GungHo Online Entertainment has been trying to expand the reach of the Ragnarok Online IP. They released a DS game that was kind of like the MMORPG and a strategy RPG. Ragnarok Odyssey, a mix of Monster Hunter and an action game, seems to have hit the mark.
"We’ve actually collected data that shows about 60% of Japanese Ragnarok Odyssey players have never played Ragnarok Online. I think that proves you don’t need to play the original MMORPG to immerse yourself in the world of Ragnarok," said Kazuhiro Irie, director of Ragnarok Odyssey, on GungHo’s developer spotlight.
Another interesting tidbit is the idea to make the game actually came from the company’s president, Kazuki Morishita. "He asked if we could make Ragnarok Online into an action game with 3D graphics. At first, I was quite surprised by the suggestion. I was worried that fans of the original MMORPG had completely different tastes than those who enjoy action games; however, it’s one of our core principles that we should maximize the existing value of our titles by keeping them fresh and innovative. When I considered that, I realized that his request had given me the perfect opportunity to take on a rewarding new challenge," Irie recounted.
Ragnarok Odyssey has been a pretty successful game for Game Arts and GungHo Online Entertainment. It’s getting a "G" version, Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, in July for PlayStation Vita and a PS3 port at a later date.