Amazon Games has signed an exclusive publishing deal with Korean developer Smilegate RPG for North America and Europe. Smilegate RPG is a subsidiary of Smilegate, the developer responsible for FPS Crossfire.
What does this deal mean for Smilegate RPG?
Right now, Smilegate RPG's only game is Lost Ark, a Diablo-style MMORPG currently only available in Korea. Previously, the Korean developer has said that it had no plans to release Lost Ark in the West in 2020, but this new deal with Amazon Games means the game could be coming West in 2021. Amazon's announcement of the publishing agreement says that the two companies will "collaborate to publish a game releasing next year", with specific details to become available at a later date.
It's not clear whether this game is Lost Ark or an entirely new endeavor. Worth noting is the fact that Amazon doesn't say Smilegate will develop a new game; instead, it simply says the two companies will publish a game. That could point to the collaboration being Lost Ark, as it's Smilegate RPG's only title right now. Further compounding that idea are Smilegate RPG CEO Chi Won Gil's comments. The CEO says Smilegate RPG and Amazon Games will combine their expertise to "introduce one of our AAA games to Western players". Sounds like it's pretty much a given that Lost Ark is on its way to the West.
This could be part of a push that Smilegate RPG's parent company Smilegate is currently engaged in to bring more of its games to the west. Last year, Smilegate announced CrossfireX, a console version of its FPS Crossfire developed in tandem with Remedy Entertainment. Remedy is working on the single-player campaign for CrossfireX, while Smilegate will work on the multiplayer component of the game. Rather unusually, CrossfireX's campaign will be available via a "premium battle pass" system, the nature of which is currently slightly unclear.
What else is Amazon Games working on?
In addition to this deal with Smilegate RPG, Amazon Games is also looking to launch its inaugural internally developed MMO New World, which is coming to PC in Spring next year. Amazon Games is also undertaking ongoing work on multiplayer shooter Crucible and working on a triple-A "online game based on the literary works of The Lord of the Rings", in addition to several unannounced projects. We'll have to wait and see what this new publishing deal yields. Watch this space for more info.
Would you like to see a Western release for Lost Ark? Let us know in the comments below!