smilegate

Publisher known in the west primarily for Skysaga and Lost Ark.

SkySaga locks down official site following development halt, posts ‘nothing can be said for certain’

Just in case you were wondering, it’s still a puddle of sadness and despair over at SkySaga. Following the online game’s abrupt development halt in August due to its publishing partner pulling out, fans have held on to a thin thread of hope that, somehow, the project would be revived.

It’s not looking exactly promising right now. The official site was recently locked down, cutting off access to the forums and other content. Only a reprise of the announcement is able to be read:

Smilegate apologises for any confusion caused due to recent events. The development of SkySaga has been put on hold for now. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the fans of SkySaga who have participated in the development of the game. As to the future of SkySaga, all we can say is that nothing can be said for certain at this moment. We will be sure to let all of our dedicated fans know as soon as there is any update on this front.
Source: SkySaga. Thanks Uli!

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Lost Ark releases a trailer for its second closed beta

We’re going to lead off with the bad news: Lost Ark is currently planning its release in South Korea and China in 2018 with no real word on a localized version for here just yet. So keep that in mind while you watch the eight-minute trailer below. If it all looks enticing and interesting to you, well, you don’t know when you’ll get to experience it in a language that you actually speak. So you may have to go your whole life without getting to play music with a group beautiful enough that it attracts a rampaging owlbear to sit down and listen happily.

Of course, having typed that line, you probably have to see what the heck is actually in this trailer. There’s a lot of more standard stuff in there, too, like sailing across the ocean, exploring ruins, and creeping through dangerous areas filled with monsters… but there’s also the aforementioned “singing and gathering woodland creatures” bit. So perhaps you out to just check it out to see everything being added to the game for its second closed beta test.

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Skysaga might not be completely down and out

Many players, including some of those here at Massively OP, were crushed to hear last month that the colorful MMO Skysaga had to shut down development due to its publisher pulling out of the deal. While the game wasn’t canceled outright, it certainly looked dire for the project, and developer Radiant Worlds said that it had to lay off a great deal of its staff.

But is there hope for the beleaguered title? While it is wise to be wary of false hope, there might be a glimmer of a path forward for Skysaga. Yesterday, the team posed a cryptic note to the game’s Facebook page, saying, “Please note that the beta pre-registration and few website functions will be temporarily disabled as we are working on some changes.” The official site also changed its beta registration banner to a note that stated, “Stay tuned for more updates!”

The community is understandably confused, anxious, and cautiously excited, begging the studio to come out and share more information. We’re going to keep our ear to the ground on this one and cross our fingers that Skysaga has found a way to continue development even after being dealt that critical financial blow.

Source: Facebook. Thanks Saryent!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 133: Gaming Gamescom

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Lost Ark gets a new website, opens second CBT signups

Korean-born MMORPG Lost Ark has just gotten a huge website revamp that hints at a development ramp-up. If you run the site through Google translate, it’s pretty usable even if you can’t read Korean; there are profiles for the four classes, a beautiful interactive map, and a run-down of basic features.

Smilegate has taken the relaunch to announce a second round of closed beta testing. Signups begin today and end September 8th, with the actual test slated to run September 15th through 24th.

Steparu notes that signups are aimed at Koreans, so you’ll probably need a Korean phone number to successfully register, but hey, this is the internet, so I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

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Lost Ark sails into closed beta 2 this Friday

Countdowns could mean many things. Missile launches. Christmas. New Year’s Day. Or in the case of Lost Ark, the start of its second closed beta test in Korea.

The official (Korean) site is currently sporting a countdown to this Friday, when Lost Ark’s CBT2 is set to begin. This time around, the beta is greatly expanding to include a focus on sailing, so there’s a whole lot of ocean, ship, and harbor imagery going on with the previews.

Smilegate said that the beta will also feature a new class, the opening of a brand-new continent, and more stories to experience. If you feel proficient in your Korean, you can attempt to sign up for a spot on the site!

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SkySaga shuts down production and goes on hold indefinitely

Very sad news today out of Radiant Worlds, which announced that Smilegate, its publishing partner, ordered that SkySaga’s development be shut down immediately and pulled support from the project. While the studio said that the game is only “on hold” and that Radiant is in a “strong financial position,” it doesn’t look good for the multiplayer title. It also sounds like there will be some serious layoffs at Radiant Worlds as a result.

Radiant Worlds is sad to announce that its work on PC-based creative sandbox and adventure game SkySaga: Infinite Isles will now cease, following the decision of its publishing partner Smilegate Entertainment to put the game on hold for an unknown period of time.

This has resulted in the failure to renew our recently expired contract, and as SkySaga is currently our only project, this has inevitably meant that we now have no ongoing source of income.

This unfortunately means that all positions at Radiant Worlds are now under threat and we expect to shortly enter a period of consultation with all staff, which is likely to lead to a large number of redundancies across the board, potentially affecting everyone.

The business has made every effort to negotiate an alternative outcome, but without success.

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Lost Ark’s Korean beta features boats, storms, and treasure hunting

When Lost Ark was first announced back in 2014 as basically the next generation of Diablo-clone in an MMO, I remember being straight-up grabby-hands about it. But Smilegate’s splashy isometric MMO, like its soulmate Lineage Eternal, has been delayed significantly, with a beta landing last year (a year behind schedule) and continuing even now. Fortunately, this summer we’ve had a trickle of news crossing the Pacific thanks to the translation efforts of Steparu, who today has another update.

And it’s got boats.

Steparu reports that the game has improved significantly since the first round of closed beta testing. The new screenies demo sailing content, islands, treasure chests (looks like they’re being hauled up from the depths of the sea from a boat crane), an ocean storm, marine life — it’s gorgeous. Even if you aren’t an isometric viewpoint fan, it’s worth a look.

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Lost Ark shows off new zones, including one that takes place on the body of a slumbering giant

After a long info drought on the anticipated action-MMO Lost Ark, we’re finally getting a deluge of lore and screenshots courtesy of Steparu. This week he graces us with another installment straight from the closed beta program going on over in Korea, so if you don’t mind some minor spoilers, you can wallow in all of the reveals.

Some of the locations featured in the beta include Rohendel, a floating zone that serves as the starting area for mages; the Eastern Regions, which are littered with ruins and have serious pagan problems; Totoike, an island that is actually a slumbering giant; Ardetain, a high-tech city in the desert; and Shushire, a land held in the grip of an eternal winter.

Steparu also looked at a few more of the oversized bosses that are brimming over with personality, as well as a smidge of the story. The second round of Korean closed beta testing includes the Destroyer, Summoner, and Arcana classes as well as a quest system overhaul.

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Lost Ark details changes coming with the game’s second closed beta test

It can be hard to be interested in a title that may eventually be ported over to North America but has a dearth of information available on a whole. Lost Ark is heading into its second closed beta, and the good news for fans watching the title from afar is that a whole bunch of translated information about the second closed beta is now available, courtesy of Steparu. Two of the existing classes (Warlord and Bard) are getting extensive reworks, with the former becoming far more tank-heavy and the latter adding more emphasis on support skills instead of straight DPS.

The second closed beta will also feature the Arcana, Destroyer, and Summoner classes. Arcana is all about drawing cards and unleashing semi-randomized effects, the Destroyer uses a big hammer to smash things, and the Summoner summons things to serve as either a DPS or a tank-style character. There’s more information to come, certainly; for now, you can just enjoy what we have so far in translation.

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Perfect Ten: Exploring MMORPGs from the far corners of the world

Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.

But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.

So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!

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SkySaga prepares to shut down alpha servers ahead of soft launch

Take a last long look at SkySaga’s alpha servers because they won’t be around much longer. In a good way! Smilegate announced today that the alpha will come to an end ahead of schedule on April 27th as the game is prepped for its “full beta release,” which will act as an open beta soft launch as it won’t be wiped from that point onward.

“We’ve always planned to turn off the lights for a spell before we hit Beta; when we’d done all we could while Alpha was still live,” says the studio. “But the dev team have done such an amazing job that we’ve hit that point a little earlier than we were expecting.”

It’s not clear when beta will launch. “There’s a lot to do so we don’t have a fixed date for this just yet, but we’ll let you know when you’ll be able to come back in and explore the Infinite Isles some more,” says the FAQ.

Source: Official forums, FAQ. Thanks to Saryent and mbbrazen!

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Jukebox Heroes: Your top six favorite MMO music themes

After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.

Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:

  • Glitch by Vexia: “”As proof this is the ‘main theme’ since the game is closed, my soundtrack CDs have some variations of the Groddle Forest music that are titled ‘Glitch Theme (Demo),’ ‘Glitch Theme (Rook’s Woods),’ etc.”
  • EVE Online: Empyrean Age by Alex: “EVE has, like, DOZENS of theme songs. They make a new one for each expansion. It should win on variety alone. Or be in a different category. If I had to choose one, it would probably be the Empyrean Age login theme.”
  • Phantasy Star Online by Totakeke: “Boom, nothing can beat PSO’s theme. Period.”
  • City of Villains by Colonel Zechs: “Who wouldn’t like this song?”
  • SkySaga by Socontrariwise: “Just so cheerful!”

Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!

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