For a game that once promised
it would provide “everything an MMO player could want,” Echo of Soul
hasn’t exactly toppled popular culture and established itself as digital king in any hemisphere. Yet it’s far from dead, as developer Mr. Blue has signed a contract with Aeria Games
to develop a “massive update” for the game that will arrive before the end of 2017. Little is known of this update other than its title: Phoenix.
While the patch is slated for North America and Europe, Mr. Blue hasn’t given up trying to get Echo of Soul into other regions. The MMO developer attempted to reenter the Chinese and Korean markets after initially failing in those countries, and it has recently signed publishing deals to get Echo of Soul out in Turkey and the Middle East.
For those of you playing, you can get yourself a free seahorse mount in time for summer if you drop the devs a line on Facebook. Sounds efficient.
Good news, Echo of Soul
fans in China: The game is coming back. (It’s not coming back in North America, it never left. It’s remaining here. It’s still here. Nothing has changed.) The title is heading to the country once again
under the care of the small and heretofore largely unknown publisher Hoga.
This isn’t the first time the Korean title has been imported to China, but the first attempt under publisher ChangYou was unsuccessful and closed down back in 2015. Still, it seems that the order of the day is to not let a little thing like failing to capture the market share the first time prevent companies from making a second attempt, so it’s time for another go. Remember, kids: If at first you don’t succeed, find a new publisher and try again in a year.
Last year was rough on Echo of Soul. The Korean fantasy MMO ended up closing down in both its native country and China in 2015, while the western version (published by Aeria Games) has been puttering along with mediocre reviews.
Could a small comeback be in the making? MMO Culture reports that Kakao Games has picked up the publishing rights to Echo of Soul in Korea. It is planning on conducting an open beta test in October, one year after the game was closed in the country.
The new operator isn’t merely planning to turn back on the server and call it a day. Kakao announced that it will be improving the game by adding new features, more maps, and a Paladin class for testers to try.
Aeria Games has laid off around a number of staff following the planned merger with fellow games company Gamigo, Gamasutra is reporting. According to the site’s source, 106 employees were let go and several projects have been shut down as a result of the June merger.
There’s no word which projects have been affected by this, but suffice it to say that Aeria has many current and upcoming titles under its belt, including Twin Saga, Bless Online, Echo of Soul, and Aura Kingdom.
It’s become tradition to fare well the MMOs that sunsetted in the preceding year, but that wasn’t always the case. At the beginning of 2015, in saying goodbye to 2014’s sunsetted games, I tried to put that into perspective.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard’s early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we’d seen only three “major” MMOs sunset (Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron’s Call 2), and only one MMO, Anarchy Online, had “gone F2P,” though we hadn’t yet thought to call it yet because it was such a rare and new thing. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008’s first big wave of AAA, post-World of Warcraft MMOs launched and mostly flopped that MMORPG players gave much thought to the future of the genre and how WoW had reshaped (and possibly broken) it. Maybe not even then.
In 2016 and in 2015, sunsets are increasingly common, a result of market oversaturation, business model struggles, and changing gamer tastes and investment options. Let’s revisit the games we lost in 2015 and consider what their sunsets portend for the year ahead.
Any way you look at it, Echo of Soul
is taking a beating lately. Following the announcement earlier this month that the game will be closing in Korea
, publisher ChangYou
released a statement saying that Echo of Soul’s
Chinese server will be sunsetting
on November 17th.
Aeria Games told Massively OP last week that it remains committed to supporting Echo of Soul in North America and Europe.
“Aeria Games is committed to the enthusiastic North American and European players of Echo of Soul. While Echo of Soul will be discontinued in Korea by the Korean publisher of the game, this does not affect the future of Echo of Soul in Europe and North America. Developer Nvius will continue to create fantastic new content for Echo of Soul and Aeria will keep delivering a great game experience to all players. We’re currently ramping up towards the release of some long-anticipated content, which we will be excited to announce within the next few weeks.”
The MMO is currently available via Steam in the west and is in open beta with no plans to wipe once it transitions to launch.
announced yesterday that it will sunset
MMORPG Echo of Soul
in its native Korea.
Hangame thanked players for their loyalty since the game’s launch almost exactly two years ago and said that it struggled to provide “satisfactory content” for the game. MMO Culture notes that earlier this year, Hangame announced a focus on mobile publishing over MMO publishing.
The game’s final event will take place October 22nd.
There are always those gamers who like to have all of their titles in a neat and tidy Steam
library and will patiently wait until a game makes the jump to Valve’s
digital distribution platform to play it. If this is you, then Echo of Soul
would like to kindly request a place in your line-up — and your heart.
Yesterday, Echo of Soul officially went live on Steam. To celebrate the launch, Aeria Games is gifting all players who pick this up between now and Wednesday night with a free 24-hour Levina’s Blessing item.
Echo of Soul is currently in open beta and has no further wipes planned.
We don’t usually list expansions in our little master list, but Guild Wars 2 has started doing some testing of its first expansion. In very, very small doses. Another dose of the Stronghold beta is also due for the game in the not-too-distant future, hopefully ameliorating the current lack of information about when the expansion will actually launch.
Other beta news? Oh, fine, I guess we can.
And of course we have that lovely list of games in testing past the break. Did something slip into open testing or soft launch without us finding out? Let us know down in the comments.
Echo of Soul
is in open beta as of today, so if you want to jump in and play right this moment
, you can. Assuming that you’re at a computer that can run the game and such, of course; if you’re reading this at work, you probably can’t just download the game and play while working. That’s not the point.
As with many free-to-play open betas, there will be no further wipes at this point, so it’s not out of the question to think of this as a de facto launch. We’d encourage it, even. There’s a trailer past the break if you’re interested and want a clearer picture.
Don’t worry, PvP people — Echo of Soul
isn’t going to leave you high and dry. The now-in-closed-beta Korean MMO has released a new video highlighting its violent interpersonal conflict resolution, claiming that players could spend almost all of their game time in PvP if so desired.
Echo of Soul has several PvP modes, including battlegrounds, arenas, guild wars, and one-on-one duels. The video takes you through the Tribulation’s Vale battleground and how combat will take place on the multi-lane field. There’s also discussion how PvP will net guilds crafting resources for the good of all. You can watch it after the break!
Free-to-play Korean action-MMO Echo of Soul
lands in North American closed beta today. If you’re eager to play, then you might just get a chance today, as publisher Aeria Games
has granted Massively Overpowered 10 closed beta keys and “dungeon legend” founder packs to give away to you.
The first 10 folks to clicky the key distro button below will score a key. Read on for a key and full instructions, and good luck!
So Echo of Soul
is an upcoming free-to-play title. You probably already knew that it was going to feature founder packs which include instant access to the beta, because of course
it would. But did you think it would feature a variety of different styles of founder’s pack
based on what you want out of the packs? Quite possibly not!
While there are several games that offer tiered founder’s packs, aside from the base “starter pack” pegged at $20 each of the different Echo of Soul packs offers different items not found in the other packs at the unified $50 price point. It’s up to you whether you consider this a nice opportunity to only buy the features that you want for $50 or a cynical cash grab forcing you to drop $150 for all three if you want all the items. Heck, it could even be both.
[Source: Echo of Soul Founder’s Packs
; thanks to Dystopiq and Kyle for the tip!]