Why Cartoon Network’s FusionFall Died | A Look Back

Why Cartoon Network’s FusionFall Died | A Look Back


– [Robo] In the past, I’ve
talked about Disney MMOs quite a bit because those were the games that I played when I was younger. Stuff like, wait hold on, if
you’ve watched any of these videos, you probably know
exactly what I’m about to say. Toontown Online, Monkey
Quest, YoVille on Facebook and of course Club Penguin. Games like Toontown Online, Club Penquin and YoVille on Facebook. Games like Club Penguin, Neopets and when I was really
young, Webkins helped to introduce me into multiplayer games. Blah, blah, blah, these
games were my childhood. I think everyone understands that by now and most of the people watching this are probably in the same boat. So my point in all of this is
that I was really into MMOs and especially kid themed ones because, you know, I was a kid. All of these Disney games
that I played felt the same, which is expected considering
that they were all made by the same company, Disney Interactive. But sometimes I enjoyed
changing it up a bit and going to play something
that didn’t feel the same. The problem was that all
of these games required a premium subscription and
I wasn’t made out of money. So I couldn’t afford all
of these subscriptions with my $5 per week allowance
from doing my chores. So, that’s when taking advantage
of friends came into play. Very rarely, I would head over
to one of my friends’ houses and play his games that I couldn’t afford. One of these was Cartoon
Network’s FusionFall. A Cartoon Network themed game
that was completely filled with all of the beloved
characters from their shows. This game was amazing and I
would get completely drawn into the world every time I went over to this friend’s house. I found it cool that you had
to fight corrupted versions of your favorite
characters while teaming up with the non-corrupted versions
of the same characters. It blew my eight year old mind
and I couldn’t comprehend it. It sat up in my brain as
a philosophical question, along with the one that
asked, why the Easter Bunny in the mall had a zipper on its back? And you know, I never really learned the answer to that second question. Anyways, it was a great
time that I somehow forgot about in recent years. But it’s kind of hard to forget entirely when it’s your most requested video topic, so thank you to everyone who requested it. Like all these other titles
that I’ve covered in the past, this game also ended up
being tragically shut down, leaving fans wanting more. But this one’s a bit different,
and there are many more factors that led to its demise
that what meets the eye. It’s an interesting story
and it shows the struggles that can occur between a
development team and a publisher. So, we’re gonna be finishing
up our videos on browser MMOs and reminiscing on what this game was like and what caused it to
die in today’s video, Why FusionFall Died. So FusionFall was a cool and unique game. It had all the Cartoon Network characters from shows such as Ed, Edd n
Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door and almost every other show
that was popular at the time. Plus, unlike its
competitors, it actually had a full storyline and a lot
of thought was put into it. So the story pretty much goes like this. There’s a planet in space
known as Planet Fusion and it’s ruled by a dude named Lord Fuse. This planet travels through space and destroys everything it comes across. Over time, it’s grown
stronger and has come into contact with Earth, which is filled with the Cartoon Network characters. Luckily these characters
run into you in the past and teleport you to
the future to help them fight off Lord Fuse and
all of his alien minions. And that’s the gist, but I promise you, there’s a lot more to it. In fact, there was an entire Manga comic that explained the back
story and it was written and handed out by the content designer of the game at Comic Con 2007. Plus there are tons of pages
of lore and information that can be found on line and I could make an entire video just on the story. As for the gameplay, it was
pretty fun back in the day, buy playing it today, I can definitely see how it’s geared towards younger audiences. You start out by creating
and naming your character in a customization screen. The character customization
was fairly decent and while it wasn’t
crazy, it felt sufficient for the game that you were playing. Traveling could be done by
warping, walking across the map or by using temporary vehicles that gave the player a quick boost. It felt a bit tedious to walk around, but these other forms of
transportation made up for it. A positive aspect of
walking around, however, was that you could explore
the world and come across some of the enemies in the wild. There are countless unique enemies and finding new ones is
actually pretty exciting. I found them to be creative
and it added a lot of charm and it’s actually one of my favorite parts of the entire game. There are also loot boxes
and shops and power ups for your weapons and all
sorts of cool mechanics that make FusionFall different
from its competitors. The number one thing that
defined this game were the Nanos. As you kill the tainted versions of Cartoon Network
characters known as Fusions, you unlock their counterpart
which is known as their Nano. These Nanos each have special
powers and unique abilities that help to aid you in battle. You can collect all types
of them and each little Nano is a tiny pocket size version
of the character you defeated. As you progress through the
game, you can mix and match these Nanos to assist you with
whatever you need help with. Now, if only the developers
could have used these things to help them keep the game alive. Cartoon Network’s FusionFall was announced on July 19th, 2006 by
the channel themselves. They partnered with a developer known as Grigon Entertainment which
was a Korean based developer. They were previously known
for their popular title Seal Online which was a
point and click Anime RPG released in China and
other markets near China. And in interview, the
producer Chris Waldron said, “We wanted to work with a
Korean partner because we wanted “to take the best of both
American and international “gaming markets and try to
build something that could be “an international success.” So this game was aimed at more than just the American market. The game was set to release in 2008 and it was geared
towards younger audiences of the Cartoon Network fan base. At this time, a full character
list was not available, but the names Ben 10, Mac,
Bloo and The Kids Nextdoor were thrown around quite a bit. And in interview with IGN,
Grigon Ceo Byung-Kyu Cho, anyways, he stated that, “When
I look at the globally adored “characters of Cartoon Network
getting together harmonically “with the renowned strength
and uniqueness of Grigon, “I have all my confidence
that we will proudly present “an online game which
will astonish the world.” Even today, I still find
this an amazing claim and I wish more present
day developers could act with this same type of confidence
towards their creations. But he was right and this game would go on to astonish the world, or at least the Cartoon Network fans who played it. In 2007, Chris Waldron
appeared in another interview with IGN revealing more
information about the game. He said, “The game will have
all the character development, “open ended exploration
and multiplayer elements “you would expect, but with
more of a platformer style “combat system and puzzles
spread throughout the world, “complete with moving
platforms, slides and ziplines.” When questions were asked
about the revenue model, he refused to answer and
said that there will be a free aspect of the game but
that no further information could be given at the time. As time progressed, development continued and everything was looking good for Cartoon Network’s newest project. By GDC 2008, considerable
progress had been made and discussion related to the
game picked up quite a bit. The summer 2008 release was
delayed, but an open beta was initiated on November 14th,
2008 where players could sign up on the Cartoon Network website
to get access to the title. This beta went very well and
what was shown of the game received a lot of positive reception. Some things were tweaked and launch day was on January 14th, 2009. The game launched and the
reviews were extremely positive and some of the best reviews
out of any of the MMOs I’ve covered on this channel. It got a 75 on Metacritic and people were generally happy with what they received. A lot of the praise came from
the heavily anime inspired art style and the seamless integration of cartoon characters into a video game. It was pretty much a massive success. As for the revenue model that
was hidden in mystery before, it wasn’t too bad. Unpaid players of the
game could only collect up to four Nanos, create two characters and play the game until
they got to lever four. After this point, they would
need to create a new account or purchase a subscription
plan to keep playing. There was a one month option for $5.95, three months for $14.95,
and one year for $49.95. There were also two other options. First, there was the family
plan which was a discount if you for some odd reason
wanted to play the game with your entire family on four accounts. I mean, my family barely
knows how to use technology so I could never imagine
playing a game with them. But hey, I guess some
people aren’t like that. Then there was the,
I’m cool and wanna flex on all my elementary school friends package known as the victory pack. This insane flex of a deal gave you access to four months of a subscription, a comprehensive game guide,
two character outfits and weapons not available
online and a super cool shirt. Honestly, back in the day, the
only kid who would own this was the one who sat in
the corner of the room with his 45 Silly Bands on
his arm trying to finesse and make trades with
all the classroom hoes. My point is that probably
nobody bought this one. Back to the revenue model, all of this sounded like a good deal. A fun game with a cool aesthetic and a reasonably priced
membership package. It performed well right after release and people seemed to
enjoy most aspects of it. There were quite a few major
updates during this time with one coming around
once every three weeks. Grigon was doing a good job at
keeping everything up to date and it seemed as if
everything was going well. But it wasn’t. By the end of 2009, the
studio went bankrupt and had to stop development of the game. Apparently it wasn’t selling
as well as it should have and a considerable amount of
money was lost because of it. With their main developer
going out of business, Cartoon Networks was now
tasked with keeping up with and developing their own
game, which is something that they weren’t
necessarily experienced with. From this point on, updates slowed down and player accounts
began to fall off a bit. As these numbers decreased, the
team over at Cartoon Network began to get worried and somehow needed to recoup the lost players. So, on April 19th, 2010,
the game went free to play. With these changes, everything
that was previously locked behind the subscription
paywall was now unlocked. At first, excited to access these new previously locked features,
player counts spiked back up. The Cartoon Network needed to act fast to find a new way to keep
these players playing for a longer period of time. What they needed was a big update. This update was known as
the New Beginnings update and it would go on to haunt
longtime players of the game. It was hyped up as being the
biggest FusionFall update to date and people were excited
to see what it was about. First of all, it added a
foundation for new Nanos to be added in the future, but it didn’t actually add new Nanos. Second of all, it added an area
known as a training academy which was used to fine
tune a player’s skill in preparation to fight the boss Fuse. Plus, there was some new
mechanics that were suppose to make the combat a little bit better, but these only irritated longtime players and didn’t really help much. This update undoubtedly had
a major effect in killing FusionFall as a whole and it created a lot of irritation and
outrage in the community. The training academy
changed nearly everything that was loved about
FusionFall and made it feel like an entirely different game. People in the community
hated it and complained constantly for Cartoon
Network to revert the update. They begged and begged,
but nothing happened and it was set to stay for good. At this point, fed up with
what they were witnessing, longtime players of the
game began to leave the game and it all went downhill from there. It felt as if everything was being rushed and that Cartoon Network
was just merely trying to milk the last bit of
money out of the platform before it closed down. New Nanos were added but they
had terrible rushed animations and half of them had no sound. The endgame chat system
began to break and players were cursing and using a ton of racism in a children oriented game. Plus, the world was
becoming overrun by hackers and problems were coming up everywhere. Cartoon Network acted as
if they were oblivious to these problems and they took the easy and lazy way out of all of them. More players were leaving,
everything was progressing into a downward spiral and Cartoon Network was losing a ton of money. Finally, on August 23rd, 2013,
Cartoon Network announced that FusionFall was gonna
be closing in one week. They barely gave any notice to players and a lot of the community
honestly saw it coming. Thus, seven days later,
on August 29th, 2013, FusionFall had officially
closed down for good and a few years of mine
and many other people’s childhood were simply deleted. There were various reasons
for this, but it all stemmed from the closing of Grigon and the lack of direction caused from it. I feel like if this game
was still headed by Grigon instead of Cartoon Network,
it would still be around today and people would still be playing it. Unfortunately, this closure
happened only a month before the closure of the other kid’s games that were popular at the time. So, by the end of 2013,
FusionFall, ToonTown Online, Pirates Online and Pixie
Hollow were all closed down. It was the most depressing time in America since the Great Depression. But obviously, people were
pretty upset with the closure and Cartoon Networks didn’t do a good job at handling the situation. They provided no closing
remarks or explanation and kind of just brushed it under the rug. This honestly seems to
be a reoccurring pattern when games like this close
and I don’t understand why these developers do this. Do you guys think it’s right or should people get
more of an explanation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. A few months before the
closing of FusionFall, Cartoon Network released another game known as FusionFall Heroes
which was a free to play game based off of FusionFall but with a twist. In this game, you played as
the famous Cartoon Network characters and fought battles
against the same enemies found in the original FusionFall. Some people definitely
enjoyed it and it performed fairly well, but it couldn’t
really even be compared to the original game that
everyone grew to love. But, like some stories that
aren’t Final Destination, there was a happy ending. A devoted team of fans
began working on remaking the entire original game and by late 2018, the full game was restored
to it’s former glory. It’s known as FusionFall
Retro and it’s what I used to get all the footage
shown in this video. Believe it or not, even
though the game was geared towards kids, it’s still
pretty fun even today. This video isn’t sponsored
by them or anything, guys, if you wanna sponsor me, email me, my email’s in the description, but I would definitely
recommend checking it out if I were you and I’ll put a
link in the description below. I have a ton of respect for
people who take their time to do this and it shows that
when people have a similar goal and put their minds together, great things can be accomplished. Anyways guys, that is gonna
be it for today’s video, so I hope you guys enjoyed. I do wanna apologize, it’s been
a while since I’ve uploaded, actually it’s been like
a month and a half, but that’s kind of depressing so we’re not gonna mention exact numbers. I’ve been super busy with
college and I had the flu and a bunch of other stuff
was happening that made me hesitate to upload and I
do apologize about that. But, I will back and better
than ever and I’m gonna try my best to consistently
upload from here on out because I really should
considering that there’s now 260,000 of you guys following me. The number just keeps growing and it’s honestly amazing to me. So I just want to spend my time to thank every single one of you who subscribed and I apologize for the lack of uploading. And I promise I’ll be uploading
more from here on out. If you guys wanna watch any other videos, there will be links in
the description below. Make sure to follow me on Twitter. I’ll put a link to that and also, a link to my Discord Server. Anyways, thank you guys
so much for watching, I will see you guys next time and peace.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. As I mentioned at the end of the video, you can still play FusionFall today at https://www.fusionfallretro.com/
    Check it out! That's how I got the footage for this video!

  2. Bro I'm still kid, but everything I remember from 6 years ago is me and my friends try harding to kill the bad characters and get the best nano. I remember a few days before closing of the fusion fall someone hacked my account and I was level 360. That was the best felling ever, I'm still playing this game even today and I am pretty good at it haha, i am level 21 add me if there is someone, ign: Valentin Barbukov

  3. There was a rpg shooter facebook game that I cant remember the name but it was the greatest. They ended up shutting down the servers, I remember the 3 characters you could have was medic, tank, and hunter

  4. I played way too many "online 3d virtual world" I could find on google and this one got my mind blown with all its graphics and just the game in general. Couldn't play it very well cus of extreme lag though but it was fun.

  5. The people who hated the new update are fucking stupid, I rather have all the new nanos the beautiful looking world , more adventures and a sucky intro than that basic ass 36 level- 36 nano fuckery

  6. I rather level up fighting monsters with 40+ nanos than get nanos fighting with only 36 people are spoiled It was the players fault CN did nothing to break the game they made a platform for growth and dumbfuck players were to fucking stupid to be grateful for that explain to me how are you gonna play fr for years to come then your lvl 36 with only 36 nanos? I’m happy ff was taken off because you pests decide to keep complying when you look back at it it’s the players fault why they took it off in the first place

  7. I highly doubt the game is still around today if it had a better developer on board. Unfortunately MMOs seem like a dated concept nowadays especially for companies looking to license their properties out to a team. It requires too much capital to build up and then keep running to retain a community based on active subscriptions. If you look at even the most popular MMOs of the time like World of Warcraft, they've long hit their peak and now are bleeding out slowly. That's with a dedicated hands on developer who isn't handing their IPs to an anonymous studio like Cartoon Network had to do. Disney had the right idea having their own in house studio but even they can't do anything about mobile games overtaking computer games. Mobile is cheaper, and the model is different with F2P and in game purchases. I haven't watched your other videos on TT or Club Penguin but I imagine you mention this and came to similar conclusions

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