We have compiled all the info we could find about upcoming Korean FPS games for 2013 - 2014. No real innovation, but most are solid shooters, that might be operated by your local publisher in the near future. Check out what's hot and what's lame:
Some existing free-to-play FPS games might phase out soon in Korea, new games will fill the gaps. Below is our list of upcoming shooters, developed in Korea:
|Game Title||Type||Genre||Estimated Release|
|Battle Nations 1944 Online||MOFPS||Military / WW2||OBT June 2013 (KR)|
|Cold Squad||MOFPS||Military||terminated in 2013|
|Counter-Strike Online 2||MOFPS||Military||Summer 2013 (KR)|
|Crack Shot Online||MOFPS||Sci-Fi||Autumn 2014 (KR)|
|CrossFire 2 (Project M)||MOFPS||Military||2015 (est.)|
|F.E.A.R.: Origin Online||MOFPS||Horror||2014 (est.)|
|Final Bullet||MOFPS||Military||2014 (est.)|
|NCsoft FPS Project (no official title)||MOFPS||n/a||n/a|
|Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX||MOFPS||Sci-Fi / Anime||Summer 2014 (KR)|
|GunZ 2 The Second Duel||MOTPS||Fantasy||2014 but not in Korea yet|
|Iron Sight||MOFPS||Military||2014 (KR)|
|Hounds||MOTPS||Sci-Fi||Released Q2 2013 (KR)|
|Maze: The Treasure Hunters||MOFPS||Fantasy||tba|
|Metro Conflict: Presto||MOFPS||Sci-Fi||Again post-poned, maybe 2014|
|Operation7 II: Rise of Condota||MOFPS||Military||2014 (est.)|
|Peta City||MOFPS||Sci-Fi||Terminated in 2013, but is active in Turkey|
|Shadow Company: The Mercenary War||MOFPS||Military||Terminated in 2013|
|Sudden Attack 2||MOFPS||Military||2015 (est.)|
|Viper Circle||MOFPS||Sci-Fi||2014 (KR)|
List updated April 2014.
Find details about upcoming Korean FPS games, that are scheduled for release in 2013 - 2014:
Battle Nations 1944 Online
Battle Nations 1994 Online, previously titled In the Name of the Brothers (IOB), is World War 2 themed MOFPS and slated for release in June 2013. The shooter takes players to authentic battlefields on which 12v12 and even 32vs32 teams fight for victory. The open beta will feature team death match, escape, capture-the-flag, survival, destruction and – AI controlled PvE game modes. At this time the f2p WW2 shooter is set to launch in Korea only and if the June release pulls off, the developer Nineworks Entertainment might publish it in other countries. At least they had decided to develop an English client.
Developer: Nineworks Entertainment
Status: First CBT March 2012, OBT slated for June 2013 (KR)
Territories: Confirmed for Korea only at this stage - English client in development. Stay tuned for updates.
Battle Nations 1944 Online - Platoon Game Mod
Just for the sake of completeness I have added this free-to-play FPS to this list. A Korean developer called Colobolo conducted a first closed beta test for its MOFPS Cold Squad. According to various gamer comments, the shooter incorporated various game elements from other Korean FPS.
Status: First CBT October 2012 - UPDATE: The website disappeared and it seems that this game will not be developed any further as of June 2013.
Cold Squad - Official Trailer
Counter-Strike Online 2
Based on Valve's Source Engine Nexon developed a successor to Counter-Strike Online (CSO). Counter-Strike Online 2 (CSO2) is licensed for release in Asia only and features enhanced graphics, more realistic gameplay and powerful impact sensations. The game will also provide various game modes enhancing its original game experience with new and improved environments, weapons, equipment customization and more. It adds a Resue-the-hostages game mode, a stealth game mode, next to the conventional MOFPS modes. It feels and plays like an upgraded CSO. CSO2 is going to be rolled out this summer.
Counter-Strike Online 2 - CBT Gameplay
F.E.A.R.: Origin Online
Korea-based studio Inplay Interactive is developing an FPS which is based on the popular Warner Bros F.E.A.R. franchise. Inplay is being backed up by the original creators of FEAR, Monolith, and they built the shooter based on an enhanced version of Monolith's Jupiter EX 3D game engine. F.E.A.R.: Origin Online will offer classic PvP game modes, Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and Escape missions. It also features a unique PvPvE "fear" game modes and on top of this, it adds single-player scenario modes.
In 2012 Korean publisher Nowcom acquired the studio Inplay Interactive. There are rumors that Nowcom's involvement during the development process caused the sudden change of schedule and the first closed beta which was set for January 2013, was cancelled. For the moment it would be just pure speculation to discuss if and when the free-to-play version of the FEAR series will ever see greenlight. Initially, Inplay intended to launch it worldwide. The first gameplay footage looked promissing and fun though, a lot of blood, mutants and frenetic shooting.
Developer: Inplay Interactive
Status: First CBT Jan, 2013 was cancelled. Release date unknown. Stay tuned for updates.
Territories: Confirmed for Korea.
F.E.A.R.: Origin Online - G-Star 2012 Trailer
Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX
Nexon licensed the popular Japanese animation series "Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX" to develop a free-to-play online FPS version, featuring fierce and dynamic battles between cyborgs. Players engage in cooperative battle modes, a new concept that integrates artificial intelligence with the player. Another unique feature is that the player's character is a cyborg, with mechanical and cybernetic parts that can be exchanged or remodeled, maximizing combat power. Neople, Nexon's subsidiary, takes great effort to deliver a gameplay experience with the same look and feel of the same-titled animation series. Fans in Asia will be able to enjoy the sci-fi shooting action in the first half of 2014, in other territories very likely by end of next year.
Status: In development, release 2014 est.
Wiple Games was founded in 2010 by Song Kil-Seob, a former executive at Korean developer and publisher Webzen. Song pursues his dream of developing his own game and he assembled a team of veterans who are currently working on an FPS that is based on in-house developed, proprietary game engine.
The development of the game engine took more than 1.5 years. Instead of licensing Unreal Engine 3, Gamebryo or CryEngine 3 Song chose to develop a game engine by himself that would just fit the needs for their projects and would not be overloaded with tools that are not required and could be seamlessly upgraded for new features.
Iron Sight is set in the near future, featuring modern weapons and gear, enhanced weapon customization and upgrade options, PvP and PvE game modes, detailed and realistic visuals, animations and maps. A bit too early to go into details, but definitely a game that made it into our watchlist.
Developer: Wiple Games
Status: Game engine had been developed for 1.5 years, est. launch in 2014.
Territories: Korea. Stay tuned for updates.
Maze: The Treasure Hunters
Maze: The Treasure Hunters is a mix of Tomb-Raider-styled action adventure game, FPS and RPG elements. It comes from the creators of the MOFPS War Rock. In Maze so-called Relic Chasers and their opponents, the Treasure Hunters, fight against each other in their search for powerful ancient relics. It features a story mode with PvE content and role-playing game elements, a large world to explore in third person view and PvP FPS game modes.
Dream Execution announced Maze in 2011. Interestingly, there is no Korean publisher confirmed yet. The developer announced its first partnership with a Chinese and a Thai publisher instead. A teaser site is live on Changyou.com, the gaming portal of the China-based publisher, but there haven't been any updates or news for almost a year by now.
Developer: Dream Execution
Status: 2013 release est.
Territories: Confirmed for China, Thailand. Stay tuned for updates.
Maze: The Treasure Hunters - Official Trailer
Metro Conflict: Presto
The sci-fi shooter Metro Conflict was announced first in 2010 and the first closed beta conducted in December 2011. It seems that there is no rush for developer Red Duck, the creators of the popular FPS Alliance of Valiant Arms. The Korean teaser site is live for 1.5 years by now and there haven't been any major progresses made public, but I am confident that they will finally announce the next closed beta test and launch latest this autumn. The closed beta set for May 2013 in China indicates that the game is near completion, based on the assumption that the Chinese publisher Tencent would not allow a beta launch of a semifinished game. It is just too much at stake for both developer Red Duck and also for Korean publisher NHN.
Metro Conflict is set in a near future scenario, featuring futuristic weapons and gear. The shooter is class-based and promisses top-notch visuals and fast-paced, skill-based FPS gameplay.
Developer: Red Duck
Status: First CBT Dec, 2011. Next CBT not announced yet.
Territories: Confirmed for Korea, Japan, China. Stay tuned for updates.
Metro Conflict: Presto - Beta Gameplay
A Korean company called Mvert acquired sources and assets of the MOFPS Another Day. The shooter was known as Genesis AD and Repulse in other countries but was shut down last year in America and before that in Korea. Mvert polished the gameplay, changed UI, systems, added features and announced Peta City beta this March. I don't know, if they plan or dare to relaunch the shooter outside Korea.
Developer: Queen's Soft / Mvert
Status: First CBT May 2013, launch this summer.
Peta City - Official Trailer
"Project M" (G Plus Games)
In 2011 veterans of several Korean game studios formed the company G Plus Games to develop a new FPS under the tentative title "Project M". The military themed shooter is built on the Gamebryo engine and utilitzes Morpheme and Umbra tools. G Plus Games promisses exciting and innovative PvP and PvE game modes in addition to the common free-to-play FPS game mechanics and systems.
Developer: G Plus Games
Status: First CBT planned for 1H 2014
Shadow Company: The Mercenary War
Another FPS in development that stretches the patience of Korean gamers. The first closed beta test was announced for October 2011 in Korea. Instead of taking the shooter to the next stages, developer Doobic Studios launched Shadow Company: The Mercenary War in Indonesia first, leaving Korean gamers in oblivion. Completion of development has been delayed, it had been announced for 2012, but I do believe that Doobic pushes it to the limit by now and will release the shooter full-scale later this year.
Shadow Company offers features such as weather effects, 24 person multiplayer combat, dynamic lighting effects and realistic character animation made possible by Unreal Engine 3. Behind Doobic Studios are the folks who have been primarily responsible for developing the free-to-play MOFPS Combat Arms.
Developer: Doobic Studios
Status: Both game and company shut down.
Territories: Confirmed for Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, China, Russia and the CIS, Europe and North America – more to follow.
Shadow Company - Gameplay Trailer
From NS Studio, a subsidiary of Korean publisher Neowiz Games, comes Viper Circle, an Unreal Engine 3 powered, fast-paced sci-fi shooter. Viper Circle is a hybrid shooter, enabling gameplay in TPS and FPS perspectives, and it is class-based with more than 30 distinctive mercenaries characters, related customization options and futuristic weapons and gear. The free online game entered closed beta in March 2013 and is definitely a release candidate for Western markets.
Developer: NS Studio
Status: A new version is expected for release in 2014.
Territories: Confirmed for Korea. Stay tuned for updates.
Viper Circle - First Gameplay Trailer
More upcoming Korean FPS games
There is even more in the pipeline. Dragonfly partnered up with Neowiz Games to develop two further FPS, tentatively titled as "Project R" and "Project SFG". "Project SFG" will be a sequel to Special Force, but not to Special Force 2. "Project R" will be an FPS, dedicated to overseas market, featuring massive customization options and offering a modern warfare scenario.
Both games are announced for a 2014 release.
And of course developer Smilegate needs a build up and announced in April 2012 that they had started development of "Project M", a next-generation shooter. There are also rumors that finally developer GameHi progresses with its long-term project Sudden Attack 2. Both Smilegate's "Project M" and Sudden Attack 2 will be utilizing the Unreal Engine 3.
In general there is no real innovative game in this list, but most of them are solid shooters, developed by veterans of the Korean online games industry who have racked up quite some experience in creating FPS games. So you look mostly at upcoming sequels, that are based on a known brands. Maze: The Treasure Hunters and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex could stand out a bit and feature some innovative game elements, but that is a bit too early to tell.
The competition is fierce and Korean developers are facing hard times. Shooters like Neowiz' MMO TPS Dizzel or Dragonfly's online version of Soldier of Fortune didn't even make it longer than a year. Others might shut down soon. Even Red Duck is unfortunate with its latest project Metro Conflict: Presto, the development is not presto at all, or the FPS was announced way too early. For the third year it stalled in a sort of beta limbo. Games like Metro Conflict, Shadow Company and Born to Fire reveal the discrepancy between marketing-driven deadlines / targets and the reality / complexity of creating a functional and well-made FPS.
But overall the outlook is not too bad. As I said we look at very solid shooters and there might be more revealed in the next future. So stay tuned.
Update: NCsoft Korea had been recruiting programmers and designers for an FPS project from May onwards. There is no further info available except the fact that the studio is developing the shooter based on Unreal Engine 4.
This article was written in May 2013. Click here to get a market overview for the Korean FPS online games market in 2013.