Dang, Astellia Online is sunsetting in its native South Korea

    
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Dang, Astellia Online is sunsetting in its native South Korea

Well, this is not a good sign: Nexon announced last night that it’s closing Astellia Online in its native South Korea. If you’ll forgive the Google translation of what appears to be an in-character sunset announcement from the dev team:

“After careful consideration, I made a tough decision to end the service. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the Masters who have been with me. We will not forget all the moments we have together and keep it deep in our hearts.”

It sounds as if the game’s last day online will be January 16th, 2020, with the store putting a stop to purchases and the game offering some special bonuses for continuing players as of today. Nexon seems to be planning to offer limited refunds too.

MMO players will recall that Nexon was the publisher of the game in South Korea; Barunson EA, the original developer, is self-publishing the game here in the west and has been deviating quite a bit from the Korean version in doing so. It wouldn’t be impossible for Barunson to pick up publishing overseas again either, as we’ve seen from other studios whose titles have been dropped by Nexon specifically this year in the wake of Nexon’s own internal reorganization and failed corporate sale.

Barunson hasn’t released a statement confirming that the game will continue on its roadmap as planned here in the west, where it’s been live for only a few short months, but given that players are begging for one on the official forums and calling the game “Bless 2.0” on Reddit, we suspect one’ll be along shortly, and we’ll update when we have it.

Source: Nexon via Reddit. Thanks, Slim!

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Suikoden

Oh boy… I’ve seen this somewhere before.

Yangers
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Yangers

Bless Online 2.0

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vgees

I’m really hoping that this is not going to turn out to be another cash grab situation, but it does make one think. Run for the hills from exports of games that apparently were not healthy in their home territories.

While I think Astellia has some interesting features, what I keep hearing is that people just weren’t grabbed by it in any way that could lead to long term success. More than other kinds of games, MMORPGs need that hook for players to think it is worth their time and money for more than a month or two.

Compelling worlds and stories appear to be essential for success in any region of the globe. So if it wasn’t compelling for South Koreans, then people in the Americas or Europe probably won’t be compelled either.

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Eamil

There have been a LOT of Korean MMOs releasing and then shutting down in less than a year. Something needs to change about how they develop games.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

For Nexon this seems to be standard business practice if the game isn’t a huge hit right away (especially if they’re just the publisher and didn’t develop the game). Their mobile branch does this quite often, and a number of games they instantly gave up on are now self-published by the Developers.

Note to game developers: Don’t license your games to Nexon. A number of years ago it may have seemed like a good idea to have big giant Nexon publishing your game. These days they’ll drop you if you’re not an immediate huge hit, even if it’s their own fault for lack of marketing and promotion and the way they handle things in general.

Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired as well. While I’ve got the occasional person doing a nice job for them, overall they’re one of the worst I’ve had to deal with.

Most companies will do a good job at least helping their spenders out with issues. Sadly I can’t say the same for Nexon. And if they won’t even do a good job helping the people spending hundreds plus, I can’t imagine the job they do for the free players when they need help.

Like other companies they may kiss the butt of people spending thousands though, I’m not sure there. That’s usually the case. I’m only a “medium” spender and not a whale (and trying to transition to a minimal spender but having a hard time doing so).

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Pino Cecchino

Dang, what a surprise.. I got bored after playing it in about 30min in beta.. is one of those flat korean themeparks without pathos..personality (even with that pet system)

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Crowe

Same. I tried to convince myself to give it another try but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth my time. I figured I’d read the post-launch reviews and see if there was anything major that had changed that would prompt me to go back for a second look but… nope!

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Toy Clown

I admit I don’t dig too deeply into how MMOs are doing, but this is surprising as I figured this one did well NA-side, even considering it didn’t have a lot of innovation to it. It’s on my list to try if I get into a gaming slump.

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Kayweg

That the same Astellia Online that only just released less than 3 month ago ?
How long has it been running in South Korea then ?

Dantos
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Dantos

Couldnt find anything concrete, but it looks like it launched in December 2018 there, so about a year.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’ve never tried this one, but seeing all these MMOs shutting down is depressing all the same.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

This probably tells more about Nexon, continuing its collapse into a black hole of gaming, than about Astellia.

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Randomessa

I know there’s going to be lots of rejoicing or shocked pikachu reactions here, but all I keep thinking is that when we lose MMOs that the community have decided are “bad” or “deserve it,” it doesn’t actually send a message to people with the money to back or create a “good” (however that’s defined) MMO to stick their necks out. I sure hope those pipe dreams still in development that will definitely, definitely release are everything everyone’s ever wanted.