nexon

Major Korean studio famed in the west for Mabinogi and Maplestory, among many other MMOs.

Titanfall Online is over before it had even begun

Korean website Game Focus is reporting today that Titanfall Online has effectively been canceled.

As Kotaku notes, EA and Nexon have been working on the project for several years, though it just announced the team-up and its plans to launch for Asia last year. But now it appears the companies have taken stock of the changing winds of the games market, finding that player testing wasn’t going well.

“It is true that Nexon and EA have agreed to cancel Titanfall Online under a business decision. […] After much deliberation, it was decided that reallocating development resources to another project was better for the company.”

Our condolences to fans and developers.

Source: Game Focus via Kotaku

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MapleStory 2’s second closed beta begins July 18 with founder packs full of poop

If you’re a die-hard Mapler anxious for your next big thing, or someone wondering what the heck a Mapler is, then point your eyeballs at Nexon’s MapleStory 2 site for the answer to both, as the company’s posted up a schedule for its next round of closed beta in the west, coming up on July 18th.

“The second Closed Beta will introduce a number of changes to help us prepare our servers and systems for the full release,” says the company. “This includes new dungeons, more quests to complete, a test of the Meret Market systems and more people to give our network a real workout.”

A second blog post this week dives into everything available in the game’s founder packs, which go on sale the same day as closed beta 2 kicks off. Depending on whether you snag the $25, $60, or $100 package, expect a unicorn mount, outfits, a mushroom emote, titles, and a soft serve tombstone that for some reason looks like poop. It does. They even admit it! The new vids down below should give you a taste of what you’re in for.

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Nexon rolls out a flexible work schedule similar to Netmarble’s to reduce employee overwork

No company wants to be in the news by overworking its employees to death; that usually looks bad. (Due to it being bad.) Netmarble already got hit with that particular bit of badness, but Nexon appears to be hoping to get out ahead of the pack by introducing its own flexible working schedule to reduce employee stress. And it probably looks better than your work schedule, to boot.

Employees will either have a mandatory working time between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., with more flexible arrival and departure times along with a hard limit of work past 10:00 p.m. during holidays or weekends. Nexon will also be working with shuttle bus services and other local conveniences to better accommodate the needs of employees. You can catch up on the history of Netmarble’s particular struggles just below, but it’s good to see a company moving out to hopefully take care of this before multiple employee deaths.

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Riders of Icarus is turning players into bounty hunters with rewards for exposing exploiters

If you’re tired of watching exploiters and cheaters wreck your favorite MMOs, maybe give some attention to Riders of Icarus, where Nexon is putting players’ urge for vigilante justice to work. With its “Bounty for the Hunter” event, the company is incentivizing normal folk to report anybody abusing the game mechanics in exchange for some loot. Only the first reporter gets the goods, you can be rewarded only once per account, and yes, submitting fake reports will get you a ban of your own.

Miscreants are looking at just a one-week ban and a reset of their ill-gotten gains. Reporters grab a pack full of buff goodies; the best part is that the reward includes a pair of ridiculous uniforms. Don’t ask us why the dude’s hat is lopsided and the girl is inexplicably wearing hotpants! Guess you don’t need pants to report cheaters.

Think this sort of thing ever works? What happens when the people motivated have reported all the exploiters and are no longer rewarded for doing it?

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Riders of Icarus outlines plans for its relics and world raids

It’s so disappointing when an evil deity fails to adequately plan for an invasion, isn’t it? That’s what’s hitting Riders of Icarus, and really, it just makes the God of Ruin look incompetent. First he sends his two weakest generals to take stock of the defenders of the realm, but then they wind up getting into dust-ups with mortals, losing, and letting their relics fall into mortal hands. So mortals are actually doing better because of this first invasion attempt!

Just sloppy work all around, really.

The overarching plan for future development is to ultimately give players access to the fourth relic slot whilst also allowing players mechanics to select the desired stats for that relic. Meanwhile, the world raid will continue to improve and offer better rewards and bigger foes, so don’t rest on your laurels just yet. Check out the full gameplan on the official site.

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Battle Bards Episode 122: Happy town

In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:

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LawBreakers is free-to-play for now, then gone in September

We all knew it was coming, but now it’s official: LawBreakers is now free-to-play on Steam, so you can dive right in and play if you want. That’s the good news; the bad news is that the game is indeed going away for good on September 14th. The servers will remain open until then, but all in-game purchases have been disabled and no refunds will be processed for the game from this point onward.

There’s no word on turning any of the code or server-hosting options over to the community, although it’s entirely possible that it would be out of the question due to agreements with Nexon. If you want to give the game a spin and either mourn its loss or find out why it didn’t gain traction, you can do just that now; just know that it’s all going away sooner rather than later.

Source: Steam page via Polygon; thanks to Kyler and Pepperzine for the tip!

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Mobile MMO roundup: MapleStory M, Jurassic World Alive, Crossfire Legends, TERA M, and Icarus Mobile

Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, those MMOs that obviously don’t count because they are played on a small screen instead of a massive screen, and we all know that’s what the M stands for, am I right?

First up is MapleStory M, the mobile edition of MapleStory, which soft launched in multiple regions over the holiday weekend; Canadians and Aussies can hop in, but those of us in the US and Europe are still waiting. Nexon is calling it a “real” MMORPG on mobile, and did I mention it’s cute as a button?

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Marvel and Nexon team up for new online TCG Marvel Battle Lines

Missing Marvel Heroes and Super Hero Squad Online? Today’s newly announced Marvel game isn’t going to bring those back, but it might rekindle the romance, especially if you’re an online card game fan. Yes, Marvel has apparently teamed up with Nexon for a mobile TCG they’re calling Marvel Battle Lines. It’s boasting both a solo campaign and multiplayer PvP.

“Nexon, a worldwide leader in online and mobile games, in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment has announced MARVEL Battle Lines, a new strategic card battle game featuring hundreds of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains. In MARVEL Battle Lines, players collect and build the ultimate deck of Super Heroes and Super Villains to take into battle across an expansive single-player campaign with an original story written by Marvel writer Alex Irvine and a real-time turn-based competitive player vs. player (PvP) mode. […] Collecting cards from each battle in the single player or PvP modes, players can build diverse decks of powerful Super Heroes and Super Villains, mastering their strategies to take on greater challenges and compete with the best in PvP.”

The game is slated to release free-to-play later this year on iOS and Android.

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Nexon takes control of HIT developer Nat Games

The Nexon beast continues to grow, insatiable in its hunger to devour profitable studios and gaming properties. The relationship between publisher Nexon and developer Nat Games got even closer this month as the former acquired controlling interest in the latter.

It’s not a dumb move. Nat Games has been riding high on the international success of its mobile game Heroes of Incredible Tales, which has racked up over 25 million downloads in the past few years. Nexon helped to publish the game when it went live back in 2016.

Nexon increased its stake in Nat Games by 30% to a 48.3% majority to call the shots at the studio. This is all in time for Nat Games’ follow-up to HIT, creatively called Overhit. Nexon should be bringing Overhit to global markets later in 2018. Read more

Nexon posts strong Q1 2018 results, Final Fantasy XI mobile screens leaked

Nexon posted a strong first quarter in 2018, with its earnings call reporting that the game publisher raked in $827M in revenue (a 21% year-over-year increase). The company did most of its business on PC (84%), although mobile (16%) continues to be a significant factor in its success.

Most of Nexon’s focus continues to remain in the east, as both China (67%) and Korea (22%) pull in a vast majority of its earnings. The company singled out the the performance of Dungeon and Fighter, MapleStory, and Durango: Wild Lands for praise.

Coming down the pipeline in North America this year and beyond is MapleStory 2, Durango, MapleStory M, and Final Fantasy XI Mobile. Speaking of the mobile version of FFXI, purported screens were leaked on Reddit that showed this still-beautiful game in action.

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Perfect Ten: MMOs with different (camera) perspectives

By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.

Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).

For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.

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