Myst Online: Uru Live to Close

n 2006, GameTap resurrected Myst Online: Uru Live, a massively multiplayer online game set in the world of the popular Myst series from Cyan Worlds. In 2007 the company brought a Mac version to market. Now GameTap plans to close Myst Online, according to the official Myst Online Web site.

Myst Online: Uru Live has had a roller-coaster ride during its four-year life. Originally developed by Cyan Worlds as a multiplayer add-on for its game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, Uru Live was cancelled by its publisher, Ubisoft, before it was released. Ubisoft axed the game after it projected fewer subscribers than it needed to judge the game profitable.

GameTap's Vice President of Content, Ricardo Sanchez, delivered the news in a statement posted on the site. He said that the Myst Online: Uru Live servers will be "completely shut down in the near future," though they'll remain live for the next 60 days. During that time, said Sanchez, existing and new users can play. Myst Online: Uru Live is available for free.

The Web site will remain active indefinitely as a place for Myst Online enthusiasts to gather. Sanchez added that GameTap remains on good terms with Cyan Worlds, who he called "a very valued partner."

Myst Online was GameTap's first attempt at outreach to Macintosh gamers. The game debuted a Mac version in March 2007, developed by TransGaming using its Cider translation layer technology -- software that enables Windows games to run on Intel-based Macs.

Cyan had stated its intent to create a Mac-native version of original game, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, but that ultimately didn't come to fruition, a victim of Ubisoft's budgetary and technical constraints. So seeing Myst Online: Uru Live finally make it to the Mac was sweet vindication for long-suffering Mac gamers who felt strongly that the franchise, which got its first huge boost on the Mac platform, should remain on the Mac.

GameTap, a business unit of Turner Broadcasting, provides access to classic arcade and console games through emulation, and after Myst Online debuted for Macs they expanded their core software to work on the Mac using the same technology.

GameTap continues to offer Mac versions of its Lite and Deluxe players, which enable Intel-based Mac users to play many of the games offered through the GameTap service, which incurs a monthly fee to play.

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