Square Enix Teams up With NHN Japan for New MMORPG
01.24.07 - 6:46 PM

During a joint press conference in Tokyo today, Square Enix and NHN Japan announced Concerto Gate, a new PC-based MMORPG. The title is labeled a spiritual successor to Square Enix's popular MMORPG Cross Gate. Originally released in 2001, by what was then still Enix, the game became a major hit in mainland China and Taiwan, boasting 23 million users. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the mastermind behind Cross Gate, Square Enix's Yousuke Saitou, is again serving as executive producer. Kenji Ito, one of Japan's most popular video game composers, will be responsible for scoring Concerto Gate. The game's developer is Ponsbic. This Tokyo-based studio, which is made up of former Square Enix staffers, has already worked on the Cross Gate expansion packs.

Unlike Cross Gate, however, Concerto Gate's administration will be managed by NHN Japan, not Square Enix. Furthermore, players won't have to pay a fixed monthly fee, as NHN Japan is opting for the increasingly popular pay-per-item system.

The game's cute anime-like visuals make the game look like a true sequel to Cross Gate. Concerto Gate is apparently still geared towards a casual audience. In addition to 3D graphics, the game will offer deep job and skill systems, as well as random and symbol-based encounters. Environments will change under certain conditions, which will also affect the types of items a user can collect.

NHN Japan has also announced a number of cross-promotions, including Internet-based TV, radio, and blog services.

Interested fans can sign up for the first closed beta testing phase starting today. Out of all entries 10,000 beta testers will be selected, with the first closed beta test to begin on February 26th. The second one will follow in mid-March. An open beta test is scheduled for April.

Concerto Gate's commercial launch is currently set for May or later.

Chris Winkler

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