Hudson Announces Master of Epic Details
10.22.04 - 2:33 AM

Hudson today announced an agreement with Softbank's online gaming service BB Serve, which covers the release of the jointly developed MMORPG Master of Epic: The ResonanceAge Universe. Explaining the reasoning behind the agreement, Hudson president Hiroshi Kudou explained that the cooperation with Softbank allowed his company to focus on the game's development, while distribution and fee collection would be handled by BB Serve. According to Kudou, the game has been in development for about three years and the total amount of money invested into the project is somewhere between 500 million yen ($4.62 million US) and one billion yen ($9.24 million US).

Previously known as Resonance Age, Master of Epic will offer action-oriented real time battles. Character progression will be skill-based. Skills are divided in the four categories battle, professional skill, basic and production. Another key feature is a scenario spanning different eras and parallel worlds. In the Present Age, players can meet up with fellow users and enjoy the RPG elements of Master of Epic, while in the War Age they can face each other in player vs player battles. The Future Age will allow for solo play, the Ancient Age to build your own house and the Chaos Age to take on enemies in multiple player parties.

Following a closed beta test earlier this year, the game's next Japanese beta test, featuring a larger number of users, is scheduled to commence on October 28th. To enter the upcoming second beta test, interested fans are required to have a BB Games user ID. From late December to mid-January, users of Yahoo! BB and BB Serve internet cafes will also get the chance to participate in the test. The localization process for the release of a Chinese version is already under way and first offers from South Korean and Taiwanese companies regarding releases in both countries have already been made to Hudson and Softbank.

The two companies plan to bring their MMORPG to mainland China sometime in summer 2005. Hudson is the latest major Japanese third party publisher to release a MMORPG aimed specifically at the growing East Asian markets. Square Enix's MMORPG Cross Gate has been a major success in China and the company is already working at its newest PC project, titled Fantasy Earth: Ring of Dominion. With Shenmue Online and Tales of Eternia Online, both Sega Sammy and Namco also have PC-based MMORPG in their pipelines for release across Asia.

Master of Epic: The ResonanceAge Universe will be released in Japan sometime in early 2005.

Chris Winkler

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