Following yesterday's reports that Hellgate: London is to return, Namco Bandai has clarified the announcement does not pertain to the US and Europe.
In a post on the official hellgate forum, a Namco Bandai staffer clarified that the company still owns the rights to the online RPG in the US and Europe, and has no plans to extend service beyond the last day of January 2009.
"People are speculating and I don't want anyone shocked on January 31, 2009 when the server and forums shut down and there is nothing," said Namco.
"Let me explain things a bit to see if it clears up any issues for you. Hanbit owns the IP and rights to publish anywhere other then the US and EU and I think the other territory is Japan. Namco owns the rights to publish in the US and EU."
As we spotted yesterday, a statement from HanbitSoft's top brass regarding the continuation of the game with a new expansion only mentioned that "service in Asia including Korea is in good hands".
HanbitSoft and its owner T3 Entertainment said in August that they would continue development of Hellgate and sister game Mythos at a new studio based in San Francisco.
The future of Mythos, a free-to-play Diablo-style MMO, is still uncertain in the West, since it wasn't included in the Namco Bandai deal. We wouldn't rule out Hellgate's eventual return either, but it would take a publisher who was willing to buy the rights from Namco Bandai, and strike a deal with HanbitSoft for any new content it produces.