Several years ago, 4 games were announced – all within a rather small timeframe of one another, coincidentally enough.
Genshin Impact, followed by Blue Protocol, Tower of Fantasy and GRAN SAGA, in that order. I remember almost falling out of my chair in excitement. At the time, we all thought Genshin was going to be an MMO, and while it ultimately failed to live up to that expectation, the remaining 3 games all did.
Fast forward to 2020 – Genshin Impact released Globally, in 2021, GRAN SAGA released within Korea, Tower of Fantasy released within China, in 2022 Tower of Fantasy released Globally, in 2023, Blue Protocol released within Japan.
And while we’re still waiting on literally ANY news at all pertaining to Blue Protocol, NPIXEL, the developers behind GRAN SAGA and the upcoming Chrono Odyssey MMO confirmed that GRAN SAGA is finally releasing Globally.

During Genshin Impact’s first month of release, it had accumulated $245 million dollars in revenue Globally. An absolutely monstrous number that has – to this day – only been rivaled by Honkai: Star Rail in terms of Gacha games. But we’re not here to talk Gacha games.
Tower of Fantasy made approximately $83 million dollars from August through December – in the 5 months following its release Globally. Honestly a pretty good number, given this is an MMO and was overshadowed by all of the bugs, hacks, exploits, and drama it was embroiled in.
Blue Protocol, according to Bandai Namco has severely underperformed within Japan – with them not wanting to disclose official numbers.
GRAN SAGA, within Korea alone – as there has been no Global release until now, managed to earn over $100 million dollars in its first month.
In terms of MMOs, GRAN SAGA has earned more money in its first month than both Blue Protocol and Tower of Fantasy combined, going on to become not only the highest grossing, fastest growing free to play MMORPG, but also one of the most anticipated upcoming MMOs with a high chance of success in the Global market.

As of the last week, an official website – has popped up with the message “Global Launch Coming Soon,” featuring the main heroine of the story.
The only bit of information we received in terms of Global confirmation was when the CEO replied to a user on Twitter on January 15th, 2023, saying:

The CEO of the studio himself publicly stated “it will come out after many parts have been fixed in the current version,” openly admitting to the game still being broken and unfinished at that point in 2023. While it was very positively received in Korea, the studio wanted to make certain it was perfected before releasing Globally.
You only have one first impression, and they knew they didn’t want to ruin theirs. Us MMO players are an unforgiving type, and will immediately write this game off if it’s crap.
I appreciate that instead of rushing the game out Globally, like Tower of Fantasy did, NPIXEL are taking the time to polish their game – which is evident by the statement that it will not release Globally until “content quality is maximized.”

Unfortunately, we don’t have a concrete release DATE yet.. but what we do know is it’s – theoretically – coming soon. Global is not only confirmed, but the game itself has achieved a state that they are happy with.
In terms of what needed polished, though? My guess – and this is just speculation, is that they know there are features or functions present that Western players won’t like, and are trying to make alterations to the game ahead of the Global release so they aren’t met with immediate, irreconcilable failure. Much like what Kakao are doing with the removal of auto-combat from ODIN: Valhalla Rising.

For those of you unaware what GRAN SAGA is, let me give you a little TLDR.

  • Gran Saga is an open-world Anime MMO. It features segregated zones – similar to Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2. It utilizes a hack and slash hybrid action combat system, providing players the option to lock-on to targets.
  • It seems to be fully voice acted with animated cutscenes. It is going to be completely free to play, with monetization in the form of Gacha, much in the same way Genshin Impact and Tower of Fantasy monetize their games. You’ll obtain “characters,” each with their own respective weapons, fighting styles, character personalities. This adds a lot of diversity for players, as you can deploy several characters in battle, meaning less reliance on other players.
  • It is unconfirmed who will be publishing GRAN SAGA, or if NPIXEL are choosing to self-publish.
  • There is absolutely no censorship present in-game at all, unlike what Amazon are doing with Blue Protocol.
  • Current confirmed platforms are PC, Android and iOS. I know what you’re thinking – “Oh, another crappy mobile MMO?” And the answer is no. It’s really not – this is a game built for both platforms, not exclusively for one. Is it comparable in quality to Final Fantasy XIV? Guild Wars 2? World of Warcraft? No. But name a single Anime MMO that is or has ever been. You can’t, because there are none. Yes, this game would have likely benefited more from remaining a PC exclusive and disregarding mobile as a platform, but at the same time, Genshin, Tower of Fantasy. There are many Gacha games that have found success with the inclusion of mobile functionality. And cross-platform MMOs are – love it or hate it – the future of the genre.
  • They never confirmed which regions will be supported in the Global release of the game. You can be certain major English speaking countries will be given priority. North America, Canada, some parts of Europe. Although it’s worth noting, whatever regions Gran Saga ultimately ends up supporting.. the upcoming Chrono Odyssey MMO will also likely support.
  • It is believed to feature an English dub when it releases. Although admittedly I’ve never heard a good English dub of an Anime MMO before. So I’d honestly probably prefer Japanese.
  • I have no idea if they have any intentions of holding a Closed Beta test – or multiple – ahead of their release. It’s highly plausible, likely being preceeded by a pre-registration phase, rewarding players for meeting certain milestones.
So far, from what I’ve found online and heard from active players, GRAN SAGA has been a relatively enjoyable game for players. And given their significantly higher revenue than some of their competition – namely Tower of Fantasy, it could be argued that this is a higher quality game with considerably more potential. But we can’t be sure of that until we actually get to play it ourselves. Overall, I think the success or failure of GRAN SAGA isn’t necessarily down to one single thing. I think GRAN SAGA is going to appeal to a demographic of players interested in Anime MMOs. Anime MMOs are some of the worst MMOs in the entire genre – there’s no contesting that opinion – so even at its worst, this is isn’t going to be any worse than the crap we already have plaguing the genre right now. Or all of the mobile MMOs that release with cheap PC ports. GRAN SAGA will also appeal to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of players that are looking for a fun MMO to play, bolstering its playerbase further. Will it be a success? It already is within Asia. Any additional revenue accumulated outside of Asia is just icing on the cake. And will aid NPIXEL in the Global release of Chrono Odyssey. I’m looking forward to playing GRAN SAGA, and even if it turns out to be horrible, I’ll have no regrets wasting hours, days, or potentially weeks exploring and engaging with the world.