The martial arts fantasy MMORPG Blade & Soul has been given a tentative closed beta date and launch date, according to Korean news source Digital Daily. Developed by NCsoft, the oriental fantasy title is expected to enter its closed beta at some point near the end of April. It is expected to enter its open beta phase around August or September.
Note that in Korea, the opened beta phase is considered a soft launch of the game.
Blade & Soul‘s closed beta phase falls at the time when TERA‘s 3-month subscription period ends. Whether or not this date was chosen to draw players away from TERA is mere speculation, but Digital Daily suggests that a rivalry will likely kick off between the two games/developers at this time. A major reason for this speculated rivalry stems from the fact that many of TERA‘s developers were once key members of NCsoft’s Lineage 3 staff.
The news of the beta and launch date comes only a few weeks after a report on the subject from This is Game, which stated that that Blade & Soul will enter its open beta phase this year. According to the article, NCsofts’ vice president Jae-Sang Lee affirmed that Blade & Soul will be entering its open beta phase (launch) this year.