There’s games that spend a long time in development and then there’s Albion Online, which is perhaps in a whole other league of “long time in development.” To back things up, Albion Online is an MMORPG that first popped on our radar by way of a forum post in February of 2013… more than 7 years ago! Developer Sandbox Interactive was touting Albion Online as the first true cross-platform MMORPG with a client that would run on desktop and mobile devices and sync your progress between them seamlessly. That doesn’t sound that impressive nowadays since there’s a handful of games that do just that and do it quite well, but in 2013 this was some pretty new territory for mobile gaming.
We were intrigued, and we posted plenty of stuff about Albion Online whenever it seemed like there was some newsworthy development, but we haven’t really talked about it in at least a few years. Since its original announcement the game went through many forms of testing before launching officially in 2017, and even since that “official” launch it has gone through many more iterations and changes. I kind of figured it was one of those games that would just never end up actually releasing on mobile. But I guess I was wrong! This week Sandbox has finally announced a worldwide release date of June 9th for Albion Online on iOS and Android. The game’s director Robin Henkys explains more about what to expect and what the heck took so long in the following video.
It’s easy to be like “Pffftttt about time!” but as the video above highlights it ain’t easy squeezing a full-blown MMORPG onto desktop and mobile devices, especially when you originally envisioned the project NINE years ago when no one else was really doing something like that. Also I think it was wise for Albion Online to go through its growing pains on PC only, because as I alluded to it went through a number of changes over the years but as far as I can tell as someone who doesn’t actually play the desktop version it seems to have finally stabilized and built up a solid foundation of players. It’s smart to have that more stabilized and refined version of the game be the one that shows up on mobile.
Also mentioned in the video is some goodies for pre-registering for the mobile version of Albion Online, specifically a really cool Chimera mount skin for your horse and Tomes of Insight that are worth 100,000 Fame. You can pre-register by visiting this link here, though you’ll need to create a free Albion Online account first if you don’t have one already. If you’re on iOS you’ll input your phone number to receive a text when the game releases, which is odd, but if you’re on Android it’s a bit more standard as you can simply pre-register through the Google Play Store. Why not offer a pre-order through the iOS App Store? Your guess is as good as mine.
While I’m not a big MMORPG person I do find the concept interesting and am just waiting for that one game to suck me into the genre, and as someone who has covered mobile gaming for more than a decade it always makes me happy to see projects announced LONG ago end up seeing the light of day. So it’s for those reasons that I’ll be very excited to finally try out Albion Online myself when it lands on iOS and Android on June 9th.