‘Blade and Soul: Revolution’, ‘Fellow: Eternal Clash’, ‘Durango: Wild Land’ and Loads More MMORPG’s Hitting Mobile in 2018

Trends come and go on the App Store, this has always been the case. Some trends have been more enjoyable than others, as they ebb and flow with whatever big title is topping the charts at the time. But it seems a new trend is cooking in 2018: MMORPGs, with the charge being led by South Korea’s biggest names in a big way.

Starting with Netmarble which launched Lineage II: Revolution [Free] in November 2017 in the West, but showing no signs of slowing down, Netmarble now has Blade and Soul: Revolution set to release sometime in 2018 in Korea, as well as Tera M, Icarus M, and Seven Knights II. GoBoogie Games has announced Fellow: Eternal Clash for a western release. Nexon has already launched Durango: Wild Land and Yulgang M in Korea on January 25th with a western release planned for both. Kakao Games has announced Blade II: The Return of Evil, a highly anticipated sequel to the very successful Blade. Perhaps a bit of a dark-horse, Mad World from Jandisoft promises to be the first HTML5 cross-platform MMORPG, which we wrote about last summer.

Gamevil has Royal Blood, set to be the first Korean “global one-build” MMORPG, already available in South Korea with other locale launches planned for March. NCSoft is planning to introduce Aion: Legions of War, a new mobile RPG based on its online RPG Aion, in North America and Europe. Com2us is even turning Summoner’s War [Free] into an MMORPG soon, though few details outside of a trailer are available. Last but certainly not least, Pearl Abyss has Black Desert M, a mobile port of the PC MMORPG Black Desert, with already over 2 million pre-registered players which investment analysts predict will bring in $ 565,000 in daily revenue.

That’s 11 juggernaut mobile MMOs just from South Korea alone. While many of these will see a release in North America, it seems likely some of these just won’t make the cut for the west, as the competition is looking to be fierce. Even if half of these titles launch, that’s still more high-profile MMORPG launches than iOS has seen in any year previous, and that’s just from South Korea.

It’s also probably no coincidence that South Korea just had their first Apple Store open on January 27th 2018, right in Samsung’s backyard, which will undoubtably ignite a turf war between the two tech giants. And with Apple gaining in market share, not only on the hardware side, but now also gaining quite a bit of the South Korean games catalog, we’re in for quite a show from South Korea over the course of this year.

Outside of Korea, the competition is far less fierce, but no less quiet. Jagex is at last bringing the browser based MMO Runescape 3 and Old School Runescape, affectionately known as 2007scape, to mobile in 2018. Maple Story M, available for a short Beta on Android last month is also planning a 2018 iOS launch. Villagers and Heroes, already available for Android is also coming to iOS on February 26th Not to be left out, Albion Online by Sandbox Interactive is already in Beta and looking better by the day.

What appeal all these MMOs will have in the west remains to be seen. The traditional MMORPG hasn’t seen the same World of Warcraft level success in recent years, though there are still plenty of popular PC MMORPGs going strong. If the Korean MMORPG craze catches on here in North America, we’re set to see a whole new era of mobile gaming. Not only do these games promise compelling new styles of gameplay but many of them are built in Unreal Engine 4 and look fantastic, and with devices getting more powerful at a rate that is increasing exponentially every year, it seems all the necessary ingredients are present for an all-out, graphics intensive, battery-draining, memory eating, multi-continent, online slugfest from some of the biggest names in mobile gaming.

As an MMO fan, I couldn’t be more excited. Keep an eye out for updates on all these titles in the coming weeks and months right here on TouchArcade.


‘Durango: Wild Land’ is a Really Cool Korean MMORPG with Dinosaurs, Hopefully Coming to the US Soon

Nexon recently launched their new dinosaur themed MMORPG Durango: Wild Land in Korea on January 25th. The game drew in 2.5 million pre-registrations before launch and seems to be poised to introduce a completely new paradigm in mobile gaming. So often we see mobile games getting the reputation of being a “dumbed down” experience from what’s available either on consoles or PC. And while this is true in some contexts, that doesn’t mean mobile hasn’t seen it’s fair share of unique and immensely enjoyable experiences in it’s own right. 

Nexon, however, doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the status-quo. At a pre-release event held at the Four Seasons in Seoul, South Korea, Nexon vice-president Sang Won Jung was optimistic about Durango, stating, “As the game possesses a unique system that is like no other in today’s Korean mobile games, we put much effort with patience. That’s why the beta was that long. However, after years of development and beta processing, we were able to study players’ behavior patterns, and eventually complete the game.”

This in reference to the beta test that began back in July 2017 and was initially supposed to close in October 2017 but was instead extended all the way to January 18, 2018. Durango seems to pull inspiration from so many brilliant RPGs of past and recent years. There’s a serious Diablo vibe to the aesthetics of Durango, as well as something that makes me long for the days I spent playing Ultima Online, but Durango completely sheds the fantasy themes of traditional MMOs and instead goes for a gritty, prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs.

Players will be dropped into a world devoid modern technology, and be forced to rebuild society. There are no dungeons, no raids, only endless islands to explore and claim. You can find an island, claim it, build a house, meet other players and cultivate skills to survive. Players can then decide to form tribes with other players for protection from other tribes or the dangerous world beyond.

The core idea in Durango: Wild Land is about discovery and building a society from nothing. And the society that’s possible to build happens to look absolutely bananas. There are many jobs and classes to pick from like any traditional MMORPG but Durango let’s you switch between them, allowing complete and total freedom to play the game any way you see fit.

The level of discovery and flexibility in Durango also seems to have Nexon quite optimistic about it’s life-span, as they have stated plans to service Durango: Wild Land for a minimum of 10 years. That’s a lot of society building, and one gigantic sandbox to do it in, which took Nexon 5 and half years to complete. Nexon has also stated plans to have the game exist in one massive server, though initially it will be separated by region for fairness. Eventually those individual servers will merge into one gigantic world where players from all regions can interact and rebuild society as they see fit.

Plans to monetize the game have also been outlined and Nexon has repeatedly said that IAP will be directed toward decorative items and not around things that will give players a competitive edge, “The top priority is to make the game last long rather than rake in a lot of revenue. The model is focused on providing convenience, reducing wait time, and costumes. We want players to purchase emotional satisfaction instead of character performance in the game.” as stated by Eun Seok Lee, director of What! Studio, who developed the game.

The sheer scope of Durango seems absolutely massive, with players being able to merge items to create new materials in order to build items, everything from tables to entire villages. There are tribes to join, where players can forge alliances against other tribes, suggesting at least some focus on PvP elements. Solo play is also just as much of an option, with the system aiding players so that there is no reliance on other players, so you can be as anti-social as you want, while still enjoying the massive world.

Ultimately it seems survival and creation is at the heart of Durango, with dinosaurs always a constant threat in the sandbox world. Durango promises to push the boundaries of exploration and player-interaction further than anything previously seen in a mobile MMORPG, with Mr. Lee sharing a particularly amusing story from the beta, “There are many things you can create in the game. You can even draw on a signpost, and there was a player who drew faces of leaders from each country in the world on the signpost. Then, the Indonesian tribe conquered the Korean tribe and took this signpost as their loot. The Korean tribe was angered by this and waged war against them for the signpost. They were enjoying the content in a way that none of us could’ve imagined, just by making the signpost as their trophy.”

Durango is currently already live in Korea, and it seems a world-wide launch is drawing close, though Nexon has not been very clear with launch dates for North America. It was noted during the pre-launch event that players in North America took a more “easy-going” approach to game than players in other regions, so refining the policies, business model and other elements are still ongoing.

Whatever the case, Durango: Wild Lands will be like nothing previously seen on a mobile device and will push the boundaries of what the larger gaming audience has thought possible for the platform. With this, and other MMORPGs on the horizon, expectations are high for 2018 and a shift in the gaming paradigm is due. We will keep a close eye out for more news on Durango: Wild Land in the coming weeks as the game moves closer to a global launch.


Open World Dinosaur-Themed MMORPG ‘Durango’ Gets Another New Trailer for E3

We’ve been following the progress of Durango, the upcoming mobile MMORPG that takes place in a dinosaur-populated open-world, ever since its first announcement in the fall of 2015. In the year that followed news on Durango was sparse, but late last year developers Nexon and What! Studio ran a limited beta test and that early version of the game seemed to be quite positively received. After dropping a new teaser trailer last week in anticipation of E3, the developers have now launched a more fleshed-out trailer showing off Durango and the many things you can do in this wild game world.

Yes, you saw that correctly. A team of players did indeed bust out into a crazy electric guitar dance party. That’s a thing you can do in Durango! I’m not a big MMORPG guy, but I have to say that I’m really intrigued by Durango and the many possibilities for adventure that it promises. And beyond all the dinosaur fighting and/or taming, you can build up your settlement, farm and harvest resources, craft stuff, and of course go fishing, which is an activity that should be in every video game without exception. It’s been a long time coming but it feels like Durango is finally getting close to completion, but unfortunately we’re still stuck with the nebulous “coming soon” release window.


E3 2017: Nexon’s ‘Durango’ exiting long development, releases for iOS in tail-end of 2017

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Nexon’s survival title "Durango" has made an appearance at the 2017 E3, showing off a combination of isometric role-playing and survival in a creature-infested post-apocalyptic world.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

‘Durango’ Has a New Trailer Out, Game Apparently Coming “Soon”

Durango, the dinosaur-populated MMORPG, has been in development for around three years (including a short beta test), and it appears that it’s finally getting closer to release. Durango is a very ambitious game that offers players an open-world sandbox where they can do pretty much anything they want. They can cultivate and evolve the wilderness in order to survive, build whole villages to share with other players, join or even create clans for added security, engage in PvP or Clan Vs Clan battles, and all kinds of other activities. There’s also farming, cooking, trading, and a variety of other activities that should make living in the world of Durango entertaining.

The game is procedurally generated and has a massive world for players to explore. At least that’s what the developers are claiming; it remains to be seen whether that world is actually interesting enough to warrant exploration. The game is getting closer to release (although no date yet) and will be playable at E3 next week.