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I have always said that shuttering MMORPGs due to a lack of players and profitability is a bit short-sided, as there are likely thousands if not millions of gamers who would jump at the chance of setting up their own servers for a defunct MMORPG in order to adventure through in a solo capacity or with friends (and probably pay good money to do so). And according to this report on Eurogamer, ex-Warhammer Online developer Andrew Meggs has even confirmed that a single player version of WAR exists internally at EA, albeit without a whole lot of content to actually experience:
Ex-Warhammer Online developer Andrew Meggs suggests there may be a way to keep Warhammer Online, albeit in single-player form only, alive. In a blog post, the co-founder of Camelot Unchained developer City State Entertainment revealed the existence of an internal-only developer build of the Warhammer client that could run without a server. And he'd know, because he worked on it.
"There were no login or character selection screens," he explained on his blog Shiny Toys.
"There were no NPCs or other players. There was no gameplay of any kind. It was just you and the entire world spread out before you. You could fly around like Superman, or teleport anywhere at will. You could watch the sun rise and set over Altdorf, and see the smoke rise from fires forever burning. And you could see the thousands upon thousands of hours of work and craftsmanship that went into creating a world that has now been unplugged."
Meggs called on EA to release one last build of the game client, but flip the switch that said "if this is a public build, force single-player mode OFF" to "ON".
"It won't have to be released with any art files or a massive download," he said.
"It can run standalone, pulling assets out of the patch files that the last players will still have sitting on their drives. This won't compete with any current or future game, because it's not a game any more. But it's a place for the die-hard fans to visit by themselves, to reminisce and remember the times they had there with others.
"It's something the hundreds of developers who worked on it will still be able to run for their kids someday. It's a piece of history for Professors of Game Studies in 2113 to better understand what MMORPGs looked like before the neural implants.