VI-GAMES recently showed off their mobile game Cyrstal of Atlan at this month’s Unreal Engine Carnival, an exposition of games in development using the Unreal Engine.
Logo registration records in China show that VI-GAMES is owned by ByteDance, the Chinese internet company that runs TikTok. Crystal of Atlan is a part of ByteDance’s “Oasis Project,” a 100-person team responsible for creating more hardcore games. ByteDance has previously released only casual games.
After its unveiling, CoA became one of the top three most wishlisted games on Chinese game platform TapTap with an expectancy rating of 9.1. Speculation quickly followed the newly-released trailer, with users comparing the game to Genshin Impact and Tower of Fantasy. Others noted extreme similarities between CoA’s trailer and the trailer for the currently in-development “Project BBQ,” a 3d sequel to the popular Korean game Dungeon Fighter Online.
Hoping to clear up some uncertainty surrounding the game, VI-GAMES released a statement on TapTap, which at first seemed to only make things more confusing by saying that Crystal of Atlan was not an anime game; not an open-world game; not a traditional MMO; and not a card game. What exactly is Crystal of Atlan then?
Judging by the trailer, the game has a distinctly Korean-MMO look with fantasy and steampunk elements. The developer gave the game the following tags on TapTap: action, fantasy, ARPG, steampunk, anime, and roleplaying. Despite this, the team stated fans expecting an “anime-type game” (二次元) like Genshin Impact might be disappointed.
The statement by VI-GAMES offers many concrete details about the game, describing it as an ARPG with sandbox levels that include aerial combat and exploration elements. Players have 10 combat skills that work differently on the ground and in the air.
“Each chapter is part of a series of connected dungeons, not just pasted-together, separate instances,” VI-GAMES said in the statement. “This makes exploring the instances much more interesting and fun. We plan to make at least ten of these sandbox levels, each with unique environments and playstyles.”
In response to some players’ accusations of plagiarizing certain shots from the Project BBQ trailer, the team admits that since they only had three weeks to prepare something for the Unreal Engine Carnival after being invited by Epic, they did in fact reference the Project BBQ trailer when making CoA’s. Many users commended the developers for their honesty in this regard, while others praised them for using actual gameplay in the trailer and just showing pre-rendered footage.
When asked about a release date, VI-GAMES responded in the comments that they were not sure, but hoped to have an open beta by the end of 2021 or early 2022.