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Namco Talks Tales of Eternia Online
10.21.04 - 4:26 AM

In a recent interview, producer Yoshinori Satou talked about Namco's first MMORPG, Tales of Eternia Online. The PC title, which the company is developing jointly with Dwango, has been in planning for two years. Like its Japanese competitors Square Enix and Sega, Namco is not only planning to release the game in Japan, but also the Asia Pacific region with its major markets China, Taiwan and South Korea. To this purpose, the game is designed in a way that it can be run in internet cafes, which are used by many Asian fans outside Japan to play games. The fact that in those markets the PC is the No.1 platform has only influenced Namco's selection of the PC as target platform. Currently there are no plans to release Tales of Eternia Online on other hardware platforms other than the PC. The rising popularity of Japanese anime in other parts of Asia made the company pick the Tales series with its anime-style visuals as basis for its first MMORPG. Tales of Eternia specifically was selected because of its two-world scenario and the possibilities this scenario offers seemed very intriguing to the development team. The beginning of the MMORPG however will be different from Tales of Eternia's beginning. While the producer refused to confirm whether it was possible to meet the playable characters of the original game, he mentioned that players will hear rumors about the adventurers from townspeople. System-wise, the game will feature the classic auto-mode function from previous installments. Enemy encounters won't be random, as enemies will be highlighted by symbols. Parties will consist of a maximum of four players, but the game will also allow for players to take on monsters individually. There will be no differences between cooperate and single-player game play.

Tales of Eternia Online will be released in Japan sometime in spring 2005, with a beta test scheduled to begin early next year.


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Chris Winkler





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