Paragon Studios has released an announcement that all work on the MMO City of Heroes will cease immediately, and that the game will close down by the end of 2012. The community manager for City of Heroes, Andy Belford, released this statement which broke the news:

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world’s first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we’ve all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won’t regret it.

Belford continued, concluding with thanks to the community for the game, saying, “We couldn’t have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don’t dwell on the “how” or the “why”, but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.”

City of Heroes was launched in 2004, and it was the first MMO to have a superhero theme, as such, it amassed a very tight-knit following which remains to this day.

Source: City of Heroes