Flagship Studios and Korean game company HanbitSoft have formed a joint venture to create Ping0, a service for digital distribution and online game hosting.
The first game to use the service will be Flagship's own Hellgate: London. According to Bill Roper, the CEO of Flagship and former Blizzard executive, "Supporting Hellgate: London is just the beginning for Ping0. We fully expect Ping0 to both handle the online components and digitally distribute all of Flagship's future titles. The company will also provide publishers and developers that want to bring their games online with a solution proven by one of the most highly anticipated titles in the industry."
Coming from Blizzard and their popular Blizzard.net service, it's no surprise that Bill Roper and company would move in this direction. The difference is that unlike Blizzard.net, they will be opening the service up to other developers and publishers. HanbitSoft is the Korean distributer of StarCraft, executive VP Tony Park explains that, "Through Ping0, we will offer a turn-key solution for developers and publishers developing online games, from sophisticated MMOs to casual games."
There is currently no firm release date for Hellgate: London.