Never resting on their laurels, Nexon recently officially launched their highly anticipated MMO Vindictus. A mild departure for the free-to-play giant, Vindictus has a few features in store for gamers that they’re not quite yet accustomed to, at least not in the free-to-play market. Partnering with Valve, Nexon hopes to take free-to-play to the next level through what they’re calling a “breakthrough experience that truly brings physics alive.”
A physics based MMORPG, Vindictus runs on a modified version of Valve’s Source Engine, and allows characters to interact with their physical environment. Not only do these improved physics allow for throwing enemy corpses, shattering walls, and binding monsters with change, it also employes a unique mechanism that affects players’ wear and tear on their armor. Valve’s Source Engine, you’ll remember, is the same one powering Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal.
“With the launch of Vindictus, free-to-play gaming will never be the same,” said Daniel Kim, Nexon America’s CEO.“The high-quality content and amazing physics in Vindictus will make it hard for players to believe that this game is free. Vindictus is the leading example of Nexon’s efforts to forever change what players will expect from free-to-play games. More than that, Vindictus is just plain fun.”
To celebrate the launch of Vindictus, Nexon is introducing a powerful female mage character named Evie. Evie will now join the ranks of currently available characters, the dual sword wielding Lann, and sword and shield bearing Fiona. Currently, the game features 3 “episodes” to keep players playing, with presumable more added in the future. Nexon has not commented on whether these will be available for free or via a microtransaction purchase, but I would presume the latter. Additionally, as part of the opening promotion, Nexon America will refill players’ access tokens three times a week.
A nice diversification for Nexon, and the improved physics are sure to up-the-ante in a number of free-to-play circles. However, in a genre so over crowded, and dominated by one particular MMORPG in particular, can Nexon garner enough attention to the title to make it all worth it? If their past track record is any indication as to the market and numbers that they’re able to pull through the door, Vindictus may very well have a very bright future ahead of it.