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Bandai Namco announce Bless Unleashed, their console MMO

Bandai Namco
Picture of a player about to fight a dragon in Bless Unleashed
Bless Unleashed

Bandai Namco have announced that Bless Unleashed, their MMORPG game for consoles is slated for release in 2019. The game will be free to play, developed by a Korean studio and it will come to Xbox One console family before PlayStation 4.

Bless Unleashed doesn't have a concrete release date, but just a "next year" release window. The game will come to Xbox One first, but PlayStation 4 version will follow soon after and PC version will likely not come at all since the game has been announced as a console MMORPG. Technically, there is already a Bless Online in Steam Early Access but it is unclear whether Bless Unleashed will just be a port of this game for consoles.

On that note, it appears that Early Access on Steam translates to ready to ship on consoles.

The developer team behind Bless Unleashed will be the Korea-based Round 8 Studio, which is a part of Neowiz. This pretty much spells out the business model the game will have - free to play with massive perks for premium users. The aforementioned Bless Online is a good example of this - if you go to the game's Steam page, you will be greeted with "Mostly Negative" reviews and a pile of microtransactions thrown into your face even before purchasing the game.

Either way, Round 8 Studio promise that Bless Unleashed will be an "epic multiplayer journey across a vibrant persistent world" and that the combat will feature "deep combo-driven gameplay and visually stunning graphics". You would be hard pressed to find more generic descriptions for an MMO.

One particularly interesting statement is that Neowiz promise that Bless Unleashed will offer "an endless amount" of content to keep players engaged. If you go to the previously linked Bless Online Steam store page, you will see a similar sentence where they offer players to "Experience the endless possibilities of Bless Online now!". Call me cynical but that sounds just too similar to be a coincidence.

Bandai NamcoPicture of a player about to fight a dragon in Bless UnleashedBless Unleashed

There is currently not that much info based on which we could properly judge the game, but Bandai Namco stated there will be playable demo at PAX West 2018, which is just around the corner so it won't be long before we can decide whether to be excited or give the game a wide berth.