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HanbitSoft claims it will continue Hellgate London as free-to-play game

The specter of Hellgate London continues to haunt us. The multiplayer-oriented action-RPG launched in October 2007 via Flagship Studios but the game was released it such a buggy state that few people wanted to buy it. In the summer of 2008 Flagship shut down its operations and the game's publisher Namco Bandai announced that the online servers would be shut down on after Jan. 31 (that's this Saturday, by the way).

But now Gamasutra reports that Korean based HanbitSoft will launch global servers to keep the game alive as a free-to-play game. Previously reports were that a new US based developer, Redbana USA, was working on new content for Hellgate London for HanbitSoft's Korean audience but that apparently has been expanded to include the entire world. HanbitSoft claims it bought the worldwide Hellgate London rights along with its source code and engine from the failed Flagship Studios. However, Namco Bandai has stated in the past it owns the Hellgate London publishing rights for North America and Europe. It remains to be seen if Namco Bandai will fight HanbitSoft if HanbitSoft allows US users to sign into their Hellgate London servers.

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