What might have been…
I vividly remember reading magazine previews for Level-5’s True Fantasy Live Online, Level-5’s ambitious Xbox MMO that was canceled in 2004. I even had a crew ready and waiting with our party planned out, but it just never came to be, and I walked into Azeroth (World of Warcraft) with them instead.
The core culprit was Level-5’s lack of MMO experience, specifically issues with Microsoft’s quality assurance with voice chat, among other trials and tribulations with the two companies working together. That was over a decade though, and Level-5 has since published numerous RPGs across myriad platforms hosted by Nintendo, Apple, Google, and Sony.
They’re more seasoned, in other words, and CEO Akihiro Hino recently spilled the beans that they’re working on a “large scale RPG” similar to an MMO that will not be set in the realm of fantasy. Hino says he “still feels the pain of canceling True Fantasy Live Online,” and clarifies how the company has grown over the years, stating: “To make an MMORPG, you need a well-oiled company as well as the knowledge and skill to create online games. It’s not enough to just sort of want to make an MMORPG. Back then we weren’t able to adhere to the schedule because we prioritized our mood. Then there were certain things with regards to the platform that ultimately forced us to have to cancel the project.”
Then, Hino promptly gives away what that big “20th anniversary” announcement was: “We do have an idea. I’m not sure if we can call it an MMORPG or not, but were plan to make a big title on the same scale as one. Also, since were going into our 20th year, we want to make something we like. If we able to get support from talented people able to do things we can’t, then I think we’ll be able to make it. By the way, the game we’re preparing won’t be fantasy but rather ‘modern day.'”
So yeah, it probably won’t be a successor to True Fantasy Live Online per se in terms of setting, but it could have bits and pieces from their time on it — and I couldn’t be more excited to see what they have in store.