"Basically what's going to happen is that the current story is still continuing now, but some day in the near future -- and we'll make sure we tell the players what day that is -- something is going to happen in the story, and at that time, the servers are going to shut down," Yoshida told us in a group interview this morning at Gamescom.
The reason for the shutdown is less thrilling than you might think. "Basically the player data will be taken over into the new game. So, to convert all this new data for the new systems, we need a certain amount of time to do this. There's so much data, so many thousands of characters that we must do this for. And so we have to shut down the servers," he said.
Yoshida was quick to point out that players will have plenty of warning ahead of the shut-down (consider this your first heads-up). He also notes that the original game's userbase will be prioritized in A Realm Reborn's beta queue and that players will "be able to use their current characters in the beta test as well." Though that may not be at the kickoff of the beta, he says, "We're working in a way to try to get it as close to the beginning of the beta test as possible."
A Realm Reborn is headed to both PlayStation 3 and PC later this year.
Every summer, the gaming industry descends on Cologne, Germany, for Gamescom, the world's largest trade fair for interactive games and entertainment. Massively's on the scene in 2012, bringing you all the best scoops, impressions, and interviews from the MMOs at the show!