G*: Nexon Reveals Xbox 360 MMO Mabinogi, Talks Maple Story DS
The recent Mabinogi announcement, which came on the first day of the major Gstar show attended by Gamasutra in South Korea, was relatively unexpected. The game is a more traditional, cel-shaded MMORPG with an interesting class system, allowing players to level up in branching paths with individual attributes.
The game has already been out in Korea, but will be coming to the Xbox 360 soon – Nexon hoped to launch it this year in Korea, but is not certain it will meet the target.
“It’s been under development for about a year,” said Kang, who added that it’s a rather straight conversion of the original game. “It’s being developed internally – but there’s not much more we can say at this time,” he concluded.
Other details, such as possibility of Western release, are scarce, but common sense and anecdotal evidence suggests that the game will be released as a packaged product such as Final Fantasy XI or Phantasy Star Universe, with aims for release outside of Korea, given the complete unfeasibility of releasing an Xbox 360 game solely for the Korean market.
Secondly - Maple Story DS, we now learn, is planned for a release by the middle of next year in Korea, with a subsequent eye to western markets.
“We’re aggressively developing it,” said Jamie Kang, general manager of Nexon Korea’s international business division. “It’s under development currently, and it’s in very good shape.”
The game will be a departure from the original series, which focused on a casual MMO-lite experience. “It’s not an MMORPG type game,” says Kang, “it’s actually typical action RPG. It’ll have different gameplay from the original version, more adapted to the platform itself.”
The DS version won’t focus as heavily on the community aspect – “We have some features that support wifi, but the main focus will be on single player,” he said.
Nexon also revealed that they are working jointly with developers in Nintendo’s Kyoto headquarters to make sure the game has the highest level of quality, stating that Nintendo has been “extremely helpful.”