A new fantasy MMORPG called ‘Ghost’ is in development by Fantastic Pixel Games, a new studio founded by veteran game designers from Blizzard and Riot Games.
Blizzard and Riot Vets Team Up
Fantastic Pixel Games was established by Greg Street, better known to gamers as “Ghostcrawler”. Street previously served as lead systems designer at Blizzard where he worked on World of Warcraft. He later joined Riot Games and worked on League of Legends as well as an unannounced MMO project codenamed “Riot Game”.
Joining Street at the new studio are other former Blizzard and Riot developers who have worked on hit franchises like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Teamfight Tactics. The studio is partnering with NetEase Games for operating and publishing support.
Drawing Inspiration from WoW and FF14
In an interview with PC Gamer, Street discussed how Ghost aims to blend the best parts of World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14 while avoiding their weaknesses.
The game will allow players to freely switch between classes, taking inspiration from FF14‘s flexible Job system. However, Ghost will also encourage deeper connections between a character and their class, reminiscent of WoW.
Focus on Fitting Into Your Life
A core goal for Ghost is to create an MMO that respects players’ time and busy lives outside of gaming. The developers want to give opportunities for players to demonstrate devotion and mastery while avoiding demanding all of their time.
This philosophy of fitting into your life contrasts with MMOs that rely on daily checklists and grinds. The aim is to strike a balance between creating a vibrant persistent world and not coercing players to play constantly.
Empowering Player Expression and Fantasy
Ghost aims to provide broad opportunities for players to explore different races, classes, and playstyles. The goal is to remove friction points like faction restrictions, level gaps, and server transfers that can hinder playing with friends.
The game will incorporate traditional trinity roles like tank, healer, and DPS but with greater flexibility between them. Progression and gearing will be designed to make re-speccing and alts easier for those who want to experience different class fantasies.
Classic CRPG Inspiration
Ghost’s setting draws inspiration from the beloved Planescape universe of classic CRPGs. The post-apocalyptic fantasy world balances dark and whimsical elements. It will incorporate survival sandbox mechanics alongside story-driven questing.
The developers want to deliver an immersive world that feels alive, with engaging combat and activities. However, they also recognize the importance of allowing low-pressure fun to give players a mental break.
No Official Release Date for Ghost Yet
Fantastic Pixel Games and NetEase have not announced a release date or launch platforms yet for Ghost. The game remains early in development but has already generated buzz in the MMO community.
Veteran MMORPG players burned out on existing options will want to keep an eye on Ghost as it takes shape. The team’s pedigree and design philosophy around player expression, progression, and work-life balance are all promising signs.