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News & Features Discussion  » General: One World of MMOs?

16 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 14202

OP  3/12/12 4:33:06 PM#1

In The Free Zone today, we take a look at the worldwide popularity of MMOs and show off some surprising results with specific regard to the Korean market. We offer our commentary as a benefit so keep reading before adding your voice to the mix in our comments.

This relates to a primary reason I've always been interested in watching and learning about more regional MMOG markets than only North America and Western Europe. The first of these to catch my attention was Korea. From time to time, I visit a ranking site called Gametrics, where we can find a list that seems to rank the current 10 most popular online games in that country's PC cafes.  I don't read the language, so specifics such as what the rating criteria are or how the market share figures are calculated remain unclear.  In addition, the scope extends beyond just MMOGs. That said, it's still pretty interesting to see what the leading titles are and how they stack up.

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: One World of MMOs?

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1315

3/13/12 9:12:07 AM#2

Being a new game, I'm shocked that Tera isn't very high up on the list. Almost everyone who's played the Tera beta have nothing but good things to say about it, e.g., interactive combat, open world, good graphics, etc.

This can mean one of two things: Tera sucks in the later levels or the tastes of East Vs. West are completely different.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6115

3/13/12 10:04:28 AM#3

I love seeing Lineage on that list.  It's too bad there wasn't a way for it to be offered here in the west.  I guess western tastes are too different from the east.  Anway, the metrics are interesting.

Curse you AquaScum!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/11
Posts: 1010

FFXI Fanboy
RIFT hater.
Stop rewarding wow-clones.

3/13/12 10:54:49 AM#4

The title of the thread seems to conflict badly with the content in it. You're not talking about a global audience really, you're talking about a korean audience. I'm not insulting your article, I'm just saying the title is very misleading.

The introductory paragraphs talk about what you'd expect the title to cover, and then it gets to the list and it becomes a Korean view on MMOs, which is all fine, though it contradicts the title.

After mentioning the list, the article became about the list, of course.

I still think FFXI deserves honorary mention in the effort to try to bring gamers together. Everybody played on the same servers, and the game did a lot to create a community that worked well together, most especially the Auto-Translate function.

Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.


Elite Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 1146

3/13/12 11:55:50 AM#5

Sudden Attack made it big in Korea because it trumped CounterStrike. It provided an improved version of this gameplay (fast paced pvp) and took the niche that CounterStrike filled in the Western market. Its online persistency, and regular updates have helped it stay in the top for years. It has also had a very big presence in the Professional Gaming circuit.


The list provide is the top played games (from lanshops) in Korea. What would be an interesting comparison, would be to do a comparison between Korea, China, Japan, US, UK, and Germany. These are some of the top gaming nations, and a comparison between them would be a better global indicator.




Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

3/13/12 6:51:20 PM#6

Do PC cafes really reflect overall Korean market?  I realize they are a much bigger deal there than in North America, but I'm not sure how to interpret what those numbers are actually saying about gameplay in general.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/09
Posts: 457

3/13/12 9:11:19 PM#7


Why did the "Free Zone" turn into mainly news about korean mmorpg's and their tastes in games...

I don't know, this used to be something much different then "Today, I analyze Korea's love of xxxx" or "This time I give examples of what Koreans play" and many other similar ones..



Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545


3/13/12 9:19:44 PM#8
Do Koreans play MMOs in cafes much? I know they have the fastest and highest penetration of broadband in the world so I am not sure why they would choose to go to cafes to pay to play when they probably have insanely fast broadband at home., China, yes but Korea?

Novice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 1

3/14/12 12:08:58 AM#9

Internet Cafe over here was slowly dying due to lack of massively successful games like Starcraft 1 did. Funny that LoL took Starcraft's place though not surprising because I have seen so many people playing DotA or similar variations using Warcraft 3 custom maps. I mean SO MANY. It was rather obvious for me to see the success of LoL, especially because the game is user friendly and fast paced.

Other than LoL, I can't really understand the market at all, maybe because I grew up with more western games and like to try new stuff. Over here in S.Korea, people never change their online games once they settle down. That could be their taste of games but there are many other factors like community functions, friends, even the item market or the game money market affects the popularity of the game. NC Soft's success of Lineage has some dirty business behind, even though it is rumor amongst industry people, yes, I have worked for game companies over here too, it has been treated as somehow truth, the rumor said they controlled their item price in real life quite well. Also one of the company's successful game I have had worked for was also related to the game money market. Even Chinese are involved in this market since their wage is lower than selling items over here.

The reason behind the continuous success of Sudden Attack could be explained in few of ways. 1. Kids during that time loved it and they grew up with it. So has some sentimental values. 2. People over here are EXTREMELY competitive. 3. People over here really likes to play with their mates (This is the main reason why so many of us play at the internet cafe) and somehow kids, not adults, during that time loved it so it got extremely popular that spreaded like epidemic. I have seen the game at the internet cafe couple of days ago and the graphics was surprisingly still the same. The game has been made from Mercury engine, which seems it can make about the same or slightly better graphics quality games than Half Life 1, not 2, 1. I mean in perspective of nowadays it's horrible. Anti-aliasing? You can see the edges on the body. Enough said.

I think the diffence of the ranks of the games between S,Korea and western is not because of the taste. I have been a hard core gamer for over 20 years and I have hardly saw anyone that I could call the person as a gamer. During 2003, most people over here who called themselves as a gamer were most likely only has played Starcraft, perhaps Diablo 2 and Sudden Attack as well. I mean, other than casual gamers, we don't really have gamers like western does. I wasn't expecting to see a great article about this country's game market since not many understands it, or even tries to understand it properly. So I'm not disappointed or anything at all.



Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 2691

3/14/12 12:13:14 AM#10
Originally posted by zellmer


Why did the "Free Zone" turn into mainly news about korean mmorpg's and their tastes in games...

I don't know, this used to be something much different then "Today, I analyze Korea's love of xxxx" or "This time I give examples of what Koreans play" and many other similar ones..


Probably due to the fact that a big portion of F2P MMOs we see come from Korean developers, and that ther eis such a huge market for F2P in Korea, as opposed to in the US and some other countries where its still looked at as a bad thing by many if a game doesnt have a monthy subscription to validate it.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 40

Knowledge brings fear.

3/14/12 5:23:14 AM#11

I for one think that the time when whole world will be able to play together is yet to come. And fortunately developers and distributors understand this. Modern MMOs don't have region limitations. Star Wars, EVE, Tera, you get your copy anywhere and play anywhere. This is something that will help to bring cultures together.

Also thanks for lightening the Korean market. There is only a little known to us from the west. We know there is website for EU and NA version but that is where everything ends for majority of the players. In games where all play together it's different story, you have effect over the others depite their region and that is good.

Koudy Xfire Miniprofile

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1664

3/14/12 7:06:38 AM#12

My brief exposure to Korean gaming indicated that there is still a social stigma around gaming and it is heavily frowned upon by parents/family. So the lan cafes are a way to game without that stigma, without that visibility in the family unit.

It is also much more social than sitting in your bedroom. :)


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/09
Posts: 1078

3/14/12 2:09:25 PM#13

Originally posted by mmoDAD

Being a new game, I'm shocked that Tera isn't very high up on the list. Almost everyone who's played the Tera beta have nothing but good things to say about it, e.g., interactive combat, open world, good graphics, etc.

This can mean one of two things: Tera sucks in the later levels or the tastes of East Vs. West are completely different.


just to say, tera in korea had several bugs during his launch and over the next 2 months, waht you play now in eu/us betas is most fixed issues it had, also base tastes enter in the history, but tera killed his chance there with his bugs.


also search in mmosite a article saying what korean players said after they heard eu aion go F2P

FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/09
Posts: 457

3/15/12 9:10:38 AM#14
Originally posted by KouDy

I for one think that the time when whole world will be able to play together is yet to come. And fortunately developers and distributors understand this. Modern MMOs don't have region limitations. Star Wars, EVE, Tera, you get your copy anywhere and play anywhere. This is something that will help to bring cultures together.

FFXI failed pretty badly with that very thing..

Packed servers where you couldn't find groups from day 1 of the us release, and full of Max level Japanese players that hated the US players and would do anything and everything they could to make it harder for you.  Throw in the Chinese players that would sit at rare spawns non stop also proving the "gold farmer" sterotype 100% true..

There's more you could use, and more examples, but it really showed, region locks are a good thing...



Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/12
Posts: 7

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.

4/10/12 6:38:24 PM#15

Hmm.. Korean games..


Novice Member

Joined: 10/17/12
Posts: 44

10/26/12 7:21:27 PM#16

"When and if that will ever truly happen remains to be seen."


I would welcome an article where you discuss more wether this even should happen. Imagine the power a company would have with that kind of influence - it's pretty frightening.


I'll just wait for the Facebook MMO i guess...