Well last time I tried Star Wars Galaxies, it was pretty abandoned, I wanted to give it a try but my current laptop doesn't have a CD player so I can't install it and I'm too lazy to look for it on the Internet, in any case the game is officially shut down but some fans are running servers to keep it alive.
Here's the page, when I played it Jump to Lightspeed wasn't available I'm not sure if they re-implemented it yet but that was a while back in any case it's probably mostly abandoned, one of the servers should have my house somewhere in Tatooine, probably says the same name as here, it's abandoned though.

Oh yeah, I should mention that since there is player housing there are lots of abandoned ghost towns laying around the planets, so if you really want that feeling of desolation this really should do it, to be honest it was kind off depressing when I played it.

Oh yeah and you're going to need to find your own way to install the game because they don't provide it in the EMU server page, they do give you the patchers and all that stuff but not the game.

EDIT: I kinda forgot to mention this but the EMU server is free.

fortysevenarms:
Hey guys, I'm doing a project and I want to find and explore some abandoned or nearly abandoned MMO's or online options of conventional video games. So, does anyone know any? Even games where you could be stuck in a lobby for eternity would be great

Crysis 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter might be good places to start for shooters.

Crysis 3 has about 100 regular players (that's not a typo), Doorfighter on the other hand has 1 (und precisely von!) server handling all the remaining multiplayer instances for the 200-ish people who still play it.

The trouble with a lot of MMO's is they get turned off once empty, so you're running the risks of private servers to get a look at them. But post NGE the empty town of Star Wars Galaxies could be genuinely creepy.

Deus Ex is pretty cool in an empty multi server, there's a lot of details in the maps you can't see when people are trying to brain you.

PC Gamer did an alright article on Star Wars Galaxies shutting down. Can't really think of too many online games that are mostly dead but still kicking around though.

http://www.pcgamer.com/the-end-of-star-wars-galaxies/

Although i remember hearing it wasn't dead, i played Runes Of Magic a couple of months ago and found only 3 people. Even the first city i went to was completely empty.

Global Agenda. It was TOTALLY a booming game, over 200 worlds totally filled all the time. Now there is like. 3 with a whopping 12 people at any time.

lax4life:
PC Gamer did an alright article on Star Wars Galaxies shutting down. Can't really think of too many online games that are mostly dead but still kicking around though.

http://www.pcgamer.com/the-end-of-star-wars-galaxies/

That's one of the saddest articles related to gaming I've ever read.

I was around for the shut down of Tabula Rasa and that was epic. The 'end' was supposed to be the detonating of a doomsday device when the AFS lost control, but the players not only fought back, they pushed and pushed until the Bane were defeated. So Tabula Rasa might be the only MMO I know of that had an official happy ending...

I'm a big fan of exploring dead, empty online spaces too. There's something about it. It's the same reason I like glitchhiking or wandering wide open digital spaces.

Check out 'The Endless Forest'.

http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/

It's a very strange and directionless indie MMO where you just wander around a forest as a deer and interact with things and other players. It has a surprisingly dedicated but tiny playerbase, but the problem is finding where they're hanging out at any given time. The forest has some serious non euclidean geometry.

MMO's are tricky in that they are by far one of the most potent empty digital space, but often just die and become removed if the playerbase dwindles enough. Perhaps you can find some similar indie titles for your study.

There are also generally a lot of totally dead servers for old PC shooters like Quake, Unreal Tournament and Marathon. They can have a very ghost-town vibe.

You should also try a game called Noctis. It's a very old but powerful space exploration sim with online elements. Basically you travel around and explore a space the size of several galaxies. Other players can name the stars and bodies they have pioneered which show up in your game.

It also has a very stark and surreal kind of beauty:

image

image

Minecraft is another great example. Old dead Minecraft servers (without all the MMO mod elements) have some particularly potent ghost-town vibes to them. Even more so because someone hand-made all the things you see around you. It's a very wierd feeling coming across an empty little town in the wilderness that has obviously been built by several different people. I once found a whole massive city complete with skyscrapers and hotels with not another single person in sight. I then found a sign that told me there was a town to the north. I followed a pathway for about ten minutes until I got there. I found a patch of ground and spent a little while making my mark. I planted a few trees and built them into a treehouse sort of thing. A couple of days later I came back and it was burnt to the ground with a sign planted in the ground saying 'ha ha'.

I've also found and hunted down a lot of players wandering alone deep in the wilderness, ambushing them from behind trees and duelling them to the death or sniping them down from a distance. I once stealthily followed a small clan of three people back to their underground lair and poured several buckets of lava through their skylight.

Man, Minecraft used to be cool.

I guess the main thing you need to do is start exploring. Get some old shooters or multiplayer games and dive right in. You never really know what or who you'll find. Little online MMOs are a good place to start.

I don't know if it's exactly dead, but Horizons, Empires of Istaria, Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted is an old MMO that is developed entirely on a volunteer basis now. It's possible that there aren't many people playing it at any given time, and it is possible to play the game for free(though free accounts only get one human character and cannot own land).

If you're looking for browser-based MMOs that are dying/dead, I can strongly recommend looking into Shintolin.

This thread is making me sad, and I should not be reading this.

Stop triggering me!

But I recently came back to the Hidden, and looked at my favorite servers list, only to find my favorite one missing. A little digging online, and it turns out that the server providers shut it off, because no one was playing.

It was strange. I spent days of game time in those servers, and they had great custom maps. All gone now. It makes me feel strangly small.

Transformers war and Fall of Cybertron are pretty much dead across all platforms with the small exception of Fall having a very tiny number of hackers, it's a damn shame because I'm a huge fan of Transformers and their multiplayer games never really get that much attention anywhere.

Defiance seems pretty dead, but every once in awhile it gets a patch of some sort that brings players back for a few days.

Thanks for all the information guys, this is gold!

I grew up on ROSE online, endless-online, and ragnarok online. RO is still booming and ROSE is pretty much dead, endless is hard to get a hold of though.

I went into the Xbox 360 version of Far Cry Instincts' multiplayer recently to try to get some achievements, and I can confirm it's a friggin' wilderness.

I wonder how many people still play Halo 3. I guess it's still online technically, but I know that Halo 2 got taken down a couple of years ago. Then again a sizable portion of people still play MW2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it still has a decent-ish sized playerbase consisting of people who didn't like the armor augmentations. Man, to play either one of those games again now would bring back so many memories of rage for me. I still remember being 14 and screaming at the TV.

ejb626:
I wonder how many people still play Halo 3. I guess it's still online technically, but I know that Halo 2 got taken down a couple of years ago. Then again a sizable portion of people still play MW2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it still has a decent-ish sized playerbase consisting of people who didn't like the armor augmentations. Man, to play either one of those games again now would bring back so many memories of rage for me. I still remember being 14 and screaming at the TV.

Halo 3 is still averaging about 10,000 people at night (UK time, so I guess it's the US peak time), at least as of last month. You can still find matches reasonably fast, but you'll just find the ones who never left and have practised the game to an art form.

OT: Call of Duty: World at War is largely dead, sadly. At least with CoD 4, MW2, Black Ops and MW3 there's a few thousand more people to play something other than Team Deathmatch. World at War, at least the 360, nope, sadly.

Then again the only Call of Duty that has "survived" the previous one since CoD 4 is Black Ops II, which still managed to reach peaks of over 200k people online during the early summer of this year (on the 360).

Evonisia:

ejb626:
I wonder how many people still play Halo 3. I guess it's still online technically, but I know that Halo 2 got taken down a couple of years ago. Then again a sizable portion of people still play MW2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it still has a decent-ish sized playerbase consisting of people who didn't like the armor augmentations. Man, to play either one of those games again now would bring back so many memories of rage for me. I still remember being 14 and screaming at the TV.

Halo 3 is still averaging about 10,000 people at night (UK time, so I guess it's the US peak time), at least as of last month. You can still find matches reasonably fast, but you'll just find the ones who never left and have practised the game to an art form.

OT: Call of Duty: World at War is largely dead, sadly. At least with CoD 4, MW2, Black Ops and MW3 there's a few thousand more people to play something other than Team Deathmatch. World at War, at least the 360, nope, sadly.

Then again the only Call of Duty that has "survived" the previous one since CoD 4 is Black Ops II, which still managed to reach peaks of over 200k people online during the early summer of this year (on the 360).

I just thought of another Halo game that I bet is pretty dead. Halo Wars. The swan song of Ensemble Studios, and it was incredibly basic, whoever can build an army of their Uberunit the fastest wins the match. It never seemed all that vibrant during its heyday, I wonder how it's doing now.

ejb626:

Evonisia:

ejb626:
I wonder how many people still play Halo 3. I guess it's still online technically, but I know that Halo 2 got taken down a couple of years ago. Then again a sizable portion of people still play MW2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it still has a decent-ish sized playerbase consisting of people who didn't like the armor augmentations. Man, to play either one of those games again now would bring back so many memories of rage for me. I still remember being 14 and screaming at the TV.

Halo 3 is still averaging about 10,000 people at night (UK time, so I guess it's the US peak time), at least as of last month. You can still find matches reasonably fast, but you'll just find the ones who never left and have practised the game to an art form.

OT: Call of Duty: World at War is largely dead, sadly. At least with CoD 4, MW2, Black Ops and MW3 there's a few thousand more people to play something other than Team Deathmatch. World at War, at least the 360, nope, sadly.

Then again the only Call of Duty that has "survived" the previous one since CoD 4 is Black Ops II, which still managed to reach peaks of over 200k people online during the early summer of this year (on the 360).

I just thought of another Halo game that I bet is pretty dead. Halo Wars. The swan song of Ensemble Studios, and it was incredibly basic, whoever can build an army of their Uberunit the fastest wins the match. It never seemed all that vibrant during its heyday, I wonder how it's doing now.

I actually play Halo Wars on and off every few months. For the last year or so it's been at a thousand people, but it's still just as limited as it always was. 2v2, as usual, is dead, the rest you can find games in most of the time.

Wurm online is an indie MMO that never really had a bunch of people to begin with, but the interesting thing about it is that the whole gimmick of the game is that it takes hours and hours to get your skill levels up and to get anything built or crafted. I guess it's kind of like Rust but takes an age to do anything. They have to build their own roads, level their own rough-hewn property in the forest, build their own houses, defensive walls (for decoration, privacy, or defense from players,) and carve mines through mountains to find mineral veins. All of which can take hours of progress-bar based gameplay.

People eventually get bored and leave, and now there probably aren't very many people left playing, but what they've left behind are actual ruins in varying states of decay. Fences and walls can have gaps from the gradual decay of their damage statistics, and what is left are abandoned properties big and small. Empty fortress towns with iron lamp posts, cobbled roads and paved slabs give way to grass and the wild. Forges, ovens, and furniture still standing where the walls of the wooden houses they were in have decayed away. Dark abandoned mines dot the mountainsides and can be either sprawling caverns or twisting tunnels, sometimes infested by spiders, goblins, scorpions or cave bugs, some parts of which can naturally collapse, and you'd find abandoned forges, and various other long-term items like statues made from the rock, old barrels, and old tools.

My friends and I made a habit of looting these ruins. You never knew what you could find. One time we were marooned on an island away from home, and found an old fortress that players had made and abandoned. We found some old quality lockpicks in a forge and we just barely managed to salvage enough tools and materials to make ourselves a boat to escape.

I myself made a towering colossus that literally took weeks to build. That's probably definitely still there, but my buildings, farmland, house and mine have all got to be destroyed or gone to hell by now. I probably wouldn't recognize the place if I saw it. I'd need to see the statue and piece together what went where from there.

How hard would it be for companies to release dead games to the public? Or if not to the public to the subscribers. What do they gain by letting the lie? Is it just copyright concerns?

The whole idea of online games dying and just not further existing is odd to me. But I really have no idea how difficult it would be to create serverless multiplayer versions.

If your just after the "lonely" experience as it where, you don't necessarily need a dead game, a dead time will do. FF14 is still fairly populated, but I've been known to play at 4-5am and I can wander round zones and not see a soul. Not gonna work on your WoW's or anything like that, but worth a go.

Every once in a while I'll fire up Dota and just wander round the map solo, practicing jungling and looking for little hidey holes/juke spots.

i remember shat after the lich king expansion in wow. Went from a boom town, to a ghost town. It was aery and a little scary even. When i use to play wow any time i went into shat would spook me out a little bit. I would think about all the time i spent in there, preparing for raids, bsing with people, flying in circles as i talked in ventrilo while looking at trade chat.

I remember checking out the multiplayer for Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight and finding an utter wasteland. I had bought a copy from the bargain bin back in 2002, and most players had already moved on to Jedi Outcast. Just finding a host was a chore, as the game didn't have a server list like modern PC titles. You either had to manually enter the IP address yourself or connect via the MSN Zone. I only managed to join two or three matches populated by one or two players before the Zone pulled the plug and the last spark of activity died.

It was an eerie sensation walking around the empty maps. Where once there had been a cacophony of lightsaber swishes, blaster whines and thermal detonator explosions worthy of the Star Wars title, there was only the sound of one's footsteps and the occasional haunting ambient noise.

If you don't need strictly MMOs for this I'd reccomend IMVU. It's not "dead" persay, I still see adds for the thing kicking around, but when I logged on to the old account I made (I was 13, sue me) most of the chatrooms were empty or only had 2 or 3 people in them.

3D chatrooms in general are a nice slice of late 90s internet memorabilia. Almost like little time capsules that way, and since the rooms are usually user constructed it can be a fun little game to poke around and try and figure out what people might have been doing there. IMVU is basically like virtual internet dolls. You pose them, you dress them up, you have them stand around in your preferred pose while you chat with other users. It hasn't changed at all basically since it first launched.

Another similar thing would be Furcadia, which is like a furry virtual chatroom. Also mostly abandoned these days.

ejb626:
I wonder how many people still play Halo 3. I guess it's still online technically, but I know that Halo 2 got taken down a couple of years ago.

The Games with Gold program has given a few older multiplayer games a bit of a second lease of life, for example Halo 3, Halo Reach and Gears of War 1. You're right, Halo 2's multiplayer was scrapped at the same time that the rest of the original Xbox Live service was discontinued - I'm hoping the equivalent snip won't happen to Xbox 360 for several more years to come (especially since there are some current X360 games with cross-generation support).

Asheron's Call.

It's an MMO which came out in the late 90s and only stopped getting updates a few months ago, but for the 14/15 years it got updates.
That said the community is small, but dedicated.
Huge world with many interesting things.

The servers are still online, that could be worth a shot.

Digi7:

Minecraft is another great example. Old dead Minecraft servers (without all the MMO mod elements) have some particularly potent ghost-town vibes to them. Even more so because someone hand-made all the things you see around you. It's a very wierd feeling coming across an empty little town in the wilderness that has obviously been built by several different people. I once found a whole massive city complete with skyscrapers and hotels with not another single person in sight. I then found a sign that told me there was a town to the north. I followed a pathway for about ten minutes until I got there. I found a patch of ground and spent a little while making my mark. I planted a few trees and built them into a treehouse sort of thing. A couple of days later I came back and it was burnt to the ground with a sign planted in the ground saying 'ha ha'.

That damn near brought a tear to my eye :,)

I know from experience that Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and also Revelations, are both fairly dead. As in, you're stuck waiting in a lobby for over an hour before you can find a game.

Also, Myst Online: Uru Live - it's one of the most beautiful and eerie games I've ever played, but it's almost always deserted (it's kept going as a free MMO by Cyan Worlds, purely because of the demand from the small yet dedicated fanbase of the Myst games). Considering it's basically an online port of a single player game though, that's not really surprising...

Dino D-day its a TF2 clone but with nazis and if the nazi's had dinosaurs and realistic graphics..
most of the servers are ghost towns you can find a handful of players though

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked