Nexon remains one of the most interesting companies in the MMO space. Have not heard of them? Well, everyone has heard of MapleStory, and that game made Nexon what it is. The company continues to add fun free-to-play games to the MMO game space. With Mabinogi and Combat Arms already launched and Dungeon Fighter Online going into open beta, Nexon is starting to become the premier place for free to play MMOs. I spoke with Min Kim about bringing games over to the North American audience, what it is like to always work in the free to play area, and more importantly will we see free to play games with the depth of some AAA MMOs in the future.
Dungeon Fighter Online is the first game we spoke about. The game is entering into open beta this month and offers players an exciting arcade like experience. The team looked back at the arcade days of the 1980s and how much fun it was to play through the old side scrolling adventures. Players chose from several classes and the game offers some great customizations to characters as well. With quick action like most of the old school arcade audience Dungeon Fighters gives player some fast paced game play. The team was very dedicated to capturing the elements that made games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat so popular.
Min explained that in MapleStory, the team continues to add new content for players. The Cygnus Knights update has gotten a huge buzz and will see launches in both Asia and North America. MapleStory remains one of the top free to play games and Nexon's challenge is to keep the game exciting for players. The social aspects of MapleStory are always at the forefront, making sure players can connect socially in game with ease.
Mabinogi is another popular game from Nexon. It is getting an update and the team expects to have much more depth available for players in the future. The team is planning to launch a long term story line into the game involving the dragons. Players can expect more on that front in the future as Mabinogi continues to expand.
Combat Arms is a very different type of game in the Nexon line up. It plays and looks nothing like the other games with a very hardcore FPS style. Nexon says the game is doing very well and users continue to sign up. It was tough in the beginning because of the different style of game being offered. Since then it has had three million registered users sign up and plans for more strategic content to be implemented. Min said the game is still finding its footing in North America and Europe, but is doing very well and has a loyal player base.
Min talked about some upcoming games that Nexon is working on. Dragon Nest keeps the anime style of many Nexon titles, but is looking to give players a deeper experience in the free to play space. The company also is looking for a more serious style game with the working title Mabinogi Heroes. Min pointed out that the game does not have an official name yet, but some of the previews I saw online look like the game plays much more on a AAA MMO level than just a simple free to play experience. Nexon is also working on creating its Block Party site so that players can have easier access to games. The company wants players to be able to move freely among the Nexon titles and hope that block party will ease that experience.
Nexon remains a major player in the free to play space and is taking steps to advance the reputation of those games with its upcoming content and new titles. The team is excited about having free to play MMOs be of very high quality. Min explained that the landscape in 2015 will look very different than what we are used too now. As Nexon looks to bring more games to the market and offer more options to players, they are quickly becoming a serious force in MMOs.