Neowiz confirms axing Bless Online western publisher Aeria Games

Rumors that suggested Aeria Games has been dismissed as the western Bless Online publisher appear to have been confirmed today.

Korean gaming site Inven is reporting that Neowiz, the Korean-born developer and publisher of the MMO, has “canceled the service contract agreement between the two companies […] smoothly after consulation,” meaning that Gamigo and Aeria will no longer be publishing the game in the west.

We’ve seen a few headlines this morning suggesting that Bless’ western service has been entirely canceled, but we cannot confirm that. Neowiz says it will be focusing on the Japanese service “for now,” but does not say whether it has plans to find a new western publisher.

The move isn’t entirely unexpected; there had been little public progress on the western version of the game since last autumn’s announcement that Aeria was completing gutting Bless’ combat system for a do-over. It was intended to release here this year, but we’ve seen far more movement from the Japanese and Russian branches, the latter of which has been temporarily closed down for renovation.

Aeria and Gamigo did not respond to requests for comment earlier this week.

 

Source: Inven. Thanks, Xavi!
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23 Comments on "Neowiz confirms axing Bless Online western publisher Aeria Games"

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Celestia
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Celestia

I really want this game to come to NA/EU. Fingers crossed it gets picked up by a reputable publisher.

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Dystopiq

The Russian version was closed indefinitely according to the Russian publisher. Shame.

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Xijit

I guarantee you that Gamigo wanted more money (bigger cut of the revenue / a refund on part of what Aeria already paid) after buying out Aeria & Neowiz laughed as thry tore up the contract.

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Joshua Dickerson

I used to follow this game when it was in development. But honestly once I heard Aeria games was the publisher, I knew that I wouldnt want to play it because of their existing games and handling.

Aeria games was cool when I was young and the MMO industry was newly blooming. They brought us access to some Eastern MMOs and at the time it was fun, but now more quality games are coming out and unless you really put some effort into your core game systems, players dont have the patience anymore to put up with it.

In order to compete nowdays, Aeria will need a PR revamp or something.

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Greaterdivinity

Not entirely unexpected, especially given their choice of partner for the Western market and the current state of the game in the East, but still disappointing.

Oh well, it’s barely been on my radar for a while now so it’s not a terrible loss either. Still hope it makes it over one day.

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Sorenthaz

Aeria is like the company known for sleazy generic second-rate F2P Asian MMOs that barely anyone cares about. Don’t think anyone is sad on that part.

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Daniel Miller

One thing I don’t get quite yet. Even if JP goes ok, why won’t they implement those changes on korea bless, or when will they be implemented in kr.

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rafael12104

Sheezus. What a debacle. But no, not a surprise. The Russian version became unplayable because it was so poorly optimized. And for whatever reason Aeria wanted combat completely re-dev’ed.

So, Neowiz is pulling back to at least maybe recoup something. Not sure Bless will ever launch in the west.

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Necromonger

Cant tell if this is good or bad news xD

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Jack Pipsam

Anyone’s better than Aeria anyway.

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silverlock

Yeah Aeria is a complete non starter for me.

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Veldan

To be honest, I’d rather see Aeria than Trion or Gameforge at this point

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Jack Pipsam

At least Trion doesn’t delete your account if you don’t login for a while.

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silverlock

At least Trion doesn’t steal your bandwidth 24/7.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

And now I’ll never get to play Roseroar the Tigress.

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Paarthurnax Dragonhearth

Yeah , like even if It got released it would just fade into obscurity in like 3-4 months ….. like all the Asia MMos ….. I mean c’mon ppl…..

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Vunak

Yeah BnS, BDO and FFXIV are doing horrible, non contenders really.

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MesaSage

“John, how did your break up with Sue go?”

“Smoothly after consulation, thanks!”

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Melissa McDonald

I personally find it fascinating how South Korea has risen in prominence in software and hardware in the last decade. Samsung makes silicon chips for everyone including Apple.
LG, Hyundai, and in our little world here, they are the ones making “true” MMOs the way the West used to. Most likely because they have the deep pockets to do so and the desire and lack of MMO burnout we’re experiencing here.

Line
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Line

A strong, growing economic power slowly phasing out an old, struggling one (Japan).
It takes decades but it happen. Already the case for South Korea which is getting munched by China, itself losing more and more to cheaper competitors.

But you are a decade late honestly, the Korean videogame market is already on the decline for big investments like MMOs which see a gigantic amount of duds every year.

They’re all about that mobile money, with more or less success. And like Japan, it’s mostly failures with plenty of companies sinking (but South Korea got them covered, public money will always help the scammers like Samsung, that’s the point of the chronic corruption and their joke of a government) and a few outliers that will just waste profits on shitty projects until they join the rest.

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rafael12104

A few thoughts on this as I’ve had a chance to travel on business to Seoul and have dealt with some of the corporations you mention first hand.

First, as it relates to business and most especially the tech industry, these are some serious individuals and extremely competitive too. These are folks that are almost insanely detail oriented and yet keep their eye on the prize. Their success not a surprise to most now, but Korean companies were vastly underestimated a decade ago. Not anymore.

The same applies to games. Culturally games are not just toys in Korea. They are not only popular but a serious pursuit mirroring the way they do business. For years, big gaming corps catering to the west, sat back and let the market slide as far as MMOs were concerned. Well, Korea and China picked up the pieces and here we are. And if BDO is any indication, focus on western audiences is only now moving to the forefront.

One last thing. I got to witness, first hand, a true E-sports event while I was there. And, holy shit! It might as well have been the Superbowl. I’m talking a packed stadium, merchandising, fans, music, television, etc. And as I watched the game being played, there were roars and cheers as the action unfolded. I had no idea what was happening, to be honest. But the audience knew. They were watching great moves, great team work, touchdowns. It was amazing.

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Sorenthaz

Awesome, did you manage to go to an OGN event or what?

I feel like most of the major Asian regions embrace gaming more seriously than the West. Japan, prior to Microsoft jumping in, was home to most of the big name game developers as well as the console companies (SEGA/Sony/Nintendo). MMOs in Japan still largely use subscription models and keep going strong for years after their popularity dies out. MMOs in the West meanwhile start struggling super fast the moment they hit that point where they fall off of most players’ maps.

South Korea of course has been the one that’s been pushing esports for over a decade now, and they’re the only country where the culture seems to actually embrace competitive gaming – lots of folks here just scoff at the idea. MMO-wise there are a lot of bad stereotypes, but they’re also the ones that are actually trying to do various new and different things compared to here where we have to largely rely on Kickstarter/Crowdfunded MMOs to break the monotony.

Then there’s China which has giants like Tencent… Yeah there’s definitely some sleazier stuff out there but for whatever reason it works for them. And pretty much every gaming company in the West wants to make it big in China so that they can be like WoW and LoL where their numbers get boosted insanely high off of the ridiculous boom in numbers that a successful China launch can give.

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Armsbend

Cool – we can stop talking about it now. Sweep it to the bottom page of mop up and be done with it.

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