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HanbitSoft Planning  Hellgate  Relaunch
HanbitSoft Planning Hellgate Relaunch
November 3, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

November 3, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

Korean publisher and developer HanbitSoft has officially announced that it owns the IPs for Flagship Studios' Hellgate: London and Mythos and is actively working on a Hellgate expansion, despite the scheduled termination of Hellgate's servers by operator Namco Bandai.

Hellgate generally suffered from perceived quality issues and struggled to maintain a sufficient fanbase to continue operating, leading to Flagship's essential closing in July 2008.

Namco Bandai, who co-published the game through an agreement with EA Partners, recently announced that it would shut down its Hellgate servers on January 31, 2009. Flagship also shut down its servers for MMORPG Mythos earlier in the year, suspending the title's development while it was in its private beta testing stage.

However, according to a HanbitSoft blog maintained by global PR manager Julie Ha, the Korean company acquired the IPs for both games, including their engines and source codes. HanbitSoft previously only managed Hellgate's operation in Korea.

Additionally, T3 Entertainment, which is also based in Korea and has a controlling stake in HanbitSoft, formed a new U.S. studio comprised of former Flagship and Blizzard employees to work on updating the two games. The studio is believed to be called Redbana U.S. Corporation and is based in San Francisco. "They will be carrying on where the last crew left off," says HanbitSoft's site.

A posted letter from a Hellgate product manager at Hanbitsoft says that the new studio is working on an expansion that will "surpass The Abyss Chronicles," a Hellgate content patch released earlier this year. It also notes that the update will be available online.

In addition, the IP acquisition, though previously disputed by Flagship staffers, appears to be confirmed in a separate post: “Hellgate: London is now HanbitSoft’s game, and we have already formed a team. They are doing hard work for updates and patches. [The] service in Asia, including Korea, is in good hands,” says HanbitSoft CEO Gi-Young Kim.

He continues, “I believe Mythos is a very attractive MMORPG, just gaining large fans from couple of beta tests. It has a lot of potential, and it will also be developed at [our] studio in San Francisco with Hellgate: London. Both titles will be presented soon with upgraded features.”

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Tom Newman
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Great news! Hellgate was vastly under rated and I feel poorly mis-marketed. The game shined in creature/weapon design and had a great combat engine. Not really an mmo, but a great multi player action game.

Evan Combs
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I know there are always a strong core fanbase for most games, but there is probably a reason why they were shutting down the servers. Unless that expansion can improve on the "fun" factor they should stay closed. I know I have never played the game, but it was obviously not fun for most people. Sometimes you just have to let a game die.

chris moore
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I hope hellgate somehow sees no life in the US...

To Evan Combs (2nd comment), I'd have to disagree with you. In principal, yeah you are right. But this game did not die because f "fun" factor. The basic gameplay is incredibly fun. It died because it was released FAR too early. As in 6 months to a year too early. If it could be polished up, it'd do fantastic. Well, I guess now that depends on how bad the stigma is that's now associated with the game ;). Also, ... Mythos was an Amazing game. It died because FSS died. It was in beta and (imo) far better than hellgate london.

Scott Muir
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Once the release date was locked in as Halloween, they wound up making too many sacrifices (quality & completion) to get HGL out on time. The subscription didn't offer much beyond the basics except for some expanded options and a little more content. In spite of its flaws though, it was a fun game and deserves a second chance.