ArcheAge Russia - Foreign IPs Blocked (Updated - Block Sort of Removed!)
I hope you ArcheAge fans didn't buy the monthly premium subscription for the Russian version of the game. XLGAMES requested Russian publisher Mail.ru to block overseas IP addresses.
ArcheAge Russia launched its open beta just last month to much fanfare in Russia and the international community. You may have had to pay real money to actually be able to farm, but it was better than nothing, as there is currently no other release Westerners can easily get into.
Foreigners who were playing the game before the IP block was put into place know about the English patch, and probably about XLGAMES cracking down on it in ArcheAge Source and other parts of the internet. The developer just doesn't seem to want us to play the game yet, and is going out of their way to make sure we wait for Trion's release.
The following countries have been spared from the block and can access the game:
- Republic of Belarus
- Limited: Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Update - Block removed
Mail.ru has taken a step back from their decision to block foreign IP addresses outright, likely due to the steep decrease in player numbers and attempts at getting a refund after it was put in place.
The updated news post on the situation can be found here on the official ArcheAge Russia site.
The above said, it does look like foreign players will no longer be able to make an account for the game. Mail.ru mentions in the linked post they are in negotiations with XLGAMES to come up with a solution. This hopefully will not lead to another spanning IP block.
XLGAMES being heavy-handed is a bit scary
It's not a secret that I am really looking forward to ArcheAge, even despite the damage the 1.0 patch did to the Korean version of the game. I've been waiting for it a long time, and if it weren't for my lack of Russian knowledge, I would have given the RU version a spin by now.
That said, XLGAMES being so heavy-handed on Westerners trying to access the first actually accessible version of the game is very disappointing. Is it so hard to let your international fans play one version of the game? Judging from ArcheAge Source, the majority of international players will hop to Trion Worlds' localization as soon as they can. How much could they lose from leaving the Russian version IP block-free?
If you've paid any attention to ArcheAge from an international standpoint, you know XLGAMES is essentially handling the localization of each release and handing it off to foreign publishers. This is at least happening with Russia and North America/Europe; it's difficult to comment on the Japanese and Chinese versions.
One has to consider that maybe it's not XLGAMES pushing for these stringent anti-foreigner policies, but Trion Worlds.
The two companies are reportedly working close together on the project. Would it be too far off to guess the Russian IP block is really at the request of Trion, who spoke to XLGAMES, who in turn spoke to Mail.ru on the issue? Something to think on, but regardless of the answer, it makes me uneasy.