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It is with very heavy hearts that we report SOE's announcement of Free Realms official closure. On March 31st (2014), Free Realms will go dark. Further closures of SOE's long list of MMORPG titles include Clone Wars, Vanguard, and Wizardry online. Many Free Realms fans will be asking why the sudden closure of their favourite game. John Smedley answered on a popular Reddit AMA, that the reason was simply "we need our resources elsewhere right now." While this may not be the answer our fans are looking for, I would like to share some personal advice on the situation you find yourself in, both as a long-term administrator of this fan site and a fellow gamer myself.

First, I understand the grieving process. I have walked away from many games in the past decade, this has been because of personal time constraints, but also because of games 'going dark' after years of time put into it. It will feel very soul crushing when you first hear the news, and you will be upset about it. I know this may not be the best way to start, but I think it's important that we recognize it is a tangible thing we are grieving for. No, it is not the game itself. It is your memories of playing this game. For many players it brought joy and laughter through events, game play, playing with family members, and especially making new friends on Free Realms. Your grief is not over the game itself, but over the memories you have made playing it, and that is Okay.

Second, please go out and enjoy your last few weeks with your guild, your friends, and the community of Free Realms. It's going to be very tempting to get riled up & angry about the game shutting down. There is a time and place for that, but I want to encourage you all to celebrate what you have created on Free Realms. Having played on many different MMORPGs and Online games I can assure you that the best part is always the communities. Free Realms had a great community spirit to it. We may not have always gotten along, but I would like to believe that there has been many more positive memories that will last.

Many will be asking what the future of FreeRealmsInsider.com is. This community was never built to be focused around the staff, without you all it wouldn't have made it as far as it did. Thank you. For the time being, the site will remain operational and a place to share your final memories with the community. We will speak further to the future operations of Freerealmsinsider.com (FRI) in the near future, but for the time being please enjoy it and help us to celebrate the community we have built together. It would be an absolute delight for you all to share your past images, stories, and favourite events that have taken place in the previous four years of Free Realms. Let's reminisce together.

I hope that you will treat the team at SOE with respect, and understand that this was a business decision and not a target at the Free Realms community. From our discussions in the past with the SOE team I can assure you that there is a strong passion for this game, and a love for many of their players. The relationship we have had with SOE has been very pleasurable, and I can only wish them the best on their next adventure.

On a final, and very personal note, please let me extend my thanks to the community here on FRI. My time as administrator on Free Realms Insider has brought a great deal of joy to my life. I can't say I did everything perfectly, and that I always put as much time into the community as I would have liked to. But I can say it that my time in Free Realms & on the site here was very enjoyable. I loved every moment within the guild, and I have been nothing but proud of the community we built both in-game and within our forums. Each one of our insider sites are very unique, and bring different qualities to its community. The Insider site has always been referred to as a family, and families may fight, but in the end we all resolve our differences and enjoy our time together.

My heart is very heavy tonight having to write this final update. I can only hope that it has expressed the gratitude the staff here at FRI has for spending your time with us, and sticking it out with us for such a long period of time. It has not always been a smooth journey, but it has been one we all will look back on with fondness.

May your next journey online be as charming as this one, and may you always look back on this time with fondness.

From your family to yours,

Ashley Preciousfable & The Insider team.

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