NCsoft, publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), confirms its Western expansion plans for Blade & Soul, the Asian martial arts fantasy MMO developed by Team Bloodlust, an in-house studio based in NCsoft's headquarters in Seoul. Blade & Soul has already captured the hearts of millions, consistently ranking as one of the top games in PC cafés across South Korea since its launch eleven weeks ago, and plans to reach the same level of success and popularity in Western markets.

Blade & Soul brings MMO and RPG gaming communities an online world rich in Asian martial arts, a theme that has traditionally been limited to fighting games. Once Blade & Soul launches in the West, players will have the ability to experience the flowing nature of action martial arts that they have come to love, but will experience it in a modern format blended together with deep story lines and an epic online world populated by millions.

A blademaster in Blade and Soul

A blademaster in Blade and Soul

Of the most common complaint leveled against MMO games, Executive Producer James Bae says: “I assure you, Blade & Soul will never run out of content to keep players engaged in the game. This game will not be a repetitive grindfest.” NCsoft claims that the game is getting 230,000 concurrent players. 150,000 players took part in the closed beta of the game, according to Eurogamer.

Bringing to life the fantasy style and signature character movement made popular by the classic martial arts adventure films House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Blade & Soul embraces the essence of historic martial arts combat, set in a beautiful world inspired by the art of renowned artist Hyung-Tae Kim, Team Bloodlust's Blade & Soul lead artist. Kim's strong international manga following and his unique style of blending Japanese anime and Korean art will expand Blade & Soul's appeal to a broad range of audiences.

Exact release timing for Blade & Soul has not been confirmed, but NCsoft is already aggressively tailoring the title for Western players, working closely with Team Bloodlust to ensure the rich Asian martial arts theme stays intact.

NCsoft is primarily famous for publishing the Guild Wars series. The latest game in the Guild Wars series, Guild Wars 2, recently crossed the 2 million units sold mark. In the announcement, President and Co-founder of ArenaNet, Mike O’Brien, said “Reactions from around the world justified the time and care we put into developing Guild Wars 2 and making it into the game it is today. And this is only the beginning. We’re continually fine-tuning the game to deliver the polished experience that our players expect, and we’re already working on new adventures and experiences to introduce into this truly dynamic online world.”

The game had launched on August 28, but pre-purchasers were given a three day headstart. During the headstart, the game had, at one point, more than 400,000 concurrent players. Whether it’s because of the vast and dynamic world that changes based on player actions, the engaging, customisable personal storyline, or the visceral, highly-mobile action, it’s clear that online gamers are eager for Guild Wars 2.

For more information on Blade & Soul, visit the official website.

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