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HanbitSoft 'Interested' In Western Relaunch For Hellgate, Prevented By Licensing

Korean publisher/IP owner HanbitSoft has said that it "is interested" in recommencing Hellgate: London's service in the U.S. and Europe, but "unable to do so" due to Namco Bandai's Western publishing deal.
Korean game publisher HanbitSoft has said that it "is interested" in recommencing Hellgate: London's service in the U.S. and Europe, but "unable to do so" due to Namco Bandai's Western publishing deal for the troubled title. The T3 Entertainment-owned Korean firm acquired the IP of Hellgate has set up a San Francisco-based development studio, Redbana U.S. Corporation, in order to continue development on the PC MMO after the demise of original developer, Flagship Studios. After previous English-language announcements that it would continue to operate Hellgate: London in Korea, Hanbit's 'Game Espresso' weblog has published another English-language statement about the game. Kee Young Kim, the CEO of HanbitSoft, was cited as explaining: "There have been many inquiries from US and European Hellgate players surrounding the availability of the game in those respective territories." He continued: "HanbitSoft does own the intellectual property of Hellgate: London and is interested in providing the game in the US and Europe, but is unable to do so at this time because Namco Bandai has the publishing rights for those regions." The HanbitSoft executive concluded: "We cannot open up the server in Korea to allow access by US and European players as this will constitute infringing upon Namco Bandai’s publishing rights in the US and Europe. HanbitSoft is currently doing its best to improve the game." Following HanbitSoft's acquisition of the Hellgate IP, Namco Bandai made it clear multiple times that it was shutting the Western Hellgate: London servers on January 31st, 2009 and was not intending to re-open them.

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