The PC version of Bless Unleashed had its “final beta” last month, but rather than being a capstone on the game’s development, it unearthed some issues that had the development team at Round 8 Studio stepping back to evaluate the readiness of its product for launch. Granted, that’s what beta tests are for, though we seem to have forgotten that in the days of permanent early access and “betas-as-marketing.”
In a letter posted today, Head of Development Koven Park went over four key issues that he and his team learned from the beta. The UI/UX layout was designed for consoles and will need further adjustment to work properly for PC players. In-game guidance is a quality-of-life factor that the team is looking to improve, and the topic of “overall combat experience improvements” covers “drastic combo changes in certain classes” as well as lower animation times and new attack patterns for some unique field bosses. The final topic for polish is more immersive gameplay, with changes being made to profanity filters, character name policies, and player/region restrictions.
All this means that the PC launch of the game, ostensibly scheduled for this month, is being pushed back “until necessary improvements and further in-game polishing is complete.” The list of changes is expected to be implemented by mid-July, with a launch “in time for the summer season.” Assuming at least a little more testing will need to be done, that probably means a late July or early August launch, in the best-case scenario.
We’ve given the various incarnations of Bless a lot of flak here on MMOBomb, but you have to commend Round 8 Studio for not repeating the mistakes of its predecessors and rushing out a product that it deemed not ready. Bless Unleashed is likely the last gasp for the franchise, after Bless Online‘s numerous shutdowns, and even the shuttering of the mobile version in Korea, so they have to get this one right. They probably won’t get another chance.