CDC Games, which I assume has nothing to do with the Center for Disease Control, has just launched their first MMO in North America under their CDC Games International unit. Lunia is a nifty little manga style action MMO where you take on the role of one of four main characters and fight through story chapters, completely with manga style cutscenes. You can start your own party or have the game automatically set you up with other players as you play through stages, using the arrow keys to move and the A and S buttons to attack. There is no clicking on monsters here...this is an MMO action RPG. Think Champions of Norrath or better yet...Record of the Lodoss War for the Dreamcast. It uses the ever popular free to play, pay for items model so popular in China, so you can just download the game and go. I screwed around a little with it this morning, and I liked what I saw. You can sign up through www.12FootTall.com, so go give it a try - you've nothing to lose but your hard drive space.
CDC Games Launches Popular Manga-Style Online Video Game in North America
Lunia Is Now Commercially Available
ATLANTA & BEIJING—(BUSINESS WIRE)—CDC Games, a business unit of CDC Corporation and pioneer of the "free-to-play, pay for merchandise" model for online video games in China, announced today that its CDC Games International (CGI) business unit has launched Lunia, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the popular manga-style comic art form, for commercial availability in North America.
Lunia, which was developed by Korea-based ALLM Co., Ltd., is based on the manga-style of Japanese comics which is widely popular throughout the world and is currently a more than $200 million industry in the U.S., according to Publishers Weekly. To play Lunia, visit the CDC Games portal at: www.12FootTall.com. Lunia and the 12 Foot Tall site are powered by IBM servers and hosted at a state-of-the-art Terremark data center that provides direct access to the core of the North American Internet.
Unlike many other MMORPGs currently on the market, Lunia is played much like an action arcade game, allowing players to move around using a keyboard's arrow keys, rather than a mouse. The game can also be played with a console "D pad" style controller which makes the game familiar and easy to use for the millions of Xbox users throughout North America.
In Lunia, various attacks can be launched by pressing combinations of keys rather than clicking on an enemy to attack. In addition, special skills and items can be conveniently controlled with hotkeys. Unlike many other games, Lunia does not restrict its skill hotkeys to the function keys on a keyboard. This allows users to more fully customize and adapt the game controls to their personal liking.
In further contrast to many popular MMORPGs, Lunia offers a detailed plotline and story to accompany game play. Battles between players and monsters take place in increasingly challenging stages which are much like chapters in the overall story. In each stage, the players accompany the four main characters: the Knight (Sieg), the Healer (Eir), the Wizard (Dainn), and the half-Elven Thief (Tia) on their adventures, often being required to complete certain tasks (for example, killing-off monsters in an area). These accomplishments advance the player through the story and are necessary to complete the stage. Animated cut scenes typically appear just before and after a stage, serving as transitions from chapter to chapter and additional sources of plot information.
Lunia has recently been test marketed in the U.S. by ALLM with favorable results, having received excellent user ratings from various game and fan sites. "We are excited to strengthen our partnership with CGI through the licensing of Lunia for the U.S. market," said Jong Myoung Lee, president of ALLM. "We expect Lunia to be well received in the North American market and we look forward to expanding our relationship with CGI in the future."
"We are very excited to launch our first online video game in North America," said Jeffrey Longoria, president of CGI. "With the launch of Lunia, we now have games operating in three major markets - China, Japan and North America. We intend to continue working aggressively to expand our commercial portfolio this year, as we plan to launch additional exciting new games in the coming months.
"Lunia breaks new ground in many new areas of the MMORPG genre," said Ron Williams, general manager of CDC Games USA, a unit of CGI. "Lunia is less complicated to operate than the typical MMORPG because Lunia is designed to be played like console games that are widely familiar to gamers. With the popular manga-style of animation and the strong crossover potential with console players, we expect this game to be well received in North American."
Lunia is the latest in several new games backed internationally by CGI. CGI already has established sub-license agreements to publish games through leading online games providers in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.