Blue Protocol has been a development journey spanning the better part of three years – not an insubstantial amount of time – by Bandai Namco Studio, the game development branch of parent company and publisher, Bandai Namco. This is an exciting-looking MMO (yes, it’s a saturated market, but we can still get excited for the occasional release), and it’s gearing up towards a Spring 2023 release window in Japan.
Ahead of that, though, Japanese fans will be able to jump on a network test from January 14 to 16 next year. That test is limited to 50,000 (and Japan, so if you’re interested from anywhere else in the world you’ll want to explore VPN options), but will be the first taster of the game’s anime-style MMO trappings.
While an MMO is always going to be more reliant on player-to-player interactions and the combat system, Blue Protocol has got an intriguing premise, as well. Blue Protocol is set in Regnus, a distant and independent world whose inhabitants were once characterised as a primitive, yet mystical tribe that had relied on and grew through the facilitation of magic. Many thousands of years later, humans have begun to search ancient ruins and artifacts left behind by this historically arcane civilisation in search of “Engram”, the exact stuff of magic that had led the prior civilisation of Regnus to societal greatness. You, naturally, will be one such intrepid explorer.
Otherwise, you can expect this to be a fairly traditional MMO, though the gorgeous anime aesthetics will certainly help it to find an audience. There’s no news of a western localisation just yet, but Bandai Namco’s not known for keeping too much exclusive to Japan, so one assumes that big announcements regarding a global release are just a matter of time away.