It turns out that there has been a secret private server running City of Heroes long after the developer pulled the plug, and former fans are really upset they weren’t invited.
You’d have to be an old hand to remember City of Heroes. The game originally dropped way back in April of 2004, but it quickly became one of the most popular MMORPGs of its time. In City of Heroes, players could create their own custom superhero (and later, supervillain), with their own powers and unique look to make both Marvel and DC Comics jealous.
But as with all good things, it eventually came to an end. Publisher NCsoft closed down their servers and ceased support of the game in November of 2012, leaving devoted fans devastated.
Only some of them didn’t take their game’s death lying down. Instead, they formed a secret development team that would continue to operate a single City of Heroes server and keep it running for themselves and their closest friends. And not only would it preserve the original game, but they’d also add new content like additional powers and a higher level cap.
They called themselves the Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers (SCORE), which is very much in keeping with the whole superhero theme. They say they actually reverse engineered the server-side code for City of Heroes using only the data provided on the client-side installation.
However, one disgruntled former SCORE member says that’s not the case. Destroyer Stroyer, as he calls himself online, says that SCORE actually has a server-side database backup of the live game that they use to continue development in secret. We only know about this due to some internal drama within the group that caused Stroyer’s ousting and his subsequent posts on the City of Heroes subreddit and YouTube outing the existence of this secret server.
Former City of Heroes players are rightly pissed. Their beloved game has been gone for years, and now it turns out that it lives on right under their very noses. SCORE representatives have responded saying they kept the server a secret to avoid a cease & desist order from NCsoft, the former publisher of City of Heroes, which would end their project for good.
This hasn’t stopped players from begging and pleading to be let into SCORE’s private server so that they can experience their favorite game just one more time.