Seven years. That's how long Asheron's Call 2 has been offline. Launched in 2003 and taken offline in 2005, Asheron's Call 2 fell prey to an unmoving install-base from a game in its own franchise. A game, by the way, which is still online 13 year after its own launch. MMOs are weird. Anyways, Asheron's Call 2 is coming back, as Turbine is opening an odd sort of beta for current Asheron's Call (that's the original) subscribers. One server, one more chance.
Really, the question everyone should be asking themselves, is why now? Turbine, the developers of Asheron's Call 1 & 2, Dungeons and Dragons: Online, and The Lord of the Rings Online, made four MMOs, three full expansions and countless free content updates in less than 8 years. In the five years since? No MMOs. While they've kept themselves busy with free-to-play transitions and content updates, what makes them say in 2012, "It's time to bring back Asheron's Call 2."
Maybe it's just Turbine thinking Asheron's Call 2 deserves a second chance, or maybe it means they've got a new Asheron's Call MMO n the works they want to hype up. Either way, it seems like an interesting thing to do. Currently, the game will only be available to Asheron's Call subscribers, but I hope they'll open it up to the public just to try out. Would be a great reminder of how far MMOs have come in so little time.