Today word got out that Korean games developer and publisher Hanbitsoft has acquired the rights to Flagship Studios’s new defunct MMO Hellgate: London in North America, Europe, and Japan. Apparently Hanbitsoft feels like there is some money to be made there because the company plans to re-release the game is those regions, as well as in China, Taiwan, and South East Asia later this year.
For those of you who don’t remember (or chose to forget) Hellgate: London was an MMO made by a team of Blizzard Entertainment veterans who parted ways with the gaming giant in hopes of founding their own studio, Flagship. When Hellgate launched the game was plagued with bugs and billing issues, causing many gamers to cancel their subscriptions.
Eventually Flagship was forced to close its doors in 2008. Publisher Namcao Bandai then kept the game afloat by hosting the game’s servers in North America and Europe until February 2009.
This is where HanbitSoft comes in. The Korean developer had obtained Flagship’s Hellgate property and continued to develop for the MMO. Hellgate now exists in Korea as a free-to-play MMORPG. In fact HanbitSoft has added “online features and user convenience systems” to Hellgate, as well as a new series of upgrades and new content dubbed Hellgate: Resurrection. One of the new features that is being added into the Hellgate world this March is a new area called Hellgate: Tokyo, where gamers can explore a destroyed Japan.
According to HanbitSoft CEO Kee-Young Kim, “We would like to thank Namco Bandai Games America for allowing us to acquire the Hellgate publishing rights and are thrilled to have eager gamers worldwide return and enjoy the franchise. Hellgate: Resurrection is heading towards success in Korea such that we decided to push ahead with launching the game overseas next year. We will do our best to get the game to the fans as soon as possible.”
Do you guys think that an MMO like Hellgate, which has had its reputation tarnished by a poor launch, could ever become popular again? Personally I don’t this that it can. I’m sure HanbitSoft has made numerous additions and upgrades to Hellgate, but I just don’t think that gamers are willing to give it a second chance. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.