With the recent worry that Bless Online was not going to be making its way to NA and EU markets, we reached out to Aeria Games for a quick chat with Jérôme Nguyen Van Long, the Director of Game Launches at the Berlin-based company. Rest assured, Bless is indeed still coming to the NA and EU territories and progress is steadily being made. Read on for our exclusive interview with Aeria Games about the status of Bless Online.
MMORPG: It's been a while since we've had any official word about Bless. Why so quiet? (Yes, we know you've been busy with a merger and all!)
Jérôme: We were indeed very busy with the merger, as well as the launch of Twin Saga! The Gamigo group has a lot of ongoing projects, and Bless is definitely an important one! Obviously, we want to make sure that Western players will have the best experience possible.
We've had a lot of meetings and conference calls with Neowiz to discuss the launch of Bless in the West, as it will mark an important milestone for us.
After looking at some metrics and reviewing feedback from the community of Bless-source.com, we decided we wanted to tweak some aspects of the game. We're working closely with the developers, but the scope of the work is pretty substantial. We don't want to share every bit of information with the community immediately, as most of it is subject to change.
However, we are aware that players are eager to play the game, which is why we're posting regular status updates on the Bless-source.com forum.
MMORPG: What's the expected timeline to get an English version into players' hands, even if just for beta testing?
Jérôme: Unfortunately, we can't reveal much at this point. Neowiz is working hard to improve some aspects of the game. We will announce a date once we feel that we're ready for launch.
MMORPG: What parts of the game, aside from localization of the text, are being refined for the Western launch?
Jérôme: Bless was developed with the Western market in mind. Many features that we've had to tweak in other games we've launched are ready to go. Also, some core aspects of MMORPGs are perceived differently in the East and West. We're researching which of them need to be implemented in Bless in order to provide the best UX possible to Western players.
Additionally, we would like to proceed with some performance improvements (fix FPS drops), combat improvements, and UI optimizations etc. We have a list, and we'll let you know more soon!
MMORPG: Has Gamigo been working with or watching 101XP's Russian release of Bless, and if so, have you learned anything from that launch?
Jérôme: We're not working with 101XP, but we are observing the Russian release and analyzing players' reactions. Even if the Russian market does not exactly reflect the behavior of Western players, it does validate some of the changes that we want to implement.
MMORPG: What will the cash shop be like for Bless NA and EU? Can you offer any insight?
Jérôme: Facing a paywall to progress on your journey is definitely a terrible experience. We want to have a seamless experience for all players. The cash shop should be optional, only offering convenience and vanity items to the players who use it.
MMORPG: The MMO market is a crowded place, and it's only getting more crowded. What, in your eyes, will make Bless stand out from the crowd?
Jérôme: Bless is a wonderful MMORPG, and we're sure that Western players will enjoy the unique experience that we're crafting with Neowiz.
Bless will plunge the player into an epic, open-world adventure with an exhilarating atmosphere, enchanting music, top-notch graphics, in-depth lore, a massive PvP battlefield, a thrilling castle siege system, and so much more! We're excited to bring a game of this caliber to the West!