The recently announced .hack promises to freshen up the RPG genre with its innovative concept of playing a gamer who must save an MMORPG before it melts down. Now, Bandai, the game's developer, has announced who will be responsible for making the game look fresh. Character design will be handled by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who is renowned for his work on the seminal anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Bandai has also signed on Koichi Mashita to direct animation, and Kazunori Ito, to aid in the game's production. Mashita has worked as animation director for several animated series including Dirty Pair and Noir; Ito is known for his work as screenplay director of Ghost in the Shell, as well as having collaborated with Mashita on Dirty Pair.
With such well-known names working on it, .hack is fast becoming a highly anticipated title. The game will be packaged with an original video animation DVD and will sell for the relatively low price of 5800 yen, or approximately $44.00. There has been no North American release confirmed for the game, although there are rumblings on the Working Designs message boards that the game may be released here in October. That said, it must be stressed that this is unsubstantiated rumour, and is not based upon official sources; RPGamer will be sure to bring you any official announcement of such a release, when and if it is made.