Bluehole, the firm behind the insanely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has announced the next project that it’s working on: Ascent: Infinite Realm. Despite PUBG still being in early access with lots to do, publisher Kakao Games claims that we’ll be playing the game next year.

Here’s everything we know about Ascent: Infinite Realm so far including release date, platform and gameplay rumours. Oh, and check out the five-minute A:IR announcement trailer above.

Ascent: Infinite Realm release date rumours

As confirmed by publisher Kakao Games, the Bluehole-developed Ascent: Infinite Realm will become available to excited fans in the first half of 2018. The catch? That’s when A:IR will be available in beta (or possibly Early Access like PUBG) rather than a finished game.

Either way, there’s still a while to wait until we get our hands on the game in any form. In the meantime, you might want to check out our selection of the best PC games of 2017.

Ascent: Infinite Realm platform rumours

In terms of platforms, we imagine that the upcoming MMORPG will be available on PC along with Xbox One and possibly PS4 – Bluehole offers PUBG on PC and is due to be released on Xbox One in December, so it already has experience developing games for those platforms.

Will it be available for the Nintendo Switch? We’re not holding out hope, if we’re being honest. The Nintendo Switch is relatively underpowered compared to the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One, and may not be able to provide the kind of experience that the devs are after.

Plus, the benefit of the Switch is that it can be played anywhere, and A:IR is a MMORPG that requires an active internet connection at all times – something not available on car journeys or on planes.

Ascent: Infinite Realm gameplay rumours

So, what can we expect from Ascent: Infinite Realm? Being some time away from a beta release, details surrounding gameplay are still sketchy. What we do know, however, is that it’ll be a steampunk-inspired fantasy MMORPG that seems to have a huge focus on aerial combat.

The game will focus on “realm vs realm combat”, Bluehole disclosed in a recent press release. “Vehicles and mounts in A:IR serve more than just the purpose of transportation; they will also provide adventurers with the ultimate battle experience: A:IR’s Realm vs Realm PvP mode,” the company said.

In RvR, factions fight for fame and glory, taking turns to lead offensive and defensive efforts using all kinds of fantastical flying vehicles. Players can also join the fight from the ground with mechs and the use of anti-air artillery to fight airborne threats―or initiate ground based aerial attacks depending on the map and strategy.

Various strategic weapons such as cannons, mines and attack buffs are at each faction’s disposal to tip the balance in their favour. The combination of ground-based and aerial combat makes each fight strategically challenging and dynamic.

Those that want more information can head over to the Ascent: Infinite Realm website and sign up for the newsletter. You can also find the announcement trailer at the top of the page – it’s five minutes long and is surprisingly laggy.

Head back here soon for the latest A:IR rumours, as we’ll update this article with new information as soon as we receive it.