Richard Garriot's Tabula Rasa to close

Richard Garriott tried something a little different to WoW with Tabula Rasa, but it seems that MMO fans just want elves and wizards after all, rather depressingly...

MMO luminary Richard Garriott, most recently in the news for blasting off into space, is having the plug pulled on his last game, Tabula Rasa, by publisher NCSoft.

Garriott's Tabula Rasa, much-hyped by the man himself as the future of massively multiplayer online RPGs, will be closed down on 28 February.

Tabula Rasa will be free to play from 10 January, with NCSoft claiming to still have plans for in-game events after that date.

Ground-breaking failure

"Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO," reads an NCSoft statement.

"In many ways, we think we've achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there."

However, despite being 'ground breaking' the company adds: "Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn't performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for."

"So it is with regret that we must announce that Tabula Rasa will end live service on 28 February 2009. Before we end the service, we'll make Tabula Rasa servers free to play starting on 10 January 2009.

"We can assure you that through the next couple of months we'll be doing some really fun things in Tabula Rasa, and we plan to make staying on a little longer worth your while... We thank you for your loyal support of the game and encourage you to take us up on the benefits we're offering Tabula Rasa players."

Richard Garriott is leaving NCSoft to pursue "new interests" such as space travel and, TechRadar imagines, enjoying the fruits of his many years at the coal-face of MMO development.