Bluehole, the developer behind PC-gaming sensation PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), has launched the site for its upcoming MMORPG title, Ascent: Infinite Realm. The studio has set high expectations for itself with the runaway success of PUBG, which has consistently been among Twitch's most-streamed and most-watched games since its early-access release last March.
Ascent: Infinite Realm represents a change of pace for the developer. While the game, like PUBG, will be a multiplayer title, genre and setting will be quite different. The welcome message on Ascent: Infinite Realm's site sums up the new direction: "Get ready for an amazing world filled with Airships, Dragons, Magic & Excitement!"
A trailer for the game - seen above - clocks in at over five minutes — and shows off quite a bit. There are indeed airships and dragons, along with jetpack-like boosters, gatling guns, mechs, and estate-building. At various points throughout the trailer, players can be seen taking control of airships, be it as pilots or turret gunners. The website suggests that PvP airship combat will be a staple of the game, explaining that "Using airships, flying mounts, or free falling, you can experience multi-dimensional battles through warfare in the open sky."
Ascent: Infinite Realm's site also lists the character classes that the game will offer: Sorceress, mystic, warlord, assassin, and gunslinger. They appear to fit into traditional RPG archetypes of mage, healer, warrior, thief/rogue, and hunter/marksman, respectively. Given how unconventional the rest of the game seems to be, it's a bit surprising to see rather conventional options in the character creation department. Perhaps the future reveal of subclasses (each class will have two of them) will deepen and diversify gameplay options.
Bluehole seems to have an especially broad demographic in mind with Ascent: Infinite Realm. The trailer practically shouts that there's something here for everyone: Dragons to hunt, flying aircrafts to pilot (and destroy), properties and communities to build, and more. It'll be up to Bluehole, though, to ensure that it doesn't spread itself too thin; that each element is sufficiently fleshed-out to warrant the repeated revisiting that maintains successful online games. Lightning struck once with PUBG — it remains to be seen whether it'll strike again.
Ascent: Infinite Realm will be published by Kakao Games, publisher of Black Desert Online, another MMORPG. Bluehole has yet to announce a release date, but signs point to a closed beta beginning in the first half of 2018. And given PUBG's extended period of early-access (and how well it has worked out for the game), there's reason to believe that Bluehole will take its time with formally launching Ascent: Infinite Realm. The game will be shown off at the upcoming G-Star 2017 trade show in Busan, South Korea, which is set to take place from November 16 - 19. Expect more information then.