Official Site: MapleStory
Studio: Nexon
Launch Date: May 11, 2005 (NA); April 29, 2003 (KR)
Genre: Fantasy Sandbox
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Perfect Ten: More terminology the MMORPG genre needs

Many moons ago (so, a few months), I wrote a column about terminology that we need for the MMO genre. This made our Editor-in-Chief Bree extremely happy, and she informed me immediately that we would be going back to that well because it was such fertile ground for future exploration. Thus, for the past several weeks, every single time I write a Perfect Ten, she wonders if this is the one wherein I’m finally going to deliver more terminology.

The answer, this week, is yes. Partly because these are pretty easy to come up with, and partly because we have so many things we see over and over without specific names. It’s just a matter of giving these things words.

Here, then, are another ten bits of terminology we may immediately begin working into our lexicon. I’m happy to see that some of these are already becoming used, so that’s a good thing; now we’ve got a need for more. Place them in your appropriate forum signature immediately.

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Nexon Q4 2016 financials down slightly QoQ and YoY, 2017 LawBreakers launch planned

Nexon released its Q4 2016 and full-year 2016 financial results today, painting a mixed picture for the quarter and year: Revenues are down slightly year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, but the company’s portfolio performed better than expected all the same thanks to “robust performance of key titles primarily in China and Korea” and depreciation of the Yen.

Of note for the western market is plenty more content on the way for 2003 MMO MapleStory, a 2017 launch for LawBreakers, and of course, production on Titanfall Online. HIT is also apparently doing better than expected. Just 11% of Nexon’s revenue is generated by countries other than China, Japan, and Korea.


Nexon America’s leadership is getting shaken up

Nexon America is the American branch of Nexon, the company behind Riders of Icarus, MapleStory, Vindictus, and Mabingoi. It’s also in the middle of a management shakeup, as the current head of Nexon America, Rich Williams, is leaving the company at the end of January to start his own marketing firm, which will see Nexon as its first client.

Jungsoo Lee will be filling the vacancy left by Williams; Lee is currently the executive director of live games and has been with Nexon America since it was established in 2006. It seems likely that players won’t notice a great deal of difference on the ground level, but it’s still a bit of upper-level shifting, so perhaps more low-level shakeups should also be expected.



Battle Bards Episode 89: Nightfall

When the sun goes down, the Battle Bards’ work has just begun! In this week’s episode, the crew explores nighttime music cues in MMOs, chasing the ever-elusive feel of what that period between dusk and dawn sounds like in game. Don’t fall asleep!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 89: Nightfall and the show notes for you after the break!

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MapleStory 2 struggles in Korea

All might not be so dandy for MapleStory’s sequel in Korea. MMO Culture is reporting that MapleStory 2 is struggling overseas even as it eyes a western release in the future. Nexon is pushing out an update that it’s calling the Restart patch with significant changes to the title.

The main thrust of Restart is to act on community concerns for the MMO. Big changes with the patch including a nerf to dungeon difficulty, a reduction in feature requirements, and more bonuses for all.

Even if you don’t speak Korean (and you’re amazing, so you probably do), you can get a feel for some of the changes coming with this patch in a video after the break.

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Massively OP’s guide to the 2016 MMORPG winter holidays

It’s time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could “bah humbug!” your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We’re not here to tell you what to do, after all!

With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!

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Maplestory’s V: Limitless arrives along with downtime compensation

Black Desert fans weren’t the only ones waiting extra long for their servers to return to service today after a major update: Maplestory players — Maplers, as Nexon calls them — are in the same boat.

In the lead-up to December’s massive V Update for the game, Nexon rolled out V: Limitless yesterday, with new events, a UI revamp, an auction house, an improved leveling curve, and even a new class. But the rollout was hampered by a string of unscheduled maintenance periods that have only just ended.

Grumpy players will be duly compensated, however; Nexon has announced it will extend the Play V event, tack 48 hours onto timed cash-shop items, grant all accounts 30 V Coins, extend Maple Reward point expiration periods to the end of the year, and kick off a double experience and drop event early.

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Battle Bards Episode 87: Elves!

It’s high time that the Battle Bards lie prostrate at the feet of their social and intellectual superiors, the high and mighty Elves! Yes, it’s a full episode of elven music, a virtual rainbow of harps and swirly magic and slightly grumpy hosts who use this opportunity to unload their gripes against this fantasy race.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 87: Elves! and the show notes for you after the break!

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MapleStory preps its ‘largest update in nearly a decade’ for December

MapleStory has been around for a long, long time, so when the game’s designers say that they’re preparing to unleash the “largest update in nearly a decade,” it should make you sit up and take notice.

On December 15th, MapleStory will roll out its V Update. The V here stands not for scary alien lizard invaders but for the game’s fifth job advancement. This is a Big Deal for class progression: “The class-wide 5th job advancement update empowers players to boost beyond their limitations to reach maximum potential and become a hero of Maple legend with new abilities, equipment and high-end content.”

The update also promises to make leveling smoother and faster while bringing in improved quest rewards, UI tweaks, the V Matrix skill system, the removal of the damage cap, the most difficult boss in the game to date, and a new continent to explore for players level 200 or higher. Check out the trailer below!

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MapleStory 2 is seeking a production manager

A healthy indicator that MapleStory 2 is still happening and coming to the west is that Nexon America is seeking a production manager for its SoCal studio.

Do you have what it takes? Nexon had some fun whipping up a list of the qualifications that it is seeking: “The hallowed halls of the industry ring loud with your name. You have been around the block and it shows in your work. You have picked up a trick or two along your journey (maybe even PMI Certification.) You are battle tested and capable of strategically managing your team’s resources in order to accomplish your goals.”

If you need a refresher what MapleStory 2 looks like, from character creation into the game itself, then check out the following 13-minute hands-on video from this cute title.

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Nexon’s Q3 2016 financials ‘solid’ thanks to China, MapleStory, and Dungeon&Fighter

Nexon’s third quarter financial report is out this week, and the company is calling it a “solid” one, with revenues boosted higher than expected thanks to overperforming updates for MapleStory and Dungeon&Fighter but still down 11% year-over-year (though up once currency exchange is taken into account – the Japanese yen has become more valuable relative to the Chinese yuan, the source of most of its recent gains).

As noted earlier this week, the company is bringing 35 games (of which 7 are for PC and 28 are for mobile) to G-Star in Seoul later this month; that, plus games just released in Japan and a push into the Thai market, has the company bristling with confidence in 2017.

The western chunk of Nexon’s pie is still relatively small, but Nexon is touting the launches of Riders of Icarus and HIT as contributing to year-over-year growth in North America.

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Massively Overthinking: Our five favorite MMORPGs of all time

Earlier this week, Redditor maxpower888 started an epic thread on the /r/mmorpg sub asking everyone to chime in and name his or her top five MMORPGs of all time. I thought it was a nifty thread to skim to see how many times the same games kept popping up (and the same games turned up in combination with each other).

“You can tell how old people are by their lists,” one gamer objected, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true!

So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re going to join in the fun, then explain our choices and puzzle out what those choices say about us — don’t forget to click the entries to expand them for explanations! You should do the same down in the comments!

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Superdata’s September report shows Destiny, WoW, GW2, SWTOR, and TERA doing well

Superdata’s September games market report is up, and the console revenue rankings have a new old king: Destiny. Yes, Destiny has returned to the top of the pile.

Destiny highlights the importance of additional content releases for AAA titles,” argues the research firm. “Over the past few years, AAA console publishers have become increasingly dependent on additional content releases to extend the lifecycle for major titles. […] After delaying the release of Destiny II, Activision instead switched tactics and released the Rise of Iron expansion instead. As a result, the title’s revenue sky-rocketed from $7.2 million to $59.1 from August to September 2016, putting Destiny at the top of console rankings.”

Over on the PC side, there’s been less dramatic movement, though No Man’s Sky and CS:GO have dropped out of the top 10, to be replaced with Maplestory and Lineage I, so go MMOs!

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