Master X Master, NCsoft's hero-swapping MOBA, will be closed in January

We've had some good things to say about Master X Master, NCsoft's dual-hero MOBA that came out in June. It wasn't perfect, but as we noted as recently as August, even "in an increasingly crowded market, Master X Master deserves a second look." But it didn't get that benefit of the doubt—an outcome we indirectly predicted in our first report on it—and NCsoft announced today that it will be closed at the end of January

"Deciding to close the game is not a decision we come to lightly, but ultimately it came down to a matter of business—we explored several options, but none of them were sustainable," it said. "We truly believe that MXM is special, and offered a lot of new ideas to change up the MOBA genre, but in trying to carve out a niche for itself, we failed to connect with players." 

Real-money purchases in the MXM Store have been disabled, but players will be able to keep at it until January 31, 2018. For the remainder of its uptime, all game modes will be available to play at all times, and players will be given 500,000 X-Coins so they can unlock all in-game content. The community-developed Lua skin is also going to be made available to everyone, for 1 X-Coin.

Players who purchased the game between August 30 and November 6 will automatically be granted refunds; players in that timeframe who purchased it using the non-refundable PaySafeCard, Nordea, or Osuuspankki & Aastopankki payment methods should contact NCsoft support for information on how the refund will be handled. 

"We saw MXM as a challenge to the status quo—a change-up of mechanics that would revitalize the MOBA genre and attract players who wanted to test the upper limits of their skills—but in the end, it wasn’t enough to take on the established juggernauts," NCsoft wrote. "We again want to extend our sincere gratitude to the MXM community, and hope you all can enjoy the remaining time with the game." 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.