'The Matrix Online's Last Days Were Completely Unhinged
It's once again time to venture into the desert of the unreal: The Matrix Online. What most saw as yet another shameless cash grab tie-in, the red-pilled fans who survived getting blue-balled by the last two Matrix films (until The Matrix Resurrections drops) saw as the needed excuse to believe that the franchise didn't die. And boy, they were actually right. The only difference is that instead of running on people, this new Matrix ran on pure madness. Let's now look at the behind-the-scenes of it all and try to deal with the discovery that Morpheus getting murdered by magic bullets was far from its weirdest part.
Turns out that for the final few months of the game's life, everything was written, ran, and maintained by one single dude.
Ben Chamberlain is the name of the dev who would regularly have to write new storylines, then implement them by playing the characters, some of which were already known, like Morpheus, some others not so much, like the definitely not fanfic-y super-assassin with the ability of insta-killing everyone via code-bombs and super kill codes.
And even the weirdest aspect of the game's life bows before the weirdness of the game's demise. As soon as Chamberlain became the only full-time dev working on the project, it was clear the writing was on the wall. When the inevitable server shutdown was announced, sad fans gathered in the game to be together for the last time. And, instead of bittersweet, it was bitterhellish, as players witnessed their characters getting hit by lightning and then getting crushed to death while screaming.
(Note that this was the canon ending of The Matrix for a long while.)
All they had to do was, well, nothing. They just had to shut down the server, and everybody would simply freeze, making for a neat little screenshot. Still, despite having no money or devs, they just made it so that players died in the most messed-up of ways. The ending of the game's Beta was even worse. In it, instead of just watching your characters curl into a ball while screaming, players saw that but under a blood-red sky filled with gigantic creepy eyes witnessing your pain.
Well, the architect from the films really did state that the previous versions of The Matrix were worse. Now that's worldbuilding.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Interactive