What is .hack?
.hack (pronounced "dot hack") is a massive multimedia franchise initially released in 2002. Media releases span 2002 through 2022, and the series is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. The franchise has released light novels, manga, anime, video games, trading card games, toys, live events, webcomics and webnovels, soundtracks, and much more. The series is is developed by CyberConnect2 and the games are published through Bandai Namco Entertainment.
The story of .hack takes place in an alternate timeline to our own, initially set in the near future at the time of release. While similar to our reality, several key events differentiate the history of .hack's world from our own. Near the turn of the 21st century, a catastrophic computer virus wiped out the net and forced world leaders to restrict access to regular citizens, allowing only government and business use of what network remained. In time, citizens are once more allowed to access the new network. The ALTIMIT OS (Altimit Operating System) is released to ensure greater security and avoid future security threats and widely adopted, gaining 100% of the market share for all computer systems around real the world in everyday applications and use from desktop computers, government systems, schools, phones, transportation networks, municipal and hospital systems
A company known as CyberConnect Corporation, commonly referred to as "CC Corp," takes advantage of the dearth of network games and releases a MMORPG called "The World." As the first network game since the crisis, The World is incredibly popular, gaining over 4.5 million players on its first day before going on to having 20 million players by the time of the events that occur in the first set of games in the series.
The basis for The World was created by a German programmer named Harald Hoerwick, based on an epic poem called The Epitaph of Twilight, written by Emma Wieland. Harald sought to use the game to create the ultimate AI as the daughter he could never have with Emma after her untimely death. Unbeknownst to CC Corp, the development of the Ultimate AI was integrated with the game and was intrinsically linked with ALTIMIT OS and the network's vital operations upon which the majority of Earth's population now depends. As unexpected factors hinder the Ultimate AI's development, the network gradually becomes unstable and the effects begin blurring the boundaries between offline and online.
The shift is gradual enough that initially it can be handwaved away by CC Corp, but the frequency of incidents accelerates past the point of being concealed from the general public. Players start to see strange errors spread across The World. Rumors spread of invincible monsters, unusual abilities, and players falling into a coma while playing the game. Strange incidents escalate to the point regular players start to search for answers as CC Corp attempts to coverup the game's involvement.
How has the series been released?
The franchise can be broken up into 3 major seasons. The timeline of events in the series can be viewed via the Chronology page. For a timeline of media releases, view the Production page.
The first season ran between 2002-2004 with .hack//AI Buster, .hack//SIGN, .hack//ZERO, .hack//Another Birth, .hack//Infection, .hack//LIMINALITY, .hack//Mutation, .hack//Outbreak, .hack//Quarantine, and .hack//Legend of the Twilight.
The second season ran between 2006-2008 with .hack//Alcor, .hack//CELL, .hack//Roots, .hack//G.U. Rebirth, .hack//G.U. Reminisce, .hack//G.U. Redemption, .hack//GnU, .hack//Returner, .hack//Trilogy, .hack//G.U. Ragtime, Innocent Call, .hack//G.U. Reconnection.
The third and final season ran between 2010-2012 with .hack//LINK, .hack//Quantum i, .hack//Quantum, .hack//Bullet, .hack//Beyond the World, .hack//VERSUS, Thanatos Report.
What will become the future of .hack// ?
At this time there is no announcement of an upcoming .hack// entry within the series/franchise. The last released game was November 1st 2017, a Sony PlayStation 4 and Steam PC game called .hack//G.U. Last Recode, which was a remastered edition of the 3 volumes of .hack//G.U. from 2006 with a forth volume added to the remaster to add some additional content set within the season 2 of the franchise. But canonically, season 3 ended with Thanatos Report and this is the the last and current point in the series timeline. With other similar series being published with a trapped in a fantasy MMORPG genre, .hack// has been put on the backburner by the publisher BandaiNamco who has been pushing Sword Art Online along with other series to compete with. And the only means to show the publisher BandaiNamco Games of Japan and America that there is still interest in the .hack// cinematic universe would be to purchase more of this series either on the PlayStation Network, on Steam, and now on the Nintendo Switch.
The game retails for $49.99 USD in North America, however it has been known to drop low as $7.99 USD for sale pretty frequently. So be sure to pick it up then and buy it for yourself and buy it for a friend. Also check out Humble Bundle who is known for also selling the game for that low price as a Steam code.
In addition, contact BandaiNamco Games on social media is another means we can work together to show them there is still interest in the series by tagging them at @bnei876 @BandaiNamcoUS @BandaiNamcoUK @BandaiNamcoEU @BandaiNamco_jp @BandaiAmerica
Where can I go to learn more or find someone to talk with online?
We have a Discord chatroom at https://discord.gg/YkRJjQF. Check the pins, introduce yourself to the other fans of the series, and discover more about this multimedia franchise.
As of June 7, 2023 our 19 participating users have made a total of 277 articles. And you can help too by participating and practicing with the rest of them. To keep up with the Wikipeida changes, press Alt + Shift + R on your keyboard on any page within this Wiki to be taken to the Recent Changes page.
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