Cyan and UBI Software announced this week that the planned expansion of Uru: Ages Beyond Myst would not be making the jump to the multiplayer realm. According to a spokesman for UBI, there were not enough people subscribed to the online portion of the game – which was going through beta testing – to justify launching the product. In short, Uru Live would probably not have been financially viable.
The idea behind Uru Live was that the puzzle solving game would be constantly expanded with new content. Explorers could journey into the new worlds and explore them collectively with other players.
Rand Miller, one of the developers of Myst, wrote a letter to his fans explaining the decision not to publicly launch Uru Live. One of the biggest limitations, according to the letter, was the fact that players needed to have broadband access to play in the Uru Live world.
The decision to not move forward with the Uru Live game has left Cyan with a lot of content that they were developing for the online game. They plan to release these new worlds in the form of expansion packs that can be purchased to add onto the single-player version of the game. The first expansion pack will be given out as a free download and could be ready by the end of the month.
"The closing of Uru Live actually gives us the opportunity to open these expanding worlds to a larger audience, including those people without broadband," Miller wrote in his letter, the full version of which is posted at Cyan.com. "Only a small portion of the people who played Uru ever made it to D’ni in Uru Live. Now everyone can get to D’ni – and beyond."
Despite the apparent demise of what promised to be a truly innovative online game, Miller left the door open, at least a little, on future plans for the world. He closed his letter with, "again, perhaps the ending has not yet been written."