"There's no better word than 'heartbreaking' to describe what it feels like to have to do this," said the creators of Glitch when announcing that the game would be shut down. "And we know that for many of you who poured your creativity, energy, and imagination into Glitch and the community, it will be heartbreaking as well." There weren't enough players to keep the quirky browser MMO afloat financially, but those who were into Glitch were really into it — and that includes its creators. Even though the game itself doesn't exist anymore, several members of the team have taken it upon themselves to help keep the spirit of Glitch alive by preserving the sights and sounds of its virtual world.

Glitch launched in September 2011, and was the brainchild of Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr (which began its own life as an MMO project called Game Neverending, before becoming the photo-sharing site we all know today). It was an MMO, but this wasn't yet another World of Warcraft clone. Glitch was 2D, side-scrolling, and featured no combat. You'd take on missions that involved milking butterflies and you could hop on a subway to get around. It was weird. But it also had a strong community element and plenty of customization options that helped keep certain players glued.

There was plenty of excitement around the game, and it was clear that it was trying to do something new, but even early on there were signs of trouble — just two months after its big launch the game "unlaunched," reverting back to a beta status. This setback didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm from the team at developer Tiny Speck, however. "We are more optimistic than ever that Glitch can deliver on its promise of a unique, imaginative world, full of delights and ripe for experimentation and expansion by players," Butterfield wrote at the time. "And we know what we have to do to get there."