Hellgate: London set to open again, free-to-play

What was that I was saying about it being the year of the return? We’ve now learned that Hellgate: London is planning its return – as a free-to-play MMO relying on microtransactions.

[img_big]center,2774,2010-11-18/HELLGLpcSCRN01.jpg,We’re not quite sure what this is.[/img_big]

The game suffered a disastrous launch back in 2007 and never fully recovered, copping flak for numerous and on-going technical problems as time went on. Hellgate: London was originally operated in North America and most of the West by Namco Bandai, who later dumped the title in 2009. The rights were picked up by Korean company Hanbitsoft a year later.

Now, Hanbitsoft are doing something with the property, announcing plans to hold a closed beta briefly next month. The game’s proper launch is anticipated to follow some time in the future.

We’re not sure who will be staffing this comeback – after the dissolution of Flagship Studios, many employees branched out on their own. Several created Runic Games, creators of Torchlight. Those guys are now working on Torchlight II and – wait for it – a free-to-play Torchlight-based MMO. This could get interesting.

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