We were a bit down on the new free-to-play stuff we got in 2018, but that’s no reason not to think positively about the future! The pickings are admittedly on the slim side, and for some of them, we’re not totally sure that they’ll be available in 2019 – or even free-to-play – but a little optimism never hurt, right?
5. Project TL
It doesn’t get much coverage, because it’s still under wraps, but Project TL – previously known as Lineage Eternal – was scheduled for closed beta testing in Korea by the end of 2018. News is scarce, but if that’s on target, then we have a decent chance of playing the game for ourselves at some point in 2019. That would be nice, considering that Lineage Eternal has been in development since, and was first teased in, 2011, which will make it at least an eight-year gap between initial reveal and launch.
4. Conqueror’s Blade
Free-to-play war games seem to be in short supply these days – and some are shutting down – so maybe I’m unnaturally excited about Conqueror’s Blade and its prospects for 2019. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t more than a little concerned about localization and the cash shop, but if those are managed well, CB could be a surprise hit in the coming year. The battles are chaotic and messy and the economic aspects should give players plenty to do in between the episodes of bloodletting.
3. Lost Ark/Ascent: Infinite Realm
I know, these are two separate games, but they have a few of things in common. They’re both being made by Korean developers (Smilegate and Kakao), they’re both feeding the promise of being big, huge, all-in-one MMORPGs, and they’re both still in mostly hush-hush development, with just occasional news and visuals trickling out. Most importantly, neither has been confirmed as being free-to-play, so putting them together in one slot makes sense. If just one of the two goes F2P, it’ll be accurate, right?
QC Games’ PvE/P dungeon brawler Breach shows a lot of promise, and its designers are saying all the right things. Lots of classes! Smoothed-out progression! An old-school BioWare vibe! Our initial taste of the game left us wanting more, and we should get a taste of it in early 2019. If it all comes together, it could pull in a crowd similar to that of Warframe’s, which still sits atop a mostly untouched “PvE grinder” subgenre of gaming.
1. Torchlight Frontiers
Echtra Games and Perfect World Entertainment have a lot to live up to for Torchlight Frontiers, taking the beloved series and adapting it for free-to-play audiences in the coming year. With animal companions, powerful relic weapons, a construction/housing system, and awesome powers at your disposal, all set in a shared world in the Torchlight universe, it’s on track to be the biggest new free-to-play hit of 2019.