Korean MMO deleted during server repairs

M2 taken offline for critical maintenance, never to return

A Korean MMO has been taken permanently offline after the game's data was deleted during essential server maintenance last month.

M2, run by developer Sankando and operator Hangame, was taken offline on the 21 October to deal with a widespread data problem, reports IgxPro.

During the server maintenance which ensued, vital information was deleted from the game's database which could not be restored and had not been backed up externally or elsewhere.

Because the free-to-play game operated largely on funds from premium items, some "selective compensation" has been offered to players for lost purchases.

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Latest comments (11)

Tomas Nevrtal Senior AI Programmer, Codemasters10 years ago
It's more likely the game was not profitable and they wanted to kill it. They figured out it was cheaper to pretend lost data than reimburse players who had paid for premium items.
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Nick Bjhvbkjvh Studying TIGA Diploma in Games Design, Train2Game10 years ago
I agree with Tomas, no respectable company would have a popular MMO that was up and running without some form of back up. We are constantly told at college to back up small work documents, I find it hard to believe an entire game wasn't.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 10 years ago
The first decade of my career was spent doing mostly sysadmin, and I still do a lot of it. I have to disagree that "no respectable company [would be] without some form of back up." You would be surprised at how many institutions do not have the capability to recover from a disaster.

Part of the issue is the nature of how many (probably most) people manage risk. It seems to be human nature, when given the choice between spending effort on mitigating potential damage caused by rare events and doing something to make profit, to do the latter. Not sometimes, but pretty much always. (It's often a situation of, "oh, we'll just do this one profitable thing first, and then get to that other stuff after," over and over again.)

This is actually not an entirely unreasonable strategy for businesses that are continuously near to failure. Seeking the extra profit-making opportunities may be the only thing keeping the business surviving, so if you dropped them for doing disaster recovery work instead, you'd go out of business, obviating the point of having disaster recover capability. And rare events don't always happen, so even using this strategy you may survive.

Another part of the issue is merely bad advice given to people, such as "back up your documents." What people really need to here is, "pretend you've lost this storage system/computer/whatever and practice a disaster recovery."

It would well be the case that Sankando and/or Hangame did have backups of the data, but they didn't have things set up that they could effectively rebuild a working system at reasonable cost. Or that they thought they had backups of the data, but didn't. I've seen both situations many times.
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Show all comments (11)
Byoung Han Programmer 10 years ago
Our company is like what Curt described, we seek for profit and barely have time to work on other details like data back up.

Our company uses svn as a disaster recovery plan so we didnt really gave much attention to it. But I once svn deleted wrong file by accident and we werent able to recover good chunk of the files. Yeah, my team had to work over the weekends to recover it. Sorry guys.

Like Curt said advice people really need is "pretend you've lost this storage system/computer/whatever and practice a disaster recovery."

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Sanghwa Chung Manager, Nexon Corporation10 years ago
I don't think, M2 is an Korean MMO.
M2 is developed by Japanese developer "Sankado" and Hangame published it to Japan market.
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Anyway, Hangame should backup full data for Emergency.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 10 years ago
Anyway, Hangame should backup full data for Emergency.

That brings up another point: they may not be able to do so.

The system database (and by this I don't necessarily mean one managed by an RDBMS such as Oracle, but whatever they're using as a data store, which may be managed by several systems) needs to be designed to be able to be backed up and restored. If the system isn't designed to be able to give you a consistent state that can be restored, you may simply be stuck. Sure, you can try to take a snapshot of the disks or the files on the disks, but that doesn't mean that when you restore that snapshot you'll actually have a system you can run.

This again comes down to the developers. You need to design for how you release, design for how you back up, and design for how you restore or recover a system.
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Gregore Candalez Journalist and Account Manager, FD Com.10 years ago
You probably thought this game was online. Nope! Chuck Testa.

Now that is one terrible thing to happen. What kind of game company does not back up "vital information"?
One does not simply DELETE a game. This is an absurd.
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James Wells Gaming Contributor - 10 years ago
LOL @ Gregore... nice Testa reference.

As for this deletion, "Whoops!"
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Tyler Moore Game Designer & Unity Developer 10 years ago
I would pay dearly to enter a universe where this happened with World of Warcraft. The press storm alone would be great popcorn browsing.
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William Usher Assistant Editor, Cinema Blend10 years ago
Tyler, the internet wouldn't stop crying if that happened and I think we have enough of that as it is.

As for Hangame's MMO...I completely agree with Curt's assestment of the scenario. This sort of thing even happens on a much smaller scale, I remember when we lost a day's worth of content on CB and no one backed any of that stuff up because of two things: daily backups will zap storage space like crazy 2.) as Curt mentioned, you can spend time assorting and storing or you can spend time trying to turn a profit.

In some scenarios I think it's more important to ensure safety first...I would hate for this to have happened to an MMO that's actually worth playing.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
Another good reason to have a disc-based game with single-player and/or co-op play, I say. Oh well... if it DOES ever happen with a bigger MMO, expect not only popcorn browsing, but a nice profit for some lawyers somewhere. Granted, I'm SURE every EULA for an MMO says something about a publisher or developer not being held liable of this or anything else bad happens...
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