One of the Most Popular MORPGs in the World Is Coming to XBLA
Microsoft and Korean developer Nexon have struck a deal to bring one of the world's most popular multiplayer online role-playing games to Xbox Live Arcade. And by the world, I mean China, Japan, and Korea. The game is Dungeon Fighter Online, an online brawler/RPG that boasts over 200 million registered users and holds the record for concurrent worldwide users (more than 2.2 million).
Set to release later this year, the Xbox Live Arcade version is the first console effort by Nexon. Their wholly-owned subsidiary Neople, creators of Dungeon Fighter Online for PC, will be directing the project, which is a combined effort between Nexon, Softmax, and Microsoft. Softmax will presumably be bringing their console development chops into the mix, with Microsoft publishing and handling the localization efforts in several regions.
While it's not quite the MMO you may have been hoping for from Microsoft (I'm still a bit sore about True Fantasy Live Online), it's certainly one of the most unique games the publisher has ever put their power behind. Dungeon Fighter Online mixes 2D brawling with RPG elements, making it almost like a large-scale successor to Guardian Heroes. The PC version of the game sports some beautiful old school 2D artwork, as well.
While the game is slated for 2011, there currently isn't much info available beyond the basic release announcement. Considering you can try out the PC version for free right now, it's uncertain how the game will be handled on 360. Will the game remain free, or will it get lumped into the standard 800-1600 point cost of most XBLA games? While Nexon claims the game will maintain its MORPG roots, it's also unclear whether it will use some sort of server infrastructure or simply offer up the standard matchmaking we've come to expect from most 360 games. There are still many unanswered questions, but I have to give credit to Microsoft: They really surprised me with this one.