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City of Heroes Lives Again

by on April 7, 2024

A fan-run server officially became the future of City of Heroes. Some cried, others were giddy with excitement. Others reminisced about the moment City of Heroes was shut down over a decade ago.

“You bunch of mad, relentless, beautiful people really went and did it,” gushed Yoru-hime. “No more asterisks, no more legal or moral ambiguities hanging over our heads. Let it be shouted far and wide: City of Heroes lives again.”

In January, the Homecoming forums witnessed an outpouring of relief and a bonfire of painful memories that many had been too reluctant to let go of. City of Heroes was a groundbreaking MMO: a decade and a half before Fortnite.

“I was at the sunset in front of Atlas Park City Hall with my torch! I actually cried at that point,” wrote mnbeave. “Now, time to arrest some baddies!”

With its own character creator, you could create a unique look and costume for your alter ego. You could even do masks to hide your real identity. It was the first game to deliver on the dream of teaming up with your favorite superhero.

Many in the gaming community have grown accustomed to a world where there are skins to be purchased and social media personas to be created. Yet, for many, City of Heroes was more than a game.  These players launched Protests and petitions but neither stopped the bulldozers.

“(it was ) One of the only places they felt comfortable being themselves,” says the team behind community revival City of Heroes: Homecoming. “A lot of us grew up with it, and losing it in 2012 was quite literally us losing a part of our childhoods.”

As in the film The Incredibles, they departed for the underworld, where they ran a fully functional City of Heroes server for six years. Sadly, only to be discovered by a YouTuber. The server was called SCORE, the Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers.

“We were in contact with NCSoft from day one in pursuit of having a friendly, stable, and long-term version of the game for everyone to enjoy,” the Homecoming team says.

“We believed that working with NCSoft was the only way to make this possible.” The team had some connections with the right people at the publisher, but they were still very nervous. “Even though we believed this was the best course of action for keeping the game alive, we knew it was far from a sure thing.”

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