Hey, remember back in 2014 when Smilegate first announced MMOARPG Lost Ark? It’s been a long time. As I’ve written before, I was positively smitten with the gorgeous next-gen Diablo clone (and its NCsoft counterpart, Lineage Eternal) way back then. But it’s been pretty much nothing but delays and testing and restarts and more delays and testing in the ensuing four years (for both titles).
However, MMO Culture reports that the promised “final closed beta” for Lost Ark is beginning this week in South Korea, having formally revealed new trailers for three of the classes. And one’s a Bard! A new dungeon and TCG minigame are also on deck, while treasure hunting and sailing were added last year.
It’s still not a sure thing that Lost Ark will ever come here. While the Chinese version will launch next year under Tencent, Smilegate doesn’t have the cachet here that it does overseas; it runs Crossfire in the west but recently abandoned SkySaga mid-development.
Ready to raid Smilegate’s Lost Ark? You’ll still have to be this Korean to ride the ride, but if you’re able and willing to handle the translation, you could find yourself checking out this action MMO this spring.
This is thanks to the fact that Lost Ark is preparing to accept applications for its final closed beta test in Korea. Once April 19th hits, interested parties can apply on the website for the Korean CBT. This build will include two additional classes, the Hawkeye and the Soul Master, as well as several new dungeons and a card battling minigame.
As one of our 20 MMOs to watch in 2018, Lost Ark has generated a lot of excitement over its visuals and fast gameplay. Last summer the title launched its second closed beta test in Korea that featured treasure hunting and sailing while busting out a brand-new website.
Things looked very bleak for SkySaga and its parent company Radiant Worlds last August when the upcoming multiplayer game shut down production following Smilegate’s decision to pull out as publisher and leave Radiant without funds to finish the game. However, hope for the studio blossomed following a statement today by UK media developer and publisher Rebellion, in which it was announced that the company had acquired Radiant Worlds for an undisclosed sum.
The publisher said that Radiant Worlds will now become a sister studio called Rebellion Warwick and “will immediately transition on to current projects including the 1930s co-op adventure Strange Brigade.”
Unfortunately, this acquisition did not include SkySaga, so don’t put too much stock in a resurrection. “As much as we loved working on SkySaga, the game belongs to Smilegate, so any future development plans would be from them, not us,” Radiant tweeted.
It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.
Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.
Farewell, old friends.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
SuperData announced this morning that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
continues to work its way up the revenue charts, now passing up even Crossfire
. We presume the tweet is a sneak-peek at the company’s September report, as it traditionally releases those a month behind.
The research firm’s August global revenue report put PUBG at #5 in terms of global PC revenue, having passed by the recombinated World of Warcraft (though we again note that games like Overwatch are listed on both the PC and console side, and it’s unclear whether that works against it).
Crossfire, you’ll recall, has been listed among the top four games for at least the last three years (here’s September 2016, 2015, and 2014 for reference – and it spent some of that time at #2), so this is quite a feat. That would put PUBG in fourth place in September, even though it’s still in early access.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.