HanbitSoft has acquired the full rights to Hellgate in the west. Yep: that means the fated pseudo-MMO will return to the US and Europe.
Namco-Bandai switched the title off in early February.
HanbitSoft has held the rights in Korea since then.
“We would like to thank Namco Bandai Games America for allowing us to acquire the Hellgate publishing rights and are thrilled to have eager gamers worldwide return and enjoy the franchise,” said CEO of HanbitSoft, Kee-Young Kim.
Press release below.
HanbitSoft Acquires Worldwide Publishing Rights for Hellgate
Seoul, Korea – January 18, 2009 – HanbitSoft Inc., announced today that the company has obtained the publishing rights for Hellgate in North America, Europe and Japan from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.. HanbitSoft and NAMCO BANDAI Games America, the formal owner of the publishing rights in these regions, have entered into an agreement for the game to be distributed by HanbitSoft in the future.
Since October 2007, the sensational popularity of Hellgate: London has attracted many RPG gamers. When Flagship Studios closed its doors, the online portion of the game was suspended indefinitely in the relevant regions. Through this agreement, HanbitSoft now owns the worldwide publishing rights for the Hellgate franchise. HanbitSoft will roll out the launch of Hellgate overseas in 2010, starting with China, Taiwan, and South East Asia followed by North America, Europe, and Japan.
¡°We would like to thank NAMCO BANDAI Games America for allowing us to acquire the Hellgate publishing rights and are thrilled to have eager gamers worldwide return and enjoy the franchise,¡± said Kee-Young Kim, CEO of HanbitSoft, and added ¡°Hellgate: Resurrection is heading towards success in Korea such that we decided to push ahead with launching the game overseas next year. We will do our best to get the game to the fans as soon as possible.¡±
¡°We are pleased to participate in the revitalization of Hellgate through this agreement and are deeply gratified to allow Hanbitsoft to take the lead on this franchise and bring this game to the people who seek it,¡± said Zack Karlsson, senior director of business development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America.
In July 2008, T3 Entertainment acquired HanbitSoft which held Hellgate¡¯s IP and publishing rights in Asia. In collaboration with Hanbitsoft, T3 Entertainment utilized its team of excellent developers to continuously improve Hellgate. For over a year, the development team consistently provided a game with strong online features and user convenience systems. Recently, HanbitSoft launched a new, upgraded version of Hellgate called Hellgate: Resurrection in Korea which includes a free-to-play model. HanbitSoft also announced that the Korean gamers are welcoming the return of the new Hellgate, and the rapidly increasing number of users shows that Hellgate is in good hands.