Ya know... it's long, but just read the press release -- with all the fluff and fervor that the marketing folks could drum up:
It’s All Access for City of Heroes and City of Villains
NCsoft readies the number 1 super-powered MMO for more
There is a reason for the rejoicing in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. It is official – NCsoft has completely merged the two games into one game universe. All current subscribers who only had one of the games (City of Heroes or City of Villains) now have access to the features of both games. Additionally, all City of Heroes and City of Villains games for sale at retail or online will grant access to both games.
This is the final step needed in preparing the IP for future projects, to be announced later this year. Paragon City and the Rogue Isles have always been a part of the same game universe. When City of Villains launched in 2005 as a stand-alone game, it did not launch with an extra subscription fee, so there has always been this feeling that they are closely related. What’s different here is that NCsoft has taken down the barrier where players had to have a City of Villains serial code to make a villain, and vice versa. Now, it doesn’t matter if you bought Heroes or Villains, you can make characters from either faction and experience their unique game content. Additionally, Heroes now have access to base building, which was previously only available if you had purchased City of Villains.
“In setting the stage for our upcoming plans for the IP, we felt the time was right to truly consolidate the City of Heroes and City of Villains universe,” said Brian Clayton, General Manager and Executive Producer. “We have removed all restrictions that were created when City of Villains launched in order to make way for some really cool content and features we have in the pipeline. This is an evolution of the IP that lays the foundation for what’s to come.”
The most recent game update, Issue 12: Midnight Hour, launched in May and included a wealth of features, including a new Greek and Roman inspired zone, Villain Epic Archetypes, Powerset Proliferation, as well as more character slots so that players can try out the new character powers and Archetypes.
“We know that character variety is one of our greatest strengths and that’s why our players love to create new characters” said Matt Miller, Lead Designer. “Even former players who reactivate will be pleasantly surprised to see new open character slots waiting for them.”
Uniting the City of Heroes universe enables the development team to focus on other features slated to come in future installments. Improvements to Supergroup Bases and raids, an offline character reward system, and the previously revealed Mission Maker are just some of the systems that will see the benefits of a unified City of Heroes game.
Oh, and there's also "Double XP weekend" starting on Friday, while we're on the subject of City of Heroes.