Last night’s Game Awards was one of the annual event’s biggest shows yet. With a flurry of surprise appearances, awards, excellent speeches, game reveals, and other oddities, it was easy to lose track of everything. But if you’re a fan of anime MMOs and you find the idea of a sci-fi fantasy adventure focused on rebuilding the future after an apocalypse appealing, then Bandai Namco and Amazon Games might have something pretty cool in store for you. It’s called Blue Protocol, and it’s shipping next year as a free-to-play title on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series consoles. Oh, and you can sign up for a free, closed beta expected in the near future.
Blue Protocol was originally announced back in 2019. And while what we saw during last night’s trailer for the anime MMO was quite fresh, fans have gotten a look at the game before via server tests, and there’s been a fair bit of speculation and discourse about it over the years on the game’s unofficial subreddit. It’s otherwise been a little elusive though, with some concerned about the game’s development given the lack of updates. But last night’s trailer at the Game Awards proved that development is very active and the game will be arriving next year. It also revealed that Amazon Games, which has previously published Lost Ark and New World, will be serving as publisher. Check out last night’s trailer here:
I mean, come on, this looks pretty damn cool. And there’s a lot of potential in its premise, described by executive producer Sokichi Shimmoka as “a project that takes players on a heroic journey through a planet teetering on the brink of destruction after millennia of conflict and technology overuse.” Details on the gameplay, which offers five different classes to choose from, an “action-based combat system,” and neat-looking summons called “Echoes,” are featured on the game’s official website.
While many are likely delighted to see some new footage of this game, perhaps one of the more surprising twists is that Amazon Games will be publishing the MMO. In a statement to The Verge, Amazon’s vice president of its games division, Cristoph Hartmann, spoke to the experience of working with the team behind Lost Ark previously and emphasized that the lessons learned from that game will carry over to the publisher’s support for Blue Protocol. And based on statements from Hartmann as well as Shimmoka, Blue Protocol might have some broader IP plans with potential “transmedia opportunities.”
With a nice blend of science fiction and fantasy aesthetics, and a focus on bringing some hope and positivity to a doomed world, it’s great to see more post-apocalyptic stories that are about striving for something meaningful. The post-apocalypse is far too often a narrative space for doom and gloom, without much meaningful reflection. Let’s hope Blue Protocol changes that up a bit.