It’s been 8 years ever since NCSoft first announced its upcoming MMORPG, Project TL (The Lineage) during G-Star 2011 gaming convention in South Korea on November 9, 2011. The game was titled Lineage Eternal at the time and it was supposed to be a sequel to the original Lineage. This was aimed to be the biggest Lineage project ever. Still, the game had quite a rocky development start, which led to numerous delays.
The initial plans for beta were announced in August 2013 by NCSoft. According to that announcement, the beta was supposed to launch by the end of 2013. However, this date was postponed, and there was little to no news until two years later.
In August 2015, the developers announced that a closed beta version of Lineage Eternal would be available during 2015. However, in November 2015, during a conference call, the devs said that the closed beta had to be rescheduled for 2016. This time, a closed beta version of the game was launched near the end of 2016. At this point, fans of the MMO genre were already comparing Lineage Eternal to Smilegate’s upcoming MMO Lost Ark.
Much to everyone’s surprise, in 2017 NCSoft announced that they decided to completely overhaul the entire game. Since the game was being developed on the engine previously used for Guild Wars, the company decided to modernize the game and redo everything using the Unreal Engine 4. This is when they changed the game’s name to Project TL. Needless to say, fans were not too pleased by this announcement, mainly because changing the game’s engine in the late stages of the development means that most of the work invested in the game has to be completely redone, which results in more delays and additional waiting for anyone eager to play.
In November 2017, NCSoft dropped a trailer for Project TL. It showcased pretty well the technical advantages of the Unreal Engine 4, as the game looked much more graphically impressive than Lineage Eternal. While this did please some of the fans, many of them were frustrated by having to wait over 6 years just to see the trailer.
In their Q1 2018 earnings report, NCSoft’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jae-Soo Yoon announced that the development of Project TL is progressing very well, and it was said that players can expect the closed beta by the end of 2018. This announcement hyped up a lot of fans and it once again sparked the flames of hope within the community. Other than that, it was also announced that Project TL may be coming to mobile devices as well.
However, the year 2018 passed, and the beta was nowhere in sight. For the most part, NCSoft was not too vocal about the game’s development, and the only thing they said during their Q4 2018 earnings report was that Project TL is still undergoing active development. Also, their biggest competitor Lost Ark launched its open beta on November 11, 2018, and this ‘pulled’ huge part of the Lineage community straight into their competition’s arms.
A week before Q1 2019 earnings report, NCSoft announced that Project TL will also be released for consoles, following the PC release. They also stated that beta should be arriving later in 2019 and that PC release should be expected in 2020. Sadly, there was no mentioning of the game during the report, which left a bitter taste in the community’s mouth.
Ever since then, the devs were silent about Project TL, and as 2019 draws near its end, the fans are left wondering if the beta will be released before the new year. As always, time will tell, and we will soon find out if 8 years of waiting was enough.