The Real Reason VMK Closed

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    After VMK's closure, many people suggested reasons that it closed. Most people said Disney closed it, while many, especially later, stated that it was in fact Sulake who pulled the plug. The reality, however, is that both Disney and Sulake were responsible for the closing, yet neither one can be entirely blamed... however, the Sulake theory is closer to the truth than the Disney theory is. Allow me to explain. It is common knowledge that Disney used Sulake's game engine for VMK. It is also somewhat well-known that Disney made several customizations specific to VMK. From looking at the VMK Timeline, it seems that Disney found out about VMK's closing shortly before the beginning of February 2008. This can be deduced by the large number of changes that took place in that month and the months that followed (especially with the POTCO theme happening in March... sad to say this, but PirateVinnie was someone in Disney's PR department who also knew somewhat about VMK's coding, and it is likely that he was asked to take a more vocal role near the end to help "bridge people over" to the other games). When it opened, VMK had been in development since 2002 -- that is, for around three years. While much of this time was dedicated to creating the ideas and art for VMK, it is likely that much of it was spent customizing Sulake's engine to work with VMK's server. In mid-2009, Sulake's property Habbo Hotel was changed over from Shockwave to Flash. The most plausible way for this to have occurred is that Sulake ported their entire game engine from the aging Shockwave platform to Flash. This would have easily taken a year or more, and based on the normal development times for something like this, Sulake was probably already planning the change as early as 2007. It is very likely that Sulake did not want to keep employees to work on a platform that they no longer make any money off of, so they probably gave Disney an early warning that the game engine was being transferred over and that Disney's tech support on the old engine would end in 2009, if not earlier. This likely occurred in January 2008. When Disney received the news, it meant that they would have to redo all of the customizations they had made to Sulake's engine in order to work with the new game engine, as well as porting all of the art assets to the new format. Not only that, but the coding would need to be in a totally different programming language -- one which the game's designers were likely not fully proficient in. Such a change would have taken an amount of money and time approaching or exceeding half the amount originally spent to make VMK. Disney made a difficult decision -- that the VMK project was not worth this sudden added expense -- and VMK closed in May 2008. VMK would have remained open had it not been for Sulake's game engine change; it was a large enough success in the form of extra park visits and publicity, as well as probably having low running costs, to justify it remaining open. However, it was not worth the expense of basically remaking the entire game from nothing but the art assets, and even these were in the wrong format. However, in the end it was Disney who closed VMK. Basically, VMK closed because Sulake decided to have the Habbo client use a new game engine.
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  • Deleted on November 15th, 2012, 4:32 pm
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    thank you, starBP, this makes way more sense than "disney's contract with sulake ended".
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    StarBP wrote:However, it was not worth the expense of basically remaking the entire game ...

    VMK was totally worth it `-` Js.
    Anyway, I guess this makes sense. Doesn't make it's closing any less painful though :c
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    Very interesting, I always knew Sulake had a large part in VMK's closure.

    BUT, I have say, it's been almost 5 years since VMK closed, I think it's finally time to completely let it go.
    You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.
    -The Fault in Our Stars
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    I miss this game so much.. :(

    I'm 18 and would still play if this ever comes back :)
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    ust saying...^^^
    Combat Carl Never Gives Up,
    Combat Carl Finds a Way
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    you know i know this game takes a lot of work to maintain and care for but you have so many people willing to volunteer! please bring VMK back! you have influenced so many people! 
  • Deleted on February 10th, 2015, 1:30 pm
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    I know this is really late but does that mean now (as in 2015), is VMK still closed?
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    I'm confused is it?