The City of Heroes: Homecoming team has announced that they have been granted a license by NCSoft to continue hosting the classic 2004 MMO publicly.
City of Heroes was taken offline back in 2012 despite still having a reportedly healthy player base. Fans were able to put up private servers for the game a few years ago. This was an extremely secretive thing a few years ago, but eventually it became more widely available as City of Heroes: Homecoming. The team behind it went as far as providing content updates to the game, integrating previously paid content into the base game for free and expanding the classes and abilities within the game.
However, there was always the threat that NCSoft would come along and force City of Heroes: Homecoming to shut down. Regardless of whether or not they were doing anything with the property, it’s their legal right to protect it. We’ve seen many fan endeavors shut down this way. However, despite City of Heroes: Homecoming’s public existence, NCSoft never made any moves against it, and now it looks like they don’t plan to, going as far as sanctioning the project.
A safe home
The team has stated that City of Heroes: Homecoming will remain free to play and will remain funded entirely through donations. They also have confirmed that they will continue working on new content.
An FAQ has been released alongside the announcement that is very illuminating and transparent. Among the things revealed is the sunsetting of support for the Tequila updater in favor of a more standard in-house launcher for updates. They note that there will be some changes to the terms of service and outline financial changes for the team. They also have revealed that they’ll be restructuring the team, but it will still involve the same people.
I played a lot of City of Heroes, starting close to its initial release and following through its City of Villains expansion. As such, it has a place in my heart. Its shutdown was tremendously disappointing to me, and I spent a long time trying to fill the void it had left. I have tinkered around with City of Heroes: Homecoming, but I think I always had in the back of my mind that it could be taken away at any moment. With NCSoft finally granting the project legitimacy, I feel a lot safer getting back into it. This is unexpectedly great news.
City of Heroes: Homecoming is currently available for free on PC and can be found on the official forum.
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