Bless Online‘s launch and free-to-play implementation is just around the corner, and today the dev team at Neowiz reflected on the game’s early access period and what went right and what went wrong. Spoiler: If you played Bless and didn’t like it, that’s your fault.

Neowiz stressed that early access was a “chance to continue engaging with the player base” and that the game “was not finished,” with the goal being to gather more feedback from NA and EU audiences. One of those pieces of feedback clearly didn’t include the frequent realization that early access is often viewed as little different from a launch and that, if you’re paying for a product, you expect it to be more or less finished. As the blog states:

However, many players didn’t share the team’s view that Early Access was still a time for development and changes. Bless Online wasn’t a final, polished product as much of the community had believed it would be, leading to a mismatch of expectations for Early Access between the development team and the players.

So you see, the issue was that players didn’t understand what early access was. Neowiz attempted to communicate this as such, but large swaths of the player base ignored it because that’s how it is in the West. Perhaps that should have been gauged prior to the early access launch, rather than figuring it out “in retrospect.”

The blog further states that free-to-play was chosen as the payment model “to provide the best experience,” despite the team’s earlier misgivings about it. The game “will be releasing in a completed state for official launch” on Oct. 23.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Its kinda true. it was stated that they would use EA to further develop the game. it was stated as such. while gamers expected a finished game in an EA period. its not just the players it was also due in part to mmo sites also. Yet with that being said the devs didn’t listen to the players either during the process. Not one side bothered to listen and so here we are.

  2. I like how people who defended the game got thrown overboard and demand their money back cause they paid for a b2p game not f2p one. They should had listen to players that said to refund cause the game will die or it will become f2p. This makes me giggle a bit. Now prepare for a f2p p2w fest.

    • Who says Neowiz didn’t plan to go F2P anyways? And besides, they have been selling a F2P-level quality game for $30. Whether they planned to keep it B2P forever or go F2P, that doesn’t excuse them for selling a free game for $30.

  3. All this controversy and nobody can do anything about it. I’ve yet to see anyone say anything bad about the game now in it’s current state. All they talk about is the start of the game and nothing else. Get over and move on already. It’s going F2P and I can’t wait to at least give it a try.

    This trend has been around for far too long and people get what they deserve for jumping the gun and buying games in a haste.

  4. but they had several years with the client to come out with a more complete game than what was released seeing as they were obviously using the same exact client that was shut down in all the other countries…this is no excuse.

  5. Both developers and publishers should have already understood that players don’t want to be part of your developments. This is what your tester team payed for, to spend boring thousands of hours in a frustrating environment and get it fixed. Then you are at the point when you can start to collect money.

  6. What a joke. Early Access nowadays is an excuse to get people to pay full price for unfinished games. If Neowiz had at least a little decency, they would make the Early Access free or with a symbolic price like $5 so it’s not expensive, or at least have an option to allow people to apply for a permanent key.

    What they did was blatantly release a broken game for full price and now act like the victims. Go to hell Neowiz.

  7. “However, many players didn’t share the team’s view that early access was still a time for development and changes.”

    That’s what beta is for FFS. Early access is the paid “privilege” to play a finished product early.

  8. “However, many players didn’t share the team’s view that Early Access was still a time for development and changes. Bless Online wasn’t a final, polished product as much of the community had believed it would be, leading to a mismatch of expectations for Early Access between the development team and the players.”

    There is no development of the game we have now. It is just a scrapped korea version splitted in parts called update which pretend to be major patches. Whats more how studio which spended so much time working on Bless online came up with Bless unleashed in almost no time on completly new engine ? Players with early acces basically crowdfunded their new title while bless online will stay in maintance mode getting updates from time to time from ripped korea version.

    You can compare what we will be getting with what Korea had and draw your own conclusions.

    Dont try to waste your time and money in this game like i did

  9. Is this VICE? or is English not your first language? “leading to a mismatch of expectations for Early Access between the development team and the players.”

    If you followed the whole incident then you would agree with it, expectations were high, and they didn’t match, what is so complicated about it to understand? Perhaps don’t post articles written by your Intern’s without reading them first Jason.

    • You know that this is a direct quote from Neowiz right? Not from the author of this article. The whole point of this article was to show that Neowiz is blaming the player base for the games failed launch instead of taking responsibility for their failed implementation of ‘Early Access’.

    • That tends to happen when a company swindles consumers with promises it never intended to keep. Maybe don’t condescend to others when you’re on the spectrum?

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