Monte Cristo has decided to suspend the Planet Offer of Cities XL - the massively multiplayer, subscription-charging mode of the city-building game - because it didn't attract enough players.
The Planet Offer's online servers will be closed on March 8th 2010, Monte Cristo announced on the game's website. The developer will stop accepting new subscriptions next Monday, 1st February. Instead, it will focus its energies on a new version of the single-player game called Cities XL 2011.
"Trying something new always comes with a risk," the studio said in its statement. "Three months after the launch we have to admit that the subscription rate is lower than what we expected and therefore the Planet Offer is no longer sustainable. Not enough players decided to subscribe.
"We do realise that some of you were real fans of the Planet Offer, and loved to be able to visit other player's cities and trade tokens between each other. There are simply not enough of us," it lamented.
Instead of continuing online development, Cities XL "will evolve into a fully single player game". The FAQ explains that some existing Planet Offer features such as the bus will be added to the current single-player game for free; others, like Megastructures, will be "spread through multiple paid content packs"; meanwhile, entirely new features will be held back for the release of Cities XL 2011.
"The packs as well as Cities XL 2011 will be released simultaneously on our site as digital downloads," Monte Cristo said. "Their exact content and their prices will be announced in the next few weeks. We intend to keep the prices very reasonable."