Last night, Amazon announced that it’s signed on to an exclusive publishing agreement in North America and Europe with Smilegate, specifically to publish a game from the Korean MMO developer next year. The game isn’t actually named; in fact, the only game specifically mentioned in the whole press release is Crossfire, which already has a western publisher.
Instead, it’s likely that Smilegate has tapped Amazon to run Lost Ark here instead. MMO players have been watching that game develop over the last six years and roll out to Korean players and then Russian players, the latter through My.Games. Let the speculation begin, but given all the other clues, we’d put money on this one, and it would certainly change the way MMO players perceive Amazon, which is working on MMOs of its own in addition to publishing them.
“Founded in 2002, Smilegate (parent company of Smilegate RPG) is the creator of CROSSFIRE, the world’s largest first-person online shooter game and one of the most played online games in the world, with over 670 million registered users and more than 8 million concurrent players globally. Smilegate is a leading developer of PC online and mobile games in a variety of genres, including FPS, MMORPG, action and sports games. Headquartered in Korea, Smilegate maintains regional offices in the US, China, Southeast Asia and Spain.”