K2 Network: The Publishers of Knight Online
K2Network provides community services for online games including partnering for localizing, customer service, billing and technical support, provision of GMs, and local producers and developers to create in game events.
With a motto of “Gamers First” and two Free to Play MMOs in their stable of games, I met up with Bob Drobish, VP of Operations to find out more about the K2 and the MMOs they supported.
Free to Download
Free to Play
Ability to purchase items to enhance game play.
“We want our games to be easily accessible. Gamers can download the games and play the games free. We give the gamers what they want. Some just want to play a free game, some will want and will pay for enhanced game play by upgrading to a premium service, and some will just want to purchase items.”
What does the premium service provide, I asked.
“There are three levels in Knight Online. Gold, Silver and Bronze. Paying players have log-in preferences for times when server load is high and each service provides differing levels of in-game items and cash.”
Interesting concept to be sure, and quite successful from what I gather. I asked what criteria K2 looked for in an MMO they chose to partner with. Among the hundreds of other international MMOs seeking a US partner to access the English speaking and other Western markets. Why Knight Online and Global Mu?
“The Community” was the answer. “The dedicated and passion current players showed for the game.”
Apart from the business model described above, both Knight Online and Global Mu are PvP games with K2 providing leader boards for bragging rights.. K2 runs live events for both games. From the spontaneous to the scripted and scheduled. From running after a GM who drops trinkets to capture the flag events. From capture the castle to the ultimate “Fight it out for the Glory and the Shame” events.
Knight Online was a successful Korean game pitting humans against orcs that K2 transplanted successfully into the US market in 2004, and Bob was proud to let me know that they had 100K active users and their numbers grow steadily.
Global Mu Online is a new game for K2 who partnered with Webzen for the launch of a new Global Mu in March. The game interested K2 with its large committed community that already existed. 3 million registered users is a compelling number.
Bob also touched on the collaboration between K2 and the original game developers. The success of Knight Online can be directly attributed to the input from the US developers. When I asked about direction, I was again told it was a collaborative effort.
What can MMOG players expect from K2 games?
“K2 appreciates the tremendous value of the voice of the player,” said Bob. “Players can expect continued improvements, additional content which can all be downloaded free, and continued fun, in-game events.”
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