If year 2009 was all about action MMORPGs, year 2010 appears to be about blockbuster MMORPGs.
Age of Conan vs. Warhammer Online
Age of Conan and Warhammer Online are in the process of localization and expected to launch in the first quarter. Neowiz Games plans an OBT for Age of Conan in the first quarter while NHN plans the first CBT on January. Two games focused on localization: Warhammer has been working on applying Korean cultural codes to character appearance, weapon effect, and sound effect while Conan even translates some of its adult contents (including cursing and swearing) into Korean in order to maintain the original look-and-feel.
Another non-Korean MMORPG that will enter the Korean market is Allods Online from Russia. Astrum Nival, the Russian publisher/developer, is seeking for a local publishing partner and plans to launch the game within this year.
<Characters from Allods Online, Age of Conan and Warhammer Online from the left>
To name a few, Tera will be published by NHN Games in the first half and XL Games’ ArcheAge will be available for a test on June and then commercial service within this year.
<NHN’s Tera- OBT and commercial service are planned in 1H 2010>
CJ Internet is launching DragonBall Online on January while Mgame plans to launch?Argo and Yulgang 2 (열혈강호 온라인 2: Kor). Neowiz Games plans to test Project H (developed by MAIET Entertainment) within this year as well.
And the list goes on. There are YD Online’s Pae Online, WeMade’s Changchun2 (창천 2: Kor) and NED, Sonov’s Berkanix, Hanbit Soft’s 삼국지천 (Three Kingdom’s Heaven? or 三國之天: Chi), and?EASTsoft’s Cabal Online – all waiting to be released this year.
To stay ahead of the competition, each game tries to differentiate from others. Dragonball Online is based on the already-too-famous comics. Pae Online and Berkanix are developed by a famous author and a famous comic book artist. Tera and Project H emphasize on non-targeting combat system. ArcheAge is selling its mysterious storytelling and changeable game world.
<XL Games’ ArcheAge plans the first est in June and commercial service in 2010>
Blade and Soul, NCsoft’s fourth blockbuster MMORPG, might be delayed its test to next year but there is a chance to happen later this year. Also, the rumor has it that Hak Kyu Kim’s IMC Games- Kim was responsible for Granado Espada’s sucess- might be able to show a new martial arts MMORPG.
ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 is one of the games that Korean players look forward to even though it doesn’t announce any specific launch schedule in Korea.
<Guild Wars 2 and Blade and Soul>