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.
Rumors are flying this morning that Aeria Games has been dismissed as the western Bless Online publisher. MMORPG.com reports that it received “fairly substantial information” from an anonymous source to that effect. “Gamigo representatives were in Korea last week where the agreement was cancelled due to quality confirmed,” writes the blog. “This has also apparently been confirmed via internal communication with employees coming from the Vice President of Product Sascha Zehe.”
This is not the first time we’ve encountered rumors about the state of Bless’ import. Back in December, the game’s official teaser site vanished abruptly, causing a panic that the game had been canceled. Aeria, however, said it was just a data center migration. Still, we haven’t seen much public progress on 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 Russian and Japanese branches.
We’ve reached out to Aeria and Gamigo for a statement and will update when we know more.
Over the past couple of months, the MMORPG community has worked its way through massive leaks of top-secret info: first for Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind, then for The Secret World’s morph into Secret World Legends, and most recently for Guild Wars 2’s upcoming expansion. The latter two events in particular provoked long discussions among our staff and commenters about when and whether to cover leaks that are already in the wild and how to approach news we’ve never agreed to withhold. And with The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, at least, the studios’ excessive secrecy and elitist invitation-only testing helped propel a masochistic community desire to see leaks manifest, leading to a perfect storm.
And now it’s ruined for everybody… or at least for people who couldn’t resist clicking past the spoiler warnings. I’m bummed that we’re going to miss out on the fun of unwrapping all those presents one at a time, in Guild Wars 2’s case anyway – it’s more fun and better hits to get to roll out a little at a time. But I’m also hopeful the studios might take alpha tester NDA betrayal as a sign to be more communicative and transparent too and not keep everyone in the dark as long as has gone on here. (Or maybe even just stick to paid testers from the start and give no regular player any temptations.)
How do you feel about MMORPG leaks personally — do you seek them out and click on them, or do you stay away?
Let’s rip off this band-aid quickly: There will be no SWTOR
Update 5.2 today. BioWare
announced on the forums that it is delaying the patch
, which contains the MMO’s first new raid in two years, to next week. In the meantime, SWTOR will be extending its XP/CXP event
through the 18th as compensation.
The studio said that the delay was due to a quality issue with the update: “At this point in time, we are not satisfied with the quality of the Iokath update. For that reason, we are delaying the release of 5.2 by one week, to release on April 18th. This allows the team more time to make improvements to address some of the issues still pending.”
And as one Old Republic game sees a delay, another might be forthcoming. Scuttlebutt this week is that BioWare Edmonton is working on a Knights of the Old Republic game. The rumor’s source said that it is unclear whether this is a remake of the original, a revival of the franchise, or something else entirely, but that BioWare is currently working on Star Wars games exclusively.
Funcom has issued a statement about the leaks; we’ve included it in its entirety at the end of this post.
For those assuming that Secret World Legends will be only slightly different from the existing MMO, it may be best to rip off that band-aid early to get used to the truth. While the game is currently under NDA in closed beta, that doesn’t stop information from leaking out that appears to show a vastly changed title in the making.
On the new Secret Worlds Legends subreddit, a beta tester has unloaded a ton of information and screenshots that mostly center on the action-RPG’s combat system. With the understanding that this is beta and all may be changed, the tester claims to shows how the different combat weapons have been streamlined and modified (for example, shotguns now have different types of shells that perform various tasks and assault rifles have grenades). The tester notes that most classes should self-heal now as in most other MMOs. Players will use a reticle system for combat and will need to worry about overheating at least some of their weapons.
So what if there’s a new Destiny 2 trailer on the way with an official announcement later today? That’s later today. You want to know all of this now. A Reddit thread with more information on the title has been deleted, but the rumors have already gotten out elsewhere that the game’s story will involve more hopping around the Solar System, searching for more power as the Guardians run out of their limited reserves following the fall of the Last City.
The leak also offers supposed box art for a PC release and details on the collector’s edition, which includes the first two pieces of DLC, cosmetic in-game items, a bag and a custom charger, and a premium box. Whether or not all of this is true remains to be seen, obviously; it could be completely untrue, but it all sounds plausible enough. We’ll just have to speculate for… an hour or two, at least.
; thanks to Marnick for the tip!
What’s going on with Lost Ark anyway? It’s been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.
We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. “Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July,” he posted.
If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe — if ever at all. Still, it’s something, so cling to hope!
The next Overwatch hero is a quadraped Omnic named Anchora, and she appears to be a tank. This isn’t a new announcement, though; it’s from a leak that’s months old. The question is whether or not it’s accurate, and at the time of the leak, it certainly didn’t seem accurate. Then again, at the time of the leak we also didn’t have an interview with a robotics prodigy talking about her next project, so that certainly changes the evaluation.
The leak successfully forecasted the Lunar New Year event and the accompanying Mei skin, as well as going into more detail on Mei’s origin story. It is, of course, a leak rather than an official announcement, so it could prove to be completely incorrect. But if the next hero really is scuttling around on all fours, perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised after all.
releases in June, Final Fantasy XIV
fans are going to be able to play Red Mage and… at least one
other job. The other job is a secret to speculate about until the final Fan Festival in February. Unless, of course, you look at the datamining that’s been taking place for patch 3.5’s files
, which suggest that the next job is abbreviated SAM… which would mean that Samurai is on deck for our next big reveal. It’s still technically speculation, and there are no mechanical details, but it’s on the right side of plausibility.
The development team has also released a lengthy video showing off what you can find in the collector’s edition for Stormblood and what the pricing will be for both the physical and digital editions, which is useful for pre-orders starting on January 24th. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video (it is more than an hour long), you can catch up with a quick set of slides capturing the relevant data.
So NCsoft is working on another MMORPG. This in and of itself isn’t terribly surprising, since this is how the company makes money. You might not even think it’s all that noteworthy, since thus far absolutely nothing has been announced about it. All that’s known is the name: Project A2.
Except that that name actually implies something, because NCsoft has a specific way of naming its projects: They’re usually named for the first letter of the upcoming title. But “Project A2” implies that it’s not a new project, but a sequel… say, an Aion sequel?
Of course, nothing is written in stone yet; it’s all speculation based on a name and might turn out to be something else altogether. But that “A2” sure is suspicious, and if you’re hoping for another go at Aion, there’s something to hang speculation about a sequel upon now.
Remember Moonlight Blade? It’s all right if you don’t, we won’t judge you. After all, the game isn’t out over here and has no announced plans to be released over here. Unless, of course, it does; a recent video from the game includes the promise of English servers, which was later clarified to include servers for the US and points related.
Before you get too excited, it’s worth noting that this is still a rumor sourced by fan translation of the video, starting with the video uploader (YouTube user MMOJackX57) and followed up by several fans. There has been no official press release announcing publishers or any detailed information about what to expect. But if the translation is reliable and accurate… well, you’ll have another game on your list of things to keep track of. And if you’re already a fan of the game’s wuxia stylings, so much the better.
We deal with a lot of rumors here, and while we generally filter out the entirely implausible ones, usually there are a lot of rumors that might be true until it turns out they’re completely true or utterly false. This time, however, the Bless Online rumor mill has produced a rumor that turns out to be nothing at all.
Over the weekend, the teaser site for Bless Online being published by Aeria went down unexpectedly, with no official word as to why. That prompted players to panic and spread rumors that the title had been quietly dropped off of the schedule. However, other fans on Reddit were skeptical of the rumor, and with good reason.
We reached out to the studios involved ourselves; here’s what a representative for Aeria told us:
“This maintenance is due to a migration to a new data center for all our services from game to portal, so there is no need to be worried. It’ll improve the experience of the players. However, we are still working on it and the website will be back online soon! On the side, we are working closely with Neowiz on the gameplay improvement aimed for the North American and European version!”
The Starbucks leak is at least partially true: Niantic has confirmed that Pokemon Go has teamed up with the coffee company. Starting at 2 p.m. EST today, 7800 participating locations will become PokeStops and/or gyms, so you can get your coffee and screw around on your phone in a totally new way. One Reddit user has noted that the promised promotional drink is super sweet, but we’ve yet to hear anything about new Pokemon and their relationship with Starbucks. We have, however, heard some more news.
Sprint is also getting in on the Niantic team ups. Like Starbucks, participating Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Radio Shack shops are also PokeStops and gyms. While there was no mention of promotional drinks for these businesses, they are offering charging stations at least.
As some players have already noticed, the new update allows for some small quality of life improvements, from seeing the type of Pokemon you’re fighting in gyms to sending multiple Pokemon to the professor for candy.