When F2P goes wrong: NCSoft gave latest game five months before pulling plug

Say goodbye to all of your favorite MxM characters, like... uh... that one dude from City of Heroes, and... er... frog-person. (credit: NCSoft)

Korean game studio NCSoft took an hours-before-Thanksgiving moment to announce bad news for fans of its most recent game, Master X Master: the free-to-play (F2P) game, which only launched five months ago, is already about to go dark.

The company's official announcement, sent to all its players on Wednesday, blamed the online game's closure on "fail[ing] to connect with players." (That's a short way to sum up complaints from avid users about lag, long queues between matches, and issues with monetization and content grinding.) For those players who waited until August 30 to spend real money on the game, they will receive full refunds on any MxM-related purchases within 14 days. For everyone else, the real-money store has been shut down effective immediately, with all players receiving a glut of in-game coins to purchase and unlock all the game's content before it shuts down on January 31.

Fare ye well, MxM... we hardly knew ye.

MxM launched on June 21 as another entry in the MOBA genre (which you may know via games like Dota 2 and League of Legends), along with a few single-player "PvE" modes that range from repetitive, Diablo-like slogs to quick-and-dirty mini-games. MxM's full cast included "all-star" characters from NCSoft's gaming catalog, but it also confusingly launched with a bunch of brand-new characters. Otherwise, it played largely like other popular MOBA games with few differentiating factors.

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