5,000 Heroes Unite to Save City of Heroes, Sending Capes and Masks
The players behind City of Heroes turned out en masse this weekend to express appreciation to the game’s creators, demonstrate resolve, and announce a new project.
On September 8th, over 5,000 players attended the first Unity Rally, a peaceful show of solidarity for the online game City of Heroes. The Unity Rally was in response to the sudden announcement by the game’s publisher NCsoft that the eight-year-old MMO would shut down in November. As players in City of Heroes are known for, the event was marked by camaraderie and humor. The two-hour event concluded with a “Paragon Appreciation” costume contest where hundreds of players dressed up as their favorite staff member of Paragon Studios, the developer of City of Heroes.
The Unity Rally was organized by Tony Vazquez, administrator of the Titan Network, an alliance of fan sites (http://paragonwiki.com). “I knew that City of Heroes players would show up in force for the Unity Rally, but I was blown away by the turnout by our loyal community. I asked for hundreds of players and we had thousands show up. I hope that this is an important message to NCsoft, showing how important this game is to us,” Vazquez said. One of the players produced a video showing over 3,000 attendees.
The efforts of the City of Heroes players have been spreading throughout the Internet. Celebrities such as actor Sean Astin, actress Tara Platt, authors Neil Gaiman, Mercedes Lackey, John C. Wright, Laurell K. Hamilton, and web comic artist and illustrator John Kovalic have publicly offered their support in social media outlets. Long-time player and best-selling author Mercedes Lackey has even offered to NCsoft CEO Taek-Jin Kim free promotion of NCsoft’s titles if City of Heroes is allowed to continue.
During the Unity Rally, the organizers announced the next step in their efforts with a mail-in campaign. Players will be sending capes and masks to the American and Korean NCsoft headquarters this week (http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?p=4387962). There are also custom banners (http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,4898.0.html), avatars, and even “Twibbons” (http://twibbon.com/cause/Save-City-of-Heroes) designed by organizers and players to spread the word of their cause and show solidarity.
“We want NCsoft to understand our community by sending something meaningful to us,” said Vazquez. “We are taking our support for City of Heroes to the next level.”
Since the sudden announcement by NCsoft last week, City of Heroes players have worked together feverishly to keep the game running. In less than one week, over 16,000 individuals have signed a petition to NCsoft (http://change.org/petitions/ncsoft-keep-ncsoft-from-shutting-down-city-of-heroes). There have also been over 100 news articles and blog posts covering the players’ efforts. Even as these accomplishments are celebrated, organizers continue to plan future events and projects to increase the momentum of their efforts.