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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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