In a farewell message on the Asheron's Call official forums yesterday, Turbine has informed the loyal fans of both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2, that the online services for both MMOs will be discontinued by January 31st, 2017:
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron's Call and Asheron’s Call 2, and will close both services on January 31st, 2017. This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you.
This game is a labor of love, and it's not easy for us to bring it to an end. We have had a phenomenally long run; one of the longest in the world of MMORPGs, and that in and of itself is a spectacular feat. We are proud of our legacy, and the entire Asheron's Call team has been honored to adventure with you for nearly twenty years. We thank you very much for being a part of it.
It’s been an amazing run. You’ve done Asheron Realaidain proud. - Halistran (Administrator)
This message comes shortly after a much more positive announcement for two other Turbine MMOs - The Lord of the Rings Online, and Dungeon and Dragons Online, both of which see continued development under independent studio Standing Stone Games, with Daybreak Games as their publisher. Unfortunately, Asheron's Call could not likewise follow.
The shutdown perhaps comes as no surprise, as both MMOs had been placed into 'maintenance mode' since 2014 - whereby Turbine continued to provide technical support and server services but ceased content updates.
In the 2014 maintenance mode update, Producer Severlin also mentioned Turbine's interest in "start(ing) an initiative sometime near the end of the year to allow players to run their own Asheron’s Call servers". However, when asked about the possibility of private servers yesterday, Halistran has confirmed this is unfortunately not a possibility.