Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online, an MMORPG for the PC developed by Cave, has a lengthy history and was released in Japan in March, 2007. The game's release outside of Japan was questionable, but on September 9, 2008, Aeria Games announced that it had acquired Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online for release in North America and Europe. As of this week, North American and European fans of the Shin Megami Tensei series, or just MMO fans in general, are now able to sign up for Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online's closed beta. The closed beta application phase will run until December 1, 2008.
Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online is a free-to-play MMORPG, though players can choose to purchase various optional in-game items, such as clothing, accessories, and repair kits. The game is set in Tokyo, year 20XX, which has been mostly destroyed by the "Great Destruction." The survivors of this disaster built a massive tower, the Shinjuku Babel, which is the headquarters of an organization whose goal is to destroy the demons marauding throughout the world. Players become part of this organization, fighting against demons in addition to negotiating with them to switch sides. A demon fusing system is available to create new types of allied demons. It is also possible to ride around the world on certain demon mounts. The game's story plays out in the form of quests, called acts, and there are also various sidequests (including one which is required to begin riding demon mounts). Private dungeons can be accessed to hunt monsters with friends. Combat takes place in real-time, with players using various types of magic, weapons, armor, and items. There are no specific classes, though current players of the game have determined three basic skill builds: melee fighter, magic user, and gun fighter. The game is completely PvE-based, with no PvP currently implemented.
Interested applicants can begin the closed beta sign up process here. Selected players will be given access to the game shortly after December 1, 2008. The official North American and European release dates for Shin Megami Tensei: Online Imagine are still to be announced.