Bandai Namco’s anime-inspired free-to-play MMO Blue Protocol will launch on PS5 in the second half of 2023, as confirmed during The Game Awards today. Interestingly, the project – which was originally announced for PC in Japan only – has been picked up by Amazon Games, who will help bring the product to the Western market.

It’s hard not to draw comparisons to Genshin Impact here, which has quickly become one of the biggest and most successful games in the world, with its vibrant cel-shaded artstyle and gacha game mechanics. But while Amazon Games says there will be in-game microtransactions for cosmetics and other trinkets, it stressed that its goal is to ensure the release remains fair for everyone.

In addition, despite being an MMO, it’s important to underline that you’ll be able to play solo if you prefer. Online co-op will also be available for those who want to engage with it, including Raids for up to 30 players.

“Blue Protocol takes players on a heroic journey through Regnas, a world teetering on the brink of destruction after millennia of conflict and technology overuse,” the press release explains. “Players must unite and harness the mysterious light called Flux to defeat powerful foes. Players can fully customise their character, and choose from five unique classes at launch: the sturdy Blade Warden, the valiant Twin Striker, the versatile Keen Strider, the multifaceted Spell Weaver, or the damage-dealing Foe Breaker. Aided by Echoes, mystical summoned creatures with powerful attacks, players will unlock their memories and fight to save the world.”

Executive producer Sokichi Shimooka explained that Bandai Namco is utilising Amazon Games’ experience with online titles like Lost Ark and New World to help develop Blue Protocol: “The Amazon Games team’s deep expertise in operating multiplayer games, combined with Amazon’s publishing resources and transmedia opportunities, made them the ideal publisher for Blue Protocol in the West. We’re excited to work together to bring players an incredible experience.”

It looks promising, doesn’t it? There’ll be a PC exclusive closed beta early next year, with more details on the PlayStation port to follow.