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Mythos launches in Europe; US players welcome

Yet another MMO game that once was lost has now been found. Today marks the official public launch of Mythos Europe. The free-to-play fantasy MMO game started life at Flagship Studios but that studio's closure in 2009 caused the game, still in beta, to be shut down. Korea-based Hanbitsoft bought the rights to Mythos and together with partner Frogster helped bring the game back to life.

Apparently, folks in the US can download and play the game from its European servers. That's good news for US Mythos fans as we are still waiting for our own version of the game. The US Mythos web site hasn't been updated since July 2010 and there's no word on when, or even if, a beta test will begin, much less the game's official launch.

Mythos launching in Europe in April; still no word on US release

The long saga of the free-to-play fantasy MMO Mythos continues to be a fairly melodramatic one. Originally developed by Flagship Studios, the game shut down along with Flagship back in 2008 while it was still in beta (most of the creators of the original Mythos went on to form Runic Games where they made the terrific action-RPG Torchlight).

In December 2009, Korean-based Habitsoft announced plans to relaunch Mythos under its Redbana USA developer sometime in 2010. However, the Mythos curse hit once again with the game still not yet launched in the US. The most recent info from Redbana on the game's official message board was back in January 2011 and states, "There have been further technical delays which have pushed the game back even further than we had anticipated." So far there is no word at all on when Mythos' will launch even in beta form.

However these issues have not affected plans to launch Mythos in Europe. Partnering with Frogstar, the European servers have been in closed beta for some time and will launch its open beta on April 12 with the official release coming on April 28. A box copy of the game will also be made available and will allow players to sign onto the game two days earlier.

Hellgate Tokyo? Yep.

We've already reported this week that the now defunct Flagship Studios' casual MMO Mythos is getting a new lease on life. However, the developer's main title, Hellgate London, is also getting its own revamp very soon along with an expansion. Unfortunately, we here in the US won't get a chance to play it.

As we reported over a year ago, the rights to Hellgate London were bought by Korean-based Habisoft, which turned the game into a free-to-play online title. On December 8, it plans to launch an open beta for Hellgate Resurrection, the newly retitled version of the game set in a modern world overrun by extra-dimensional demons. That's not all - according to a trailer posted on GameTrailers.com (which you can see after the jump), the game will be getting an expansion in March 2010 called Hellgate Tokyo. We presume the demons can jump across continents.

US and Europeans still won't be able to play this new version game. Namco Bandai, the company that holds the publishing rights to the game in both territories, shut down the local online servers for Hellgate London earlier this year and have apparently shown no interest in selling those publishing rights to Habisoft.

Mythos coming back to US audiences

The shut down of Flagship Studios over a year also caused their in-development free MMO Mythos to be sold off to Korean publisher Habitsoft. At the time it looked unlikely that the publisher would allow Mythos to be accessed by US players. That changed today with the announcement that the game's new developer, Redbana USA, is prepping the game for a US launch.

The announcement today also comes with the launch of the new US-based Mythos web site which at the moment features a YouTube teaser video with gameplay footage. At the end of the video it shows a "2010" release date (you can check out the video after the jump). At the moment the game is in closed beta in Korea but there's no word on when that will happen for the US release. In the meantime you can check out a brief Q&A on the game's relaunch at our sister site Massively.

As a reminder, Mythos' original development team at Flagship Studios are not in charge of this new version; they have since gotten back together as Runic Games. They have already released the successful single player action-RPG Torchlight with an MMO based on that game now in the works.

Hellgate London: Still dead in US and Europe

If you live in Asia, you will soon be able to access the latest online update for Hellgate London. The multiplayer action-RPG, first created by the now shut down Flagship Studios, has some new life thanks to Korean based HanbitSoft and the game's new developer, the San Fransisco based Redbana USA.

A new 1.5 patch for the game will be released in the near future which is supposed to improve the games Player Vs Player features. But in a new press release issued this morning, HanbitSoft repeated what has been reported before; US and European players can't sign onto their servers to play the game. The press release states, "We cannot open up the server in Korea to allow access by US and European players as this will constitute infringing upon Namco Bandai's publishing rights in the US and Europe." Namco Bandai shut down those servers earlier this year and so far the publisher doesn't seem interested in giving up their territorial rights to HanbitSoft.

[via email press release]

Hellgate London now shut down; still awaiting revivial

As promised a few months ago, Namco Bandai has officially shut down the multiplayer servers for Hellgate London. The action-RPG from the now disbanded Flagship Studios. The game's official web site is also shut down. Fan site Hellforge reports on the game's final online moments this past weekend as players gathered to play the title for the final time.

Again, Namco Bandai has insisted it has the US and European rights to the game and that there will be no revival in those territories. However, Korean-based HanbitSoft has insisted it owns the Hellgate London IP and plans to relaunch the game globally as a free-to-play title. We will see if that happens and if so if players in the US and Europe will be allowed access.

[Via Blue's News]

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.

Is Hellgate London being saved?

Last week it seemed that Hellgate London, at least for its US customers, was pretty much doomed. The developer, Flagship Studios, had already shut down, and last week the game's co-publisher Namco Bandai announced that the multiplayer servers for the action-RPG would be shut down after Jan. 31.

But wait! All is not lost. A fan site called Hellforge spotted a note on the Korean Hellgate London web site which run by the game's Korean publisher HanbitSoft. We've reproduced part of that note that hints that the game could have a life beyond Jan. 31. The note comes from Redbana USA, a new San Francisco developer that seems to have been established in the last couple of months. Our quick check of our sources turned up word that some former Flagship team members are among its employees. While its not definitive, it certainly sounds hopeful.

[Via Blue's News]

Hellgate and Mythos to continue with new developer

The best gaming franchises never die. They just get new development teams! Fans lamented after Hellgate: London and Mythos went down due to Flagship closing its doors. They should lament no more! T3 Entertainment, an asian publisher that recently acquired HanbitSoft (who, as we all know, took a look at taking over development themselves), recently started posting job search requests on sites such as DICE.com and Gamasutra, looking for developers to work on the franchises. An excerpt:
"T3 Entertainment is searching for creative minds to passionately continue development of Hellgate: London and Mythos, along with other new games, which are being published by HanbitSoft Inc."
The studio will be in San Francisco, and they are currently looking for programmers. You can find the job requests on Gamasutra.

Flagship Studios closed; Hellgate and Mythos IP to continue in Asia?

On Friday, Big Download was the first to report on massive layoffs happening at Hellgate London and Mythos developer Flagship Studios. Now Voodoo Extreme is reporting that all employees of Flagship have officially been laid off with 30 days of severance pay. The future of both games is now in question. The free-to-play MMO Mythos (which was never officially launched) is now owned by Asian publisher HanbitSoft who hopes to continue development of the game in Asia.

As far as Hellgate London, the rights have reverted to the American bank Comerica (who Flagship secured a loan with a few month ago). They might also continue developing the game in Asia with HanbitSoft. The English support for the games is currently up in the air. So far Flagship has yet to officially issue a statement and the official web sites for both of their games have yet to mention the fate of the developer.

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