Blade & Soul’s Unreal Engine 4 upgrade is coming this year in spite of Frontier World’s cancelation

    
13
oh no

We’ve updated this article at the end with a big update  – the original story follows.

If you were excited about the Unreal Engine 4 upgrade in the works for Blade & Soul, we have some bad news for you. You might want to be sitting down. See, the UE4 client was being worked on while players in Korea were able to play it as part of the game’s Frontier World server… but as work progressed, it turns out that NCsoft feels the game’s upgraded version was failing to deliver a satisfactory experience. Thus, the Frontier World server is sunsetting on May 6th, 2021, with players receiving refunds for money spent on the game.

This appears to also be the end of efforts to fully upgrade the game to UE4 and the “Complete” client being retired. It makes a certain amount of sense, as the game’s revenue has been consistently falling from their high in 2016 when the game launched in the west; the most recent financial report has the game down to around the level it was at during its launch year. That having been said, it doesn’t seem to be anything like the end of the line for the game itself, as the publisher is already promising something big coming for the game in June. So it’s all smooth sailing, but fans looking forward to a better version of the graphical engine might have to abandon those hopes now.

For those curious, the game’s revenues by year:

2012 – 62B KRW
2013 – 68B KRW
2014 – 83B KRW
2015 – 114B KRW
2016 – 182B KRW
2017 – 161B KRW
2018 – 120B KRW
2019 – 84B KRW
2020 – 72B KRW

Source: MMO Culture
Update
It looks as if there’s some good news here: MMORPG.com obtained confirmation from NCsoft that Frontier World (that’s this UE4 server) is shutting down only in Korea and that the graphical overhaul is still being brought to the live servers both in Korea and the west. “Frontier World, which was released only in Korea on Feb. 26, 2020, is shuttering on May 6, 2021,” the company says. “Though Frontier World was an adaptation of Blade & Soul built on the Unreal Engine 4, the graphical upgrade arriving to the live version of Blade & Soul later this summer will have further enhanced visuals.”
Update
Now the studio has confirmed it publicly.

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Reginald Atkins

let’s file this one under “I’ll believe it when I see it…” cause I’m fully expecting them to just go full out mobile and leave any pc games to die on the vine.

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Francis Baud

If I’m correct 182B KRW, their peak yearly revenue, is equals to $162M, just to give an idea.

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Nemui Byakko

there is an update to the news: https://mmoculture.com/2021/03/blade-soul-ncsoft-announces-new-unreal-engine-4-upgrade-set-for-june-launch/
They will continue, and even on bigger scale :)

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Utakata

So they are planning on upgrading the existing game instead? That’s what I was reading into that.

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Utakata

/bleh

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Jetra_Virsai

“Why isn’t this making all the money? We should have been rolling in cash!”

> Every gaming company now that’s expecting an infinite growth.

I’m sure it would have done well in the West if they actually tried instead of giving up the first day it goes red. This is why I have so little faith or care for any new MMO coming out because stuff like this. Better to put funds into stuff that’s profitable than taking a risk.

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cannotweep

That’s a crying shame. I was hoping they’d pull through. But this isn’t actually that surprising since it’s known that porting games from one engine to another is a challenging and lengthy task for devs. It can always be done, but it’s rarely worth the effort.

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Dug From The Earth

Probably because B&S2 is right around the corner.

Why spend time and money on something old, when you can just release something new and make a bunch more money off of it.

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Dankey Kang

Out with the old, in with the new as they say

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Katzvariak

This is probably the right answer.
As there’s no point to compete with their own products.
BnSR is shit and ran by netease so p2w.

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Utakata

Yep, there’s supposed to be a PC version of this. So why upgrade for the old one when they can use UE4 for the new one? And start fresh.

…along as they run it through NCWest and not Nickle&DimeEase. >.<

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Gregory

The PC version of B&S2 is just the mobile crap that runs on NC’s android emulator called purple

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Utakata

Citation needed please. As it was my understanding that B&S2 would get a fully working PC version.