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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.

Source: Gamasutra.com

  1. avatar Winterwolf

    I’d be willing, just to see what’s changed. I mean, as long as its free-to-play, why not?

  2. I bought the collector’s edition of this game when it came out. I won’t get fooled again.

    I know it’s a new company working on the new content, but it’s still built on top of the original buggy mess. I don’t care if the candy bar is free and delicious; If it’s laying in a pile of turds I’m not going to eat it.

    I’m not bitter. :-/

  3. Just let this game fade away and die! It’s best for everyone! ;-)

  4. If they can really fix all the problems associated with the original release, they might have a chance. But, they’ll have to build up their rep by having the game succeed in other regions first. Or, at least, that’s what I’d do.

    • avatar Paula

      I played all this past wekneed on the HG:L test-server without a problem. I managed to get a Blademaster through the game without dying. 2.0 is finally getting the balance better, now erring on the side of too little challenge. Nevertheless, given no more than one or two more years of development, they should have a quality game ready for release. ;)

  5. avatar hidan

    i dont care what people think of this game.for me it was the best game ive ever played and ill gladly play it again!!!!REMEMBER THE DEAD FIGHT FOR THE LIVING

  6. avatar corky

    I love this game and can’t wait for hanbitsoft to release to NA in fall 2010 after the Japanese beta.

    • avatar Byambadorj

      That new thing looks very much like FATE which was fine for what it was, I guess, but it was just a rogue-like grind-fest. Diablo didn’t have much going for it in the way of story, but it at least had boss battles. If I rlecal correctly, FATE didn’t even really have those, just the occasionally tougher-than-average-monsters.

    • avatar Citlally

      It’s quantity vs qutliay. Portal is quite possibly the best four hours of gaming I’ve ever played, mostly due to the absolutely amazing script and voice acting. (The core gameplay is solid but by the time you finish the game you feel like you’re still only just beginning to explore what your portal gun is capable of.) For what it’s worth I squeezed another three hours out of it by immediately replaying it with developer commentary once I finished it.Hellgate on the other hand looks set to be an epic experience, but from what I’ve seen of the previews its excellence is far from assured. It could be the game of the year, and it could be an enormous flop.So basically are you looking to see the equivalent of a fantastic movie, which’ll go back on the shelf once you’ve watched it, or are you after something to suck up 100+ hours of your life?

  7. avatar Tyggs

    Flagship HAD solved most of the problems with the original release when Hanbit and Comercia stabbed them in the back. Follow what happened with it, and you’ll know these things. Hellgate had just recently had a hugely successful Asian release when Hanbit practically stole the IP from them. The patch on the test server would have been awesome, but Flagship was shafted before they could finish it.

  8. avatar Darth

    @Tyggs – agreed! the US version of patch 1.3 was very stable and improved multiplayer significantly. I think it was available for a year before the Namco shutdown.

  9. avatar ZMan

    I would be back fighting demons in a heartbeat. Heck, I’ve even fired up the single player several times just to play.
    HG:L was/is one of my favorite games of all time.

  10. avatar Hellgate fan

    I hope they get this up and running in NA again.

  11. avatar Hellgate was good

    I’m desperate to play this game again, seriously. It was supposed to be the new Diablo, and to those of us who bit, it was… if it would come back, I’d be stoked.

  12. avatar bring it back

    So what if it was plagued at the beginning, it was an mmo brand new in the making, style and speed of gameplay was like no other at the time of release. imo, i thought the first release was good, now imagine what it would be like, repaired and improved, its like a fiat next to a ferrari. cant wait for release

  13. avatar hgl wow ass kicker

    i was playing hgl from when it launced till it was shut down it was ass kickin butt stompin fun.Makes wow and most other mmo’s look like retarded space monkey’s, REMEMBER THE DEAD FIGHT FOR THE LIVING
    and soon we will again hellgate freak.

  14. avatar Luciy

    It was my 1st mmo game ever and I fell in Love…..sooo….sure as hell if there is a hell inside Hellgate I wil be there.xx cant wait for the naked runs guy’s

    • avatar Mithlesh

      Hellgate London is a computer game. A rellay bad one apparently, but I got it for 12$ in the special bin. Now I know why. I’m not too good at math homework, but I’m willing to give it a try if you send me your stuff. @Whall: Here we go: 1) If I use , translating anything in Klingon gives me this:Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error ’80004005 [MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Can’t connect to MySQL server on localhost’ (10061)/text.asp, line 82) Believe it or not, in my mind I have the perfect guest post for your Blog, and I can pack it full of eh’s no problem. Just say when. 3) Well, if you look at my reply to Sarah, you’ll see I’,m not that good at math, so how many pennies would that be? Oh and one more thing, I don’t do Paypal. Could I just put them in a box and send them to you?

  15. avatar Lloydster

    i can not wait, it was the best multifriendly game i have ever played . It was fun fun fun,i am still playing the singleplayer. Like they say REMEMBER THE DEAD FIGHT FOR THE LIVEING. It had lots of bugs , all games have bugs, it was still addicting Hellgate live again!!!

  16. avatar Rocky

    I for one and still hoping that it WILL come back to America, and I WILL buy it again if need be, and play it once again. I truly miss this game more than anything ever made before!!!!

  17. avatar SnapTrap

    Well thy said that thy will release Hgl in 2010 in Eur and NA hmm it is now 16December in Europ Denmark… And well not gonna happen and if you google hellgate london in all possible kinds of ways well the newest update is this one we got in Jan 2010 so almost 12 month with no update on anything… Well if thy release it up to D3 / Diablo3 thy have no chance and it is not just something that i think it is just how it will end.. anyhow thy dont got much more time…

  18. avatar vicegrip

    I’ve googled it all sorts of ways as well snap trap…no new news. does that mean it’s time to give up? I miss this game so much and apparently it’s playable in Korea. Just wish there was some new news, even if it were to be that the game will never be released in EU and US

  19. avatar vicegrip

    just want some closure on this thing haha

  20. avatar Yandor

    Fans of Hellgate can visit http://www.hellgateaus.net/ for ongoing additions to the SP game.
    They are slowly getting to the point where Stonegate items and maps might be included in the SP game.
    Still no MP though.
    For the living.

  21. avatar SnapTrap

    Vicegrip sorry i didnt respond faster. Anyhow HGL is not gonna come out in EU and US there is not enoth EU AND US ppl to suport the game so thy have desided not to release it… Closure!

  22. avatar Kr33p5h0w

    Japanese beta is now in the middle of testing hanbitsoft has already announced it WILL be coming to NA/EU this year but they are waiting on the current beta’s in Asia to close. keep up with the updates or just plain play the Japanese version if u really cant wait, its free to any and all. Btw no clue where this snaptrap person got his info but he is sadly mistaken. Long live hellgate.

  23. avatar ace

    do we have an eta on that? I really liked hgl

  24. avatar SnapTrap

    @Kr33p5h0w well actualy thy havent said anything positive about releases this yr but last yr = JAN 2010 thy said that HGL will B in NA/EU in 2010 but if i am not mistaken kr33p5h0w this is yr 2011 Do’H… No good news only that thy are testing stuff in asian and then thy say it will hit NA/EU but serios when D3 / Diablo3 is gonna get released in November this yr HGL will B lost and Broken just like before because ppl ofc want to play D3 than HGL… (( BTW November is just a good Call as blizzard loves to release there games in November / December )) back to HGL i dont realy think thy are gonna Release HGL in NA nor EU from information of my sauce HGL will open up the Asian Version to NA and EU ppl and stop exspanding there servers to NA and US = no servers is going to get set up in NA / EU but the game will B fully online from across the osean… Happy Hunting SnapTrap out ;)

  25. avatar Kr33p5h0w

    so since that giant amount of garbled “english” didn’t make much sense, I’d like to take some time to clarify.
    “Anyhow HGL is not gonna come out in EU and US there is not enoth EU AND US ppl to suport the game so thy have desided not to release it… Closure!”
    This is an assumed statement NOT a FACT. Games that are not being released do not go to beta in this many different countries, for the record beta is neither good, positive, or bad news, its beta aka time to debug before launch. Also this is a quote from the press release for any who didn’t get to read it yet.
    “Since October 2007, the sensational popularity of Hellgate: London has attracted many RPG gamers. When Flagship Studios closed its doors, the online portion of the game was suspended indefinitely in the relevant regions. Through this agreement, HanbitSoft now owns the worldwide publishing rights for the Hellgate franchise. HanbitSoft will roll out the launch of Hellgate overseas in 2010, starting with China, Taiwan, and South East Asia followed by North America, Europe, and Japan. ”

    Note that Hellgate is already rolling/ in final stages of beta in all the countries listed pretty much in order except that beta hit Japan before NA/EU. As i said previously, you can in fact download a working version of the Japanese beta and play TODAY if you so choose. Yes, it is 2011, congratulations for noticing. Funny fact, the company that owns your legendary D3 is more than infamous for taking…. O YEAH! MORE THAN 10YEARS to release sequels, with that said being 1 year off of press release is laughable. And if they “desided” not to release it why would they have spent the outrageous amount of money to re-purchase the intellectual rights to Hellgate, hmmm… it would seem companies make these kinds of purchases to MAKE MORE MONEY, and we all know thanks to Flagships terrible failure, making money is how these games get to stay around. Since in America especially, all you have to do is be successful on first release then just re-hash the same game OVER and OVER again maybe adding some shinier graphics for the kiddies to stare at. If you are true Hellgate fans and want an original game back on your PC, PLEASE take some time and e-mail Hanbitsoft. Telling a company there is a customer base helps them decide on things like server capacity, sku pricing and so on. Finally, yes i do agree, if it does not release in NA/EU then it will simply be available to us from overseas but alas, this still constitutes a RELEASE. Please do not be discouraged by trolls guys, if u really want this game back in the US then SUPPORT THE GAME YOU WANT, it is the only way it will ever have any success.

    P.S. the reason it is so hard to find any information on what Hanbitsoft is doing is because you are not on any form of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, or otherwise S.E.A. internet. Its quite frustrating but a necessary evil in this situation.

    • avatar Valquiria

      Law: So you’ve seen my vanishing blog trick? @SheilaCSR: I waetnd to, but my contact in Chicago had plans this weekend I asked! Damn that . @Becky: Who’s in need of burying? Just sayin’ And yes, we should definitely have an AC date.@Nat: Yup, it’s a game. Let’s just pretend I was practicing my cryptic power. @The Brother: Yay for Gravatar! Happy waxing!

  26. avatar Anonymous

    I can’t find my copy of the game anywhere, makes me a sad panda, loved this game. I always felt like the world was built around me and not around the ignorance of the mass populace. does anyone know where I could download the client of the game for at least singleplayer? or maybe the Japanese version that was mentioned by Kr33p5h0w above?

  27. avatar Kr33p5h0w

    closed beta begins june 3rd for US servers. BOOYAKA!!!! oh and long live Hellgate

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