Ubisoft plans to close its subsidiary Wolfpack Studios, makers of the Shadowbane Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). The news was confirmed on the blog of Sean Dahlberg, Shadowbane’s community manager.
“We were recently informed that as of mid-May 2006, the doors of Wolfpack Studios will be closing,” said Dahlberg. Ubisoft, which acquired Wolfpack in 2004, plans to focus its efforts on the new generation of video game consoles.
Austin, Texas-based Wolfpack originally developed Shadowbane as a cross-platform MMORPG that played both on Macs and Windows PCs. The game’s future seemed in doubt back in 2001 when its first publisher, Gathering of Developers, dropped the game from its roster. Shadowbane ultimately shipped in 2003.
Never as popular as other major games in the genre like Everquest or World of Warcraft, Shadowbane nonetheless developed a cadre of intensely loyal fans. Shadowbane featured player-versus-player combat with a special emphasize on siege warfare, in which players can build cities and then vie for control of each other’s cities.
Shadowbane originally cost $40, and like many other MMORPG’s, incurred a monthly fee in order to play. Later Ubisoft lifted the monthly fee cost. Earlier this month, Ubisoft did away with costs all together, making Shadowbane free to download and play (providing you create an account to download the game).
At this time, it’s unclear what effect Wolfpack’s closing will have on Shadowbane.