So reports (including our own) of the Unreal Engine 4 Upgrade for Blade & Soul meeting its demise might have been too early to call, as the NCSOFT team announced today that the upgrade is in fact coming to the West this summer.
As we reported earlier today, via the MMO Culture report the Frontier World server is being shut down. This server was where the current Unreal Engine 4 build was being housed, allowing players in Korea to check out the update in progress. However, as we reported it was being shut down due to being unable to produce "satisfactory results." This was inferred to be the Unreal Engine 4 upgrade itself, though that isn't the case, as now we know that the upgrade will in fact still be releasing.
We reached out for clarification on the shut down of the server, as well as the Blade & Soul Unreal Engine 4 upgrade, which NCSOFT responded with the following statement:
"Frontier World, which was released only in Korea on Feb. 26, 2020, is shuttering on May 6, 2021. Though Frontier World was an adaptation of Blade & Soul built on the Unreal Engine 4, the graphical upgrade arriving to the live version of Blade & Soul later this summer will have further enhanced visuals."
The Blade & Soul Unreal Engine 4 update will be coming this summer in the West, though no official date has been given just yet as to when during the summer players can expect to so it arrive. NCSOFT states that the game engine upgrade will see B&S benefit from improved performance, reduced lag and loading times and more. Additionally, the engine upgrade brings with it improved visuals, upping the graphical quality of the MMO.
The Blade & Soul UE4 upgrade will be applied to the live version of the MMO, and players worried about progress won't need to be as NCSOFT confirmed that progression will carry to the new version once it's live later this summer. We reached out to our PR representative about whether or not the Unreal Engine 4 upgrade was canceled in Korea and only coming to the West, or if both regions will be getting the update. The representative confirmed it for both regions.
Additionally, the UE4 upgrade isn't the only thing players have to look forward to for Blade & Soul this summer, as the announcement also talks about an upcoming new character class. B&S will also see the third specializations coming for existing character classes, a new dungeon and more.