It seems like Korean MMO developers have a habit of resurrecting their dead/old games from the early 2000s (see Gunz 2 or Maplestory 2). It seems like for Gunbound, essentially a multiplayer Worms game in a different skin, is no exception to this.
Coming from a Korean gaming convention hosted in May named PlayX4, it was announced that there was already a Southeast Asia publisher picking up the game for this region.
The publisher picking up the helms is Electronics Extreme which I’m actually not quite familiar with. A quick look at their website indicates that they are the current SEA publisher for games including CABAL online and the more well-known Korean MMO, Ragnarok Online.
Details from the source indicates that the original team behind the game are back for the sequel and another development company, Rocket Punch Games will also be aiding the development; most likely in the mobile front.
The most direct gameplay change seems to be a “real-time” mode for mobile users; though turn-based mode will still be available as an option (perhaps in the room settings). There will also be additional modes that makes this sequel more akin to a traditional MMO although details for these modes are not released in this case.
The game seems to be launching soon with an estimated release date of 3Q 2019.
As a player from 2002 – 2006, its good to see a classic multiplayer game come back in the form of a sequel. Of course, my concern for the game is purely on the fundamentals and the business side of things.
For a game made in the early 2000s where “pay to win” was rampant, the game was surprisingly tame in that aspect in its early years. Costumes, which would give bonus statistics to your machine are made completely optional by opting to play on servers with these statistics disabled. Power-ups like items were also freely available to non-paying players to use for free (although who would be picking up anything else other than Double Shot or the occasional Teleport is beyond me).
Unfortunately, things eventually went south and such “pay to win” aspects began creeping up on the game in its later years which caused many players to quit. Let’s hope that any of those aspects are reduced or removed completely so we would have an experience more akin to the early years of the game.
Another thing to be concerned about would be the gameplay aspects. As with other popular titles which their sequels did not see the same popularly as the original due to to gameplay changes (see GunZ 2, Maplestory 2, Ragnarok Online 2), I’m not sure with their idea of deviating from the classic Worms formula. While gameplay enhancements such as more weapons, items or customization are completely within the scope of the game, the release of more “MMO” modes may be a detriment to people who want a more traditional experience instead of a grind-y MMORPG (we already have so many of that).
The artwork from the new Gunbound (see title image) indicates that we are most likely going to see the return of most if not all machines present in the original. The artwork details Ice, Trico, Armor, Dragon, Knight, Lightning and J.Frog so that we can assume that they’re confirmed to be back for the sequel as well.