GDC 2011: Joymax weighs Karma

Imagine a world where World War II -- also known as "That War With All Them Movies" -- never ended. Imagine that while the conflict raged, weapons development continued to advance well into the 1950s. Now imagine that this war-ravaged landscape is your new virtual playground.

Joymax, the studio behind Silkroad Online, revealed at GDC that its next MMO will take place in such a world. Code-named Karma Online, this massively multiplayer online first-person shooter will attempt to provide the ultimate PvP battleground for players sick of bows and arrows and futuristic plasma rifles.

Karma Online seeks to meld the best of both RPGs and FPSs by introducing a skill tree system that allows soldiers to specialize in preferred weapons and tactics. Although we're not quite sure what Joymax means by this, the studio promises more immersion by requiring the use of both hands for combat instead of just the mouse. The game will also come with the popular Call of Duty-style zombie mode if you want to switch up player-killing for undead slaughter.

The shooter is scheduled to go into closed beta this May. Hit the jump to see Karma Online in action and get the skinny on Joymax and WeMade Entertainment's other projects-in-progress!
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First up after Karma is NED: The New Era of Fantasy. Situated in a Middle Ages era, the game asks players will embark on a journey to save the princess, all based on a story of a hero who defeated the devil with a little divine intervention. One of the unique twists of the game is that players can capture, raise and even ride their own beasts. NED's been in development for five years and uses the powerful CryENGINE.

WeMade's also hard at work on Changchun2, an action MMO that hopes to capitalize off of the success of Changchun Online. The studio hopes that "movie-like scenarios" will suck players into the story as they progress through dungeons and adventures.

If you remember Digimon with any measure of fondness, you'll most likely be thrilled to hear that Joymax will be publishing Digimon Masters Online. The game is trying to follow the animated series as closely as possible and will use the "capture, train and fight" mechanics that made the franchise a hit.

Other titles in Joymax's wings include Petz, a social network game based on the cute animal series; Master of Defense, a tower defense game for the PC and iOS devices; and Project Goblin, a side-scrolling hack-and-slash RPG. No one will accuse Joymax of being lazy this year, that's for sure.

This article was originally published on Massively.