Amid PUBG fame, developer Bluehole readies release of MMORPG 'Ascent: Infinite Realm'

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Screenshot from "Ascent: Infinite Realm." Bluehole/Press

Hyo-Seob Kim, CEO of Bluehole, has spoken about the company’s sudden rise to fame as well as its upcoming MMORPG. Bluehole is known for developing “PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds” (PUBG), one of this year’s most popular games.

Speaking to during the Gstar event held in Busan, South Korea, Hyo-Seob Kim confessed that the company never expected PUBG to become the high-grossing game that it is now. The Battle Royale title, currently available on the PC, has already sold more than 20 million copies despite being in Early Access.

The CEO admitted that the ultimate aim was to penetrate the Western market via the Battle Royale genre. “As a result it turned out very well, and the other markets gradually followed,” he said in the interview. “It was really about focusing on the game, and how good the game is."

It can be remembered by a few that Bluehole had released “TERA,” a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), in 2011. This was before the company shot to fame with PUBG.

Now, Bluehole braces itself for the upcoming release of “Ascent: Infinite Realm,” a new MMORPG in development for almost three years. As with “TERA” and PUBG, one of the aims of the upcoming title, according to Hyo-Seob Kim, is also to reach Western markets.

Acknowledging the game’s overall look, the CEO said, "You can see from the [art style] and characters, it's more for the Western audiences.” He added that although the game’s style does not adhere to the preferences of Korean gamers, Bluehole still has plans to release different versions depending on the region. "The difference will be in graphics, or the character customisation; there will be differences for each region, but the basic systems we're trying to make work all over the world."

“Ascent: Infinite Realm” will be Bluehole’s first major release in a gaming community that is already aware of the company’s capacities. Despite the uncertainty with regards to how PUBG players receive the MMORPG, Hyo-Seob Kim remains optimistic. "We're getting a lot of help from PUBG, putting the value of the company's name up," he said. "We think it will help people to acknowledge the game; when they think A:IR, they think of the developer that made PUBG." 

Ascent: Infinite Realm/YouTube