Dear Aeria Games, We Need To Talk About Bless
Hey you. Yeah you, Aeria Games. I'm talking to you. We need to have a pow-wow about Bless Online, that game you got the rights to publish in North America back in April 2016. That game with the sub-domain http://bless.aeriagames.com/, which used to show a pretty cinematic screenshot with the title "Bless," and now redirects to a "503 Service Unavailable" page.
What's going on here Aeria Games?
Are you publishing Bless or are you sitting on the IP waiting for the hype to blow over so you can return to pushing anime-stylized MMORPGs?
Meanwhile 101XP just published the Russian version of Bless, and it proved so globally popular that 101XP had to put up an IP block so that players living withing the boundaries of Russia could log-in. The desperate rest of us are ousted or forced to use a VPN because you have delivered nothing.
Aeria Games, do you understand the demand for Bless?
You laid out goals for the Western release, things you wanted to fix up to create an attractive product for your audience: optimization, combat changes, quality of life improvements. I don't agree with the need for most of them after playtesting the game, but maybe that's just my critical eye. I'm fine with that. I'm all for publishers polishing a title in accord with what they believe will sell to their audience.
Aeria Games, I believe you started with the best of intentions. But the best of intentions isn't enough to deliver.
I'm not reassured when your only communication about Bless is through websites you do not own; when your only communication is through a 2p.com fan-site forum: Bless-Source.com.
My doubts about you are festering Aeria.
I have an odd feeling you've had a fissiparious staff since the merger with Gamigo, moving staff between projects, trying to figure out your priorities amid the turbulence; things get backlogged, things get lost, new management has new ideas.
Are you pulling the same shenanigans CCP Games pulled with World of Darkness? Are you constantly shifting people from one project to the next and that's why we haven't heard anything about Bless NA?
I can only speculate because you're not giving me professional answers. You're not communicating with the press. And communication is the pillar trust rests on. It's been seven months and you've got nothing to show but monthly forum posts reiterating the same story.
Maybe I'm being too cynical. Afterall, Neowiz Games delayed Bless indefinitely in November 2015, then two months later released into Open Beta in Korea—"indefinitely" is two months in Neowiz time. Maybe you can surprise me Aeria Games. But you haven't given me anything to be hopeful about.
At least Neowiz communicated
Aeria Games, you are dropping the ball, and it is falling, falling, falling. I'm worried it's going to land in Never-Happening-ville.
Give me something to believe in if you're still there, something with the words "Official" stamped on it, something corporate—released on GamesPress, something that says, "we are a professional company that intends to deliver Bless to NA audiences."
And tell us why the website's down—it's a sub-domain.
Players feared you would release Bless as a pay-to-win title, based on some notoriety. I never joined the choir. I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
But now I am doubting your ability to release Bless.
Prove me wrong.