Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Mythos: Can This Possibly Work?

Remember Mythos? What started as a network code test for Hellgate: London was turned into a multiplayer action RPG eventually, developed by Flagship Studio’s Seattle branch. If you don’t remmber the game, that’s because it was never actually released. Hellgate: Lodon flopped and Flagship Studios went broke during the closed beta of Mythos. Most of the guys from the Seattle branch went on to form Runic Games and eventually make Torchlight (which I’ve written about extensively.)
Well, it turns out that Mythos isn’t quite dead yet.

The game was somehow inherited by the Korean company T3 entertainment who passed it along to their US subsidiary Redbana, known (well, for a very lax definition of “known”) for such smash hits as the free to play online dance & rythm game (I kid ye not!) Audition. In May they announced their intent to continue the development of Mythos and yesterday they launched a new teaser website for the game.

The teaser video looks… alright I guess. The art style is somewhat similar to Torchlight, though the birds-eye view looks quite a lot like I’m playing Diablo 2 again. Some of the gameplay features sound interesting and I’m sure it would have become a decent (if probably not great) game in the hands of Flagship Studios.

Mythos was highly expected by quite a few people and the disappointment was big when Flagship Studios closed down. So surely this must be good news?
I am sceptical in that regard. Clearly the game was far from being finished when Flagship went broke or they would have turned it into cash and maybe salvaged their studio. The core game might have been designed by the people who made Diablo (and, less positively, Hellgate: London) but it is being finished, polished, and re-imagined by a developer that i have a hard time trusting. Sure, everyone starts small and maybe making games like audition was necessary to get the funds to make bigger and better games. I still find it unlikely though that this is more than a way to turn assets inherited from a bankruptcy into quick cash. If the game was in beta already, must of the development must have been finished and therefore most of the costs covered. Even if the game sells badly it will probably cover the costs of finishing it and more.

Given Redbana’s history of games that include micro-transactions we can probably expect those to creep up in the game as well. But let’s see, maybe I’m wrong and this can actually work? The interview over at mmorpg.com surely sounds positive. Me, I have my fingers crossed for Diablo III.

  • RedBana is an American studio owned by HanbitSoft/T3 Entertainment. They're a San Francisco-based company. As far as I know, there are a handful of ex-Flagshippers from the Hellgate: London team now working at RedBana.

    As for "a history of games to include micro-transactions," Mythos was also planned to have such when it was being developed by the Flagship Seattle team headed by Travis Baldree.

    There's probably not much in the way core gameplay changes in the game right now (the only difference I noticed in the Teaser trailer was the new UI), because as the Runic Games team described the situation for RedBana, "They have all the parts to make a car, and no instruction manual."

  • You are right about redbana being US based. I got confused by the Korean parent company, the fact that redbana is relaunching (or relaunched? Their website isn't exactly up-to-date) Hellgate: London in Korea and the name "Redbana US" which I assumed to be a subdivision of Redbana. My mistake, will fix that in the original post.

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