Uru: LiveOn February 4th, UbiSoft/Cyan announced the premature demise of the multiplayer portion of their most recent addition to the Myst franchise, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. The online version, which was in an open beta ‘prologue’ had attracted thousands of diehard Myst fans who eagerly logged on to explore the virtual 3D world of D’ni together. A thriving community was built over the holidays and into the new year, and the official launch was looked forward to with much anticipation. Unfortunately, the player base proved to be inadequate to support the ongoing development, and after what surely must have been a painful decision, the plug was pulled on February 9th at midnight PST.

Cyan had done an amazing job in creating the most realistic alternate reality yet, made up of 3D worlds, cities and neighborhoods that were beautiful to explore, and added the capability of interacting live in the same space with other players from around the world. Think of the multiplayer version of your favorite 1st-person shooter game and take away the weapons and gore, add cooperative interaction, chat and intelligent puzzles, and you’ll get an idea of what it was like.

Well, at least what the potential was. The mourning players went through at the end of Uru: Live was visceral, with many gathering in their neighborhoods to be with friends as the clock counted down to midnight. Players wanted to be together at the end of the world, so to speak, and spent their last minutes partying, taking group photos and reminiscing. All is not lost, however, as Cyan announced it will be releasing much of the content developed for Uru: Live as single-player expansion packs. To get an idea, we’ve archived some DivX videos of Uru: Live before it was killed.

In other news, a rumored rabbithole has seemingly been found for a possible upcoming ARG (geez, can we be any more non-commital?). An anonymous tipster pointed us to the Amboy Monthly, and we’re told this will become a trailhead site for an ARG in development entitled Aware. Stay tuned for this one, as it looks very promising.