As an avid handheld gamer with an obvious Nintendo fetish, the name Atlus conjures up a host of warm memories. Yet while I typically think of them as the company that developed quirky titles like Luminous Arc and the Trauma Center series and the publisher that brought such delightful Japanese oddities as Revelations: The Demon Slayer and the Super Robot Taisen saga to American shores, Atlus itself has been working to significantly broaden its scope.
Earlier this year the company launched an online interactive entertainment division known simply as Atlus Online, and this week they’ve announced the portal’s first full-length title. Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent is a anime-flavored steampunk fantasy MMORPG that places gamers in a war-torn world where dueling nations vie for control over a precious resource called Neo Steam. Like its MMO predecessors, the title allows players to align themselves with either of two dominant factions and encourages continuous character customization. It also allows for typical gameplay elements such as the development of new equipment and abilities, but with a distinct steampunk twist.
Now through May 12th, Atlus Online is offering a lucky few the chance to get an early look at title via a very interesting promotion. By joining the Atlus Online community, players will be entered into a random drawing for “Golden Tickets.” Each day a selection of players will be drawn from the community pool to receive these tickets, which grant early access to Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent. But wait, there’s more:
Peppered with promotions, prizes, and exclusive in-game items, the Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent Golden Tickets kick off a series of early access and beta rounds taking place over the next month. Golden Ticket holders’ admission to the game will also roll over to additional rounds of early access as the stages are unveiled in the coming weeks.
“Having worked so hard gearing up to the launch of Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent, we couldn’t be more excited about unveiling it for the first time to the Atlus Online community,” says Tyler Kim, Head of the Online Division, Atlus U.S.A., Inc. “Our community members hold the opinions we care most about, and we look forward to receiving their feedback.”
Atlus Online will continue to announce additional opportunities for early access and betas throughout May, with the game opening up to more participants during each stage of testing. Everyone who has signed up and played in the betas will also be entered to win a special gift from Atlus Online, a pair of steampunk-inspired goggles handmade by an artisan specifically for one lucky Neo Steam fan.
Not explicitly touted in the press release is the fact that Neo Steam is a free-to-play MMO. Obviously, there will be a tiered system to accommodate players who don’t mind throwing down some coin for an enhanced play experience, but those looking to explore the genre without the burden of the dreaded monthly fee should certainly check out the property.
Additional details about Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent, and, of course, sign-up information regarding the Golden Ticket promotion, can be found at Atlus Online.