NCsoft has decided to shut down medieval fantasy MMO Lineage in western markets.

The long-running online role-playing game has been active since 1998.

"Unfortunately, after more than 10 years, the original Lineage franchise is no longer financially viable in the West," NCsoft explained in an update on its website." All North American servers maintained by NCsoft will shut down permanently on 29th June.

No new accounts can be created, but NCsoft has reactivated all existing accounts and made the game free to play.

The MMO publisher promised to refund any unused game time, and announced plans to offer players the chance to try other NCsoft games for free "to express our gratitude for your years of loyalty to Lineage".

Events are planned for the next two months. "We want to give you every opportunity to make all of your remaining Lineage dreams come true," the developer said. "We hope that everyone will stick around to have fun with the game you love in the time we have left."

NCsoft launched Lineage II, a prequel set 150 years before Lineage, in 2003. It is most popular in Asia, where more than 14 million users are said to have played.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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