NCSoft has initiated global launch of ‘Lineage W’ with pre-downloads playable from Thursday, raising hopes for the title will save face and bottom line for the Korea’s top game publisher.
Investors have turned buoyant, with shares rising 2.18 percent to end Wednesday at 657,000 won. The stock last month halved from the peak of 1,048,000 won on Feb. 8.
The new game strategically developed as a single build for worldwide players will be simultaneously launched in 12 countries unlike its predecessors ‘Lineage M’ almost limited to Korean players and ‘Lineage 2M’ dedicated to Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The company said Lineage W will be launched in North America, Europe and Russia in the future beyond the 12 target countries, including Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The new compilation of the Lineage IP over the last 24 years offers a global one build service to allow overseas users to be engaged in cross-border plays. NCSoft added an artificial intelligence (AI) translation function to the game to tackle language barriers. Voice commands can be converted into texts for translation during the game.
Graphics and background music are completely renewed compared to the predecessors. Full 3D-based quarter view is also supported to bring out the original sensibility of PC version Lineage, according to the company.
At home, players are still doubtful as its predecessors sparked a controversy for excessive charges to users by forcing them to rely on probability items to win. Earlier, NCSoft vowed to avert excessive monetization schemes but users remain suspicious.
The game also must overcome Kakao Games’ Odin, which has humbled long-time market champions Lineage M and Lineage 2M at Google and Apple app stores in Korea. A significant number of Lineage game users have switched to Odin, according to sources.
By Lim Young-sin and Minu Kim
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