The reason given is just that the Classic option was no longer financially viable, although players on Classic servers can expect nice welcome packages if they choose to hop to the Phoenix version of the game. No word on any cash shop closures or refunds, although those may simply transfer laterally. Our condolences go out to the players affected by this shutdown.
echo of soul
Echo of Soul
Studio: Aeria Games
Launch Date: May 4, 2015
Business Model: F2P
While the patch is slated for North America and Europe, Mr. Blue hasn’t given up trying to get Echo of Soul into other regions. The MMO developer attempted to reenter the Chinese and Korean markets after initially failing in those countries, and it has recently signed publishing deals to get Echo of Soul out in Turkey and the Middle East.
For those of you playing, you can get yourself a free seahorse mount in time for summer if you drop the devs a line on Facebook. Sounds efficient.
This isn’t the first time the Korean title has been imported to China, but the first attempt under publisher ChangYou was unsuccessful and closed down back in 2015. Still, it seems that the order of the day is to not let a little thing like failing to capture the market share the first time prevent companies from making a second attempt, so it’s time for another go. Remember, kids: If at first you don’t succeed, find a new publisher and try again in a year.
Last year was rough on Echo of Soul. The Korean fantasy MMO ended up closing down in both its native country and China in 2015, while the western version (published by Aeria Games) has been puttering along with mediocre reviews.
Could a small comeback be in the making? MMO Culture reports that Kakao Games has picked up the publishing rights to Echo of Soul in Korea. It is planning on conducting an open beta test in October, one year after the game was closed in the country.
The new operator isn’t merely planning to turn back on the server and call it a day. Kakao announced that it will be improving the game by adding new features, more maps, and a Paladin class for testers to try.
Aeria Games has laid off around a number of staff following the planned merger with fellow games company Gamigo, Gamasutra is reporting. According to the site’s source, 106 employees were let go and several projects have been shut down as a result of the June merger.
There’s no word which projects have been affected by this, but suffice it to say that Aeria has many current and upcoming titles under its belt, including Twin Saga, Bless Online, Echo of Soul, and Aura Kingdom.
It’s become tradition to fare well the MMOs that sunsetted in the preceding year, but that wasn’t always the case. At the beginning of 2015, in saying goodbye to 2014’s sunsetted games, I tried to put that into perspective.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard’s early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we’d seen only three “major” MMOs sunset (Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron’s Call 2), and only one MMO, Anarchy Online, had “gone F2P,” though we hadn’t yet thought to call it yet because it was such a rare and new thing. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008’s first big wave of AAA, post-World of Warcraft MMOs launched and mostly flopped that MMORPG players gave much thought to the future of the genre and how WoW had reshaped (and possibly broken) it. Maybe not even then.
In 2016 and in 2015, sunsets are increasingly common, a result of market oversaturation, business model struggles, and changing gamer tastes and investment options. Let’s revisit the games we lost in 2015 and consider what their sunsets portend for the year ahead.
“Aeria Games is committed to the enthusiastic North American and European players of Echo of Soul. While Echo of Soul will be discontinued in Korea by the Korean publisher of the game, this does not affect the future of Echo of Soul in Europe and North America. Developer Nvius will continue to create fantastic new content for Echo of Soul and Aeria will keep delivering a great game experience to all players. We’re currently ramping up towards the release of some long-anticipated content, which we will be excited to announce within the next few weeks.”
The MMO is currently available via Steam in the west and is in open beta with no plans to wipe once it transitions to launch.
Hangame thanked players for their loyalty since the game’s launch almost exactly two years ago and said that it struggled to provide “satisfactory content” for the game. MMO Culture notes that earlier this year, Hangame announced a focus on mobile publishing over MMO publishing.
The game’s final event will take place October 22nd.
Yesterday, Echo of Soul officially went live on Steam. To celebrate the launch, Aeria Games is gifting all players who pick this up between now and Wednesday night with a free 24-hour Levina’s Blessing item.
Echo of Soul is currently in open beta and has no further wipes planned.
We don’t usually list expansions in our little master list, but Guild Wars 2 has started doing some testing of its first expansion. In very, very small doses. Another dose of the Stronghold beta is also due for the game in the not-too-distant future, hopefully ameliorating the current lack of information about when the expansion will actually launch.
Other beta news? Oh, fine, I guess we can.
- Echo of Soul is in open beta with no further wipes! If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s a launch.
- Wondering about Skyforge‘s Pantheon Wars? Wonder no more, you can just read about them.
- Star Citizen answered some community questions amidst a bit of a leak problem.
- The next major update to Elite: Dangerous is adding a whole factional metagame to the mix, and players can sign up to test it now.
- The Battle Royale mode of H1Z1 got even more royale with the addition of bears. Also several other things, but mostly bears.
- Last but not least, it’s worth noting that Greed Monger has apparently… um… monged its last greed? The point is that the game is done.
And of course we have that lovely list of games in testing past the break. Did something slip into open testing or soft launch without us finding out? Let us know down in the comments.
As with many free-to-play open betas, there will be no further wipes at this point, so it’s not out of the question to think of this as a de facto launch. We’d encourage it, even. There’s a trailer past the break if you’re interested and want a clearer picture.
Echo of Soul has several PvP modes, including battlegrounds, arenas, guild wars, and one-on-one duels. The video takes you through the Tribulation’s Vale battleground and how combat will take place on the multi-lane field. There’s also discussion how PvP will net guilds crafting resources for the good of all. You can watch it after the break!
The first 10 folks to clicky the key distro button below will score a key. Read on for a key and full instructions, and good luck!