Stephen Nichols, producer and lead programmer of NCsoft's free-to-play online RPG Dungeon Runners, has announced that the game is to shut down on January 1st 2010. Reason: it's not making money.
"Dungeon Runners just isn't cutting the mustard," Nichols confessed. "If she were a ship, she'd be taking on water... The game just isn't profitable."
NCsoft will be compensating Dungeon Runners players with free game time and copies of City of Heroes and Guild Wars Prophecies, as well as upping loot drops and experience gain between now and the game's closure.
Nichols said that although he had ideas how to fix the game, they would be risky and expensive, and too much for the three-man team currently working on the game to implement.
The threat of cancellation has been hanging over Dungeon Runners ever since its development team, based in NCsoft's Austin, Texas office, was cut back in the company's reorganisation of its Western business this time last year.
However - contrary to what NCsoft predicted at the time - at least it outlasted its stable-mate Tabula Rasa. By some distance.