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Heartfelt Samurai Multiplayer Combat Game, Hanako: Honor & Blade , going Free-to-Play

Passion Project from Indie Developer, +Mpact Games, to Remember Those Lost to Cancer to go Free to Play starting December 10th!

December 6, 2021

4 Min Read

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

Author: +Mpact Games

ATLANTA, GA – December 6, 2021 – +MPACT Games, a small team of developers, who united for 14 years to make a very personal game as a tribute, finally launched back in September of 2021. The development team decided that the best course forward in their action-packed, fast-paced samurai multiplayer game is to lower the barrier to entry entirely to allow gamers to play the game for free.

Hanako: Honor & Blade will officially be a free-to-play title on Steam starting December 10th, 2021. Team Lead, Matt Canei, was excited to share “When we launched Hanako back in September, we knew we had a lot of challenges to grow a multiplayer game with essentially no budget, and a tiny five person team doing this in our free time. After a slow start, we decided to remove the barrier to entry to the game entirely, and allow people to try it at-will for free. We feel we’ve made a AAA-quality indie game and it deserves far more than we’re able to with such limited resources. So we’re going forward with free-to-play with a lot more to come...”

In addition to going free to play on December 10th, +MPACT Games will also release its first post-launch update to the game, adding 25 new items, including the rainbow/neon Unicorn bundle, as well as a bunch of new community-feedback driven improvements:

  • Hit detection improvements.

  • New “rip out” animations for basic melee attacks.

  • New ability/combo counter and hit effects system to make hits more impactful.

  • Dozens of bug fixes, crash fixes and other smaller improvements.


After the Free-to-play patch goes live, +MPACT Games plans to begin public testing of Samurai Royale mode, their take on the popular battle royale game type, within their fast-paced melee setting as well as a new map for the mode, challenge/unlock mechanics and other roadmap items depending on how support for the game grows.

“We created Hanako: Honor & Blade to help us cope with the loss of loved ones through cathartic samurai multiplayer combat representing life and destruction,” said Matt Canei, Team Lead at +Mpact Games. “I know my mother would be proud, and I want to thank our community for sharing the journey with us. I wish all of you strength in your battles—in the game and in life.”

Beyond the symbolism, Hanako: Honor & Blade takes players online for immersive battles in a beautiful recreation of Feudal Japan between up to 24 players. Players can help decide the future of a nation by playing as one of four distinct warrior classes including the capable swordsman, powerful spearman, eagle-eyed archer, or nimble ninja. Each class has different build/skill options and features directionally driven combat, abilities, and spirit-based skills to get an extra edge. Players will play as one of two clans and seek to defeat opponents through multiple game modes and maps, with each game level presenting unique obstacles and mechanics that will require strategy and teamwork to defeat enemies

Game Key Features

  • Epic online battles set in Feudal Japan with up to 24 players

  • A symbolic struggle between the forces of life and death

  • Five game modes with unique features, including team deathmatch Battle, Capture the Scroll, Village Siege, Castle Raid, and new Duel mode

  • Directional-driven combat that encourages strategy and precision

  • Four distinct warrior classes with different skill options for multiple playstyles

  • Dynamic environment changes

  • Unique character customization options (50+ items available for purchase)

  • Immersive audio and orchestral soundtrack


Hanako: Honor & Blade is developed and self-published by +Mpact Games. The game is available on PC via Steam, A Founder’s Pack that grants all purchasable items now and in the future will remain available for $24.99. To stay up to date on the game, please join the Discord at discord.playhanako.com and follow us at @PlayHanako, facebook.com/playhanako, and twitch.tv/hanakogame.

About +Mpact Games
Hanako: Honor & Blade started as an award-winning college project back in 2007 with team co-founders, Matt Canei, Connor McCarthy, and Ajani Thomas. The project originated with Matt’s teenage vow to honor his mother, Janie, following her tragic passing after a five-year battle with breast cancer. Janie was a brilliantly positive and loving mother who raised Matt to always follow his dreams, and Hanako is a passion project that symbolizes the battle between life and destruction, with two samurai clan representing light and darkness. All three co-founders are now experienced developers, with Matt currently at ILMxLAB, and the game has continually evolved as their skills have advanced. Other than an Epic MegaGrant, the game has been made without any funding. Its full release on Steam on September 15, 2021, 14 years after it was conceived, makes it one of the longest independent game launches in history. For more information, visit hanakogame.com.

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Matt Canei
[email protected]

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