There was finally some news about the Acclaim side of the Spellborn release. Unfortunately that says that the release for North America and the other countries and regions that Acclaim is responsible for will have a later release date. This later release date is specified as “January 2009″.
One of the reasons that was given for that Spellborn would be released in late 2008 was that the North American publisher they had signed up had asked for a fair amount of time to be able to prepare for the launch.
In April Spellborn announced they had signed a letter of intent with a MMOG publisher in the US, which would publish the game provided that they were given 6 months time to properly introduce the game to the US audience.
In August it was announced that Acclaim was the US publisher. In September the release date of November 27th was announced. It was confirmed for Europe and they said the intent was to have the game released at the same time in North America (they were waiting for a confirmation from Acclaim).
Now when there is only one week left a new release date is set for the Acclaim version of the game, which is the same version as everywhere else, as said in the announcement for the new release date.
Acclaim have had since April to prepare, that is more than 7 months. The release date has been public information for more than 2 months and probably was communicated with Acclaim before it became public.
My guess is that Acclaim did not really much at all, if anything after signing that letter of intent. They possibly set a web designer to put up a page for the game when they had their press release. Their web page pretty much have been the same since that press release in August.
Maybe they have been pressed for time because they slipped up, but it would have been nice if they actually told people that long before. They certainly will not get my vote of confidence as it is now.
To add to the issues here, since Acclaim will handle UK in Europe this will also be delayed. With entirely different publishers for different regions in Europe and probably no scheme in place between the Acclaim and Frogster (any other publisher also?) this means a number of players may or may not be able to play together since they may be locked out from certain servers:
Regarding German version, it will be multilingual, but it is likely that UK players won’t be allowed to join the servers linked to the non-Acclaim version of the game. We still are gathering details on this and official announcement about it will follow on some later date.
(Quote from community manager Banshee)
This may mean that there will be English versions of the game outside UK, but that there may be problems for people in UK to play with friends in other countries.Some people semmed to guess that they would do IP blocking, but I certainly hope that they won’t do that and perhaps just have different serial codes for those that buy the game. But it would be much more preferable if the publishers could sort out among themselves how to split the income from players rather than let the players take the hit. That would still likely be less complex than the cross-charging telco companies has to deal with.
There is a number of UK people I have played with in different games and I would hate to see that if we would like to play together this may be problematic. And there are also people from other countries in Europe I play and have played with, so there is no obvious choice what to choose from that point of view.
But I think I will start on a non-Acclaim English-speaking server, assuming that can be sorted out with others to play with. Acclaim certainly do not get my vote at the moment.