There is news that Hellgate London will return as a free to play title sometime later this year. The game originally made by the now closed Flagship Studio held much promise as the spiritual successor to the Diablo Franchise due to so many of the developers at Flagship originally working on the Diablo games with Blizzard.

The game launched with a subscription online mode AND a free to play single player game. That was a major mistake of course….who wants to pay monthly to play the online game when its the same game as the offline free version? Most people would just call that multiplayer and for many years single players games have given multiplayer away for free.

The other mistake was that due to Flagship nearing bankruptcy it was pushed to release way ahead of its time and didn’t feature enough content that was good and polished. I did a brief beta test of the game pre-launch and while it had some merit it was clear only a die-hard supporter was really going to get the most out of the game. Since its closure however it has been quietly ticking over in South Korea being run by Hanbitsoft as a micro transaction based online game there. Evidently the time spent has allowed them to improve and develop the original game and it appears successful enough to warrant a return to the Western market.

There will be a very short beta test between June 3-5th I imagine purely as a stress test for the Western Server hosting before the game will go live as a Free To Play title. Details of how to apply for the beta are not yet known.