A German publisher that runs numerous games all over the world.
SoulWorker is technically in open beta on paper; it isn’t supposed to truly launch until later this quarter. It hit Steam at the end of February. It announced it was done wiping. It opened up the cash shop. And now, it’s got a subscription too – an optional one, mind you.
There are actually two different subscription plans, both 30-days, and they are stackable; the silver sub grants keycards, respawners, battle books, extra auction slots, and an additional 80 daily energy. The gold sub doubles most of those bonuses, adds a few more, and adds an additional 120 max energy. It’s also possible to buy subs and sell them in-game.
But it’s the energy perks that have beta testers particularly concerned about pay-to-win, as energy limits in-game activities in a way few MMORPGs can get away with. In SoulWorker, players start with 200 daily energy, so with the double sub, they can double that number. Gameforge says it’s still considering how to proceed.
We already know that SoulWorker Online will not be wiping characters before its full launch, and now we find that the game is going even further into a launch-like state by adding in its full cash shop now. Yes, you can hop in the game and drop money for real if you’d like. Some players are crying that the prices are exorbitant or unfair, so keep that in mind before you dream of spending four dollars to double your experience gains or something similar.
Players can also collect two free daily items from the game’s cash shop in response to the feedback regarding the energy/fatigue system; further player input is being collected and considered by the developers. That doesn’t mean much will change, but at least it might.
The latest episode of the game’s accompanying anime has also been released, letting players see a bit more of the story and lore behind the title. Of course, it’s not exactly a lengthy episode at three minutes, so you can watch the whole thing just below if you’d like.
There are certain expectations you have when a free-to-play game is in open beta with a full launch planned for later. For example, you kind of expect a character wipe. But not so with SoulWorker Online; the developers have confirmed via Twitter that no character wipe is incoming, so anything you do now will still be relevant when the game fully launches later. That does make the distinction between the current state and launch a bit fuzzier, though.
What’s not fuzzy is the game’s IP blocking, which apparently rolled out without warning for all players not located in North America or Europe. As MMO Culture reports, no confirmation or explanation of IP blocks or the lack thereof had been offered by publisher Gameforge prior to the blocks being rolled out, and the game’s Twitter and Steam landing pages still make no mention of them.
Here it comes! Korean cel-shaded action MMO SoulWorker Online – just SoulWorker now – is launching beta in the west today after its delay from last year. It’s an open beta, mind you, so you can actually play today as soon as it unlocks.
“Korean game studio Lion Games’ extraordinary free-to-play anime action MMO SoulWorker is finally coming to North America and Europe! […] Publisher Gameforge will host an Open Beta for SoulWorker in North America and Europe that starts today at 12pm EST / 9am PST. During the Open Beta Test, four characters will be available that players can use to experience SoulWorker’s story-rich PvE single-player mode or action-packed 4-player PvE co-op mode.”
The game is still slated for a formal launch later this quarter.
Back in November, MMO gamers were bummed to find out that Soulworker’s western rollout had been delayed into the first quarter of the new year. But the Smilegate/Gameforge machine is now finally cranking up: A tipster noticed that the game’s western forums (featuring English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish) have just launched.
“As ever, we’re hard at work on SoulWorker. We’re making great progress and we will soon be able to give you more information on the start of the open beta!” says the forum team. “The game is free-to-play and will also be available on Steam starting with the Open Beta. It will feature Korean voices (original voices) and text in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish. It is currently not planned to include Japanese voices. It is our goal to provide PvP content and new characters like Jin Seipatsu or Iris Yuma in the future, but at this point we unfortunately can’t confirm when exactly this content will be available.”
Server names for seven western servers have also been published – it looks like two of them will be in English, one for North America and one for the UK.
What is NosTale? Massively OP’s MJ aims to find out! She’s prying the doors open and sneaking in… oh, ok — so the anime game actually just launched on Steam, opening its doors to folks here in the western market. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. for a look inside this colorful action RPG world.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday,October 2nd, 2017
Last month, we mentioned in passing an ancient anime MMO by Korean studio Entwell called NosTale, which Germany’s Gameforge apparently resurrected a while back. As of today, NosTale is even more easily accessible on this side of the Atlantic, as the studio’s now launched it on Steam proper. Gameforge is touting the game’s three classes, 28 specs, “extensive” pet system, and six-act storyline.
“The world of exciting anime online role-playing game NosTale is threatened by a dark menace. As Swordsman, Archer or Mage, the player must protect the vibrant village of NosVille and face the approaching dangers. The impressive pet system allows players to capture wild monsters and animals and then tame them. Battling aside, you can retreat to your Miniland. Here you can build a warehouse and decorate the garden with trees, plants and shrubs.”
It’s free-to-play on Steam right now, with 20% off sales on companions, mounts, and costumes, plus double-drop and double-gold events running into next week for those who jump in now.
Runes of Magic fans, get ready: Server merges are on the way.
Gameforge says it’s merging all of its English, German, American and Polish servers later this month — not all into one server, but there will be fewer overall when it’s over. It looks as if half the servers are going away, with one left for the US, one left for English-speakers in Europe, one for Poland, and four for the German language players. The French and Spanish combo server will remain as it is.
“We’re currently getting everything ready for the change – there’s nothing which you need to do,” Gameforges assures players. “If you have logged in over the past few months, your account will be moved to the new server automatically when the time comes. Full details to follow!”
We last checked in with Runes of Magic last spring; in the interim, the MMO has been focused chiefly on events, including a crafting festival and fairytale festival.
Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Tonight we have four titles to highlight.
Remember NosTale? Yeah, we didn’t either, but it’s a super old anime MMO that Gameforge is resurrecting and plopping down on Steam, apparently at some point in September.
“Swordsmen, Archers and Mages – each class offers a unique flavour and the opportunity to create your own personalised character. Tame wild animals, train them and use them tactically in battle. Other players and partners can also join you on your adventures. Take some time out from adventuring in your very own Miniland, a place where you can build your own home, look after the garden and party with your friends.”
Cute! What else have we got here…
When you see the title SoulWorker, does your brain immediately re-translate it to “Social Worker” and picture an MMO wherein you spend your time helping low-income people advance in society? Probably not. That’s not what SoulWorker is about, as you will no doubt have the opportunity to find out when the game finally gets localized for a North American release. The official statement is that beta is on track for the end of 2017.
Players will take the helm of one of the game’s four playable characters, each with a distinct weapon – two-handed swords, scythes, guns, or apparently some form of violent guitar. You can then team up with four other people to smash the living heck out of things at your leisure. Check out the actual combat in the video just below, courtesy of Steparu. (The video below is just for Haru and her two-handed sword, but you can likely get a sense of the game just from that.)
We see a lot of odd press releases around here, many of them loaded with vague commentary on how well a game is doing or how big it is. This one from TERA’s
EU branch today is definitely up there with those that make you wonder whether you’re spying doublespeak or a funky translation that somehow lost the details.
“Gameforge and Bluehole, Publisher and Developer of TERA, proudly announce that players numbers of the MMO have risen massively since the game is available through the Steam platform as well as gameforge.com. Since the launch TERA has held a spot in the top 30 of F2P on Steam and received lots of positive user reviews.”
HEX Entertainment released a newsletter today announcing that its TCG HEX: Shards of Fate
will return to self-publishing. As publisher, Gameforge has been responsible for operational procedures such as community management, customer support, promotion, sales, and marketing; going forward those duties, along with all other live operations, will be handled directly by HEX Entertainment along with all development.
Both companies assure that this mutually reached agreement will have no impact on the game itself, and that migrating accounts will be as easy as two clicks when you log into HEX. HEX Entertainment also expressed its excitement over the “many new features [it has] in store for the game.”
German company Gameforge was recently hit with a round of layoffs as the company shifts its development efforts away from mobile. Yes, you read that right; it seems more common for a company to fixate on mobile games, but Gameforge is shifting to be more laser-focused on PC gaming. That means about 90 employees laid off according to a report on MediaBiz (which is in German, so you’ll need to translate it if you don’t already read German).
The shift was explained by CEO Andrew Rösner as being born out of increased opportunity in the PC free-to-play marketplace. By contrast, the mobile market is clogged with an ever-growing amount of competition, and Gameforge has thus far been relatively unsuccessful in the space; losing employees is unfortunate, but a necessity in a competitive and evolving marketplace. Gameforge serves as the publisher for several games, including TERA and HEX, as well as the European publisher for Aion. Our condolences to all those affected by the layoffs.