NCsoft to Shut Down Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa in February

Less than two weeks after Richard Garriott said he was leaving  struggling NCsoft, the gaming company announced that they will be shutting down the millionaut’s MMO game Tabula Rasa.

“Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO. In many ways, we think we’ve achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there. Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn’t performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for,” according to a note on the website. “So it is with regret that we must announce that Tabula Rasa will end live service on February 28, 2009.”

In an earlier message to Tabula Rasa players, Garriott cited the desire to pursue other interests inspired by his International Space Station flight as his reason for leaving NCsoft.

“Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests,” he wrote.

His departure came as NCsoft announced a 50 percent drop in net income year-to-year for the third quarter that ended September 30. Net income for the quarter was a mere $3 million. NCsoft has had to lay off staff and consolidate its operations this year.