How come I never found out? It turns out that there is an Online MMORPG based on the Dragon Ball franchise being developed by NTL in Japan and Korea. It’s going to be published by Namco Bandai, and it would be out on the PC and XBOX 360 in 2008. Since being an MMORPG on the PC and X360, it is speculated that it would benefit from LIVE Anywhere, and allow cross-platform gaming between the two systems. Currently only being developed for Japan and Korea, it is expected to hit the western market too sometime in the future. Akira Toriyama has great deal of control over the creative aspects of the project, both contributing to and supervising the story and art design, including character and location designs, so we can expect a lot of anime like action from the game.
Dragon Ball Online is set in Age 1000, exactly 216 years after Goku left the 28th World Tournament to train Uub in Age 784. The player takes the role of one of the many warriors living in the Dragon Ball World, which are searching for the Dragon Balls, training to compete in the World Martial Arts Tournament, or aspiring to become like the warriors of legend. While training, the player senses a disaster strike the world. The Earth is divided into pieces by a villainous organization known as the Dark Eye, which is lead by a mysterious individual. Receiving guidance from Time Cop Trunks, the player sets out on a journey to defeat the mastermind and save the world, meeting other players along the way, and interacting with the denizens of the Dragon World, including characters from the original series.
Currently, there are three playable races confirmed; Earthling, Nameks and the Saiyans. Players will be able to further customize their avatars with a variety of options, including hairstyles, colors, and clothing. Human and Saiyan players will begin their journey on Earth, recruited by Time Patrol Trunks to help save the world, while Nameks will begin on New Namek, guided by Saichoro to help those on Earth. Players also have the option to start their journey as a child, allowing their character to age and grow into adulthood as they play the game, much like the main characters of the original series. There is a lot of open ended gameplay as the player has the choice to hunt for the dragon balls, train and compete in the World Martial Arts Tournament with other players, or just head out on the quest to become the greatest warrior in the universe.
Expect free roaming environments on both Planet Earth and New Namek and a lot of downloadable add-on content released later. Either released in the English version or not, this is the one to look out for, if you are a Dragon Ball/Z/GT fan. In the mean time I leave you with some screen shots of the game!