MapleStory-like game launched today ""wouldnot succeed""

The general manager of Wizet Studio, the developer responsible for Nexon is global smash hit MMO MapleStory, believes that a game launched now with the same six precepts as that game "wouldnot succeed today" - because of the number of rival titles in the online space.

Specifically, those precepts factored in at maple story meso is initial development included the simple, bright and casual style, the avatar costume system, the 2D side-scrolling nature and maple story meso the in-game chatting priority.

But he did explain some of the factors that have since led to the game attracting over 87 million players worldwide: "Constant updates after game launch is extremely important for online games," he said. "Everybody knows that by heart now. The important point is how we have applied these updates in our games," he added before going on to list four specific aspects.

"First, make no room for mistakes," he said. "It is extremely important not to allow any mistakes such as item duplication, in-game bugs or private servers. This is the fundamental stuff to be kept in live services.

"Secondly, attract users by regular live in-game events; Third, develop and maplestory mesos  improve existing contents; And lastly, add new content that is totally new to the game nature," he added, using a new character class as an example.

Citing specific lessons learned, Chae highlighted the impact on the first point that a client hacking episode had with respect to the concurrent user numbers had in 2006 - that hacking saw user numbers plummet.

Conversely, an in-game live event during Thanksgiving in 2007 saw concurrent numbers remain steady - while the same period in 2008 with no live event saw a decline.

Meanwhile, a general increase in users has resulted from four major expansions to the game since its launch in 2003, although incremental in-game additions, such as adding a new town, had little or no effect on user numbers.

"We found that the existing strategy of expanding on the existing contents were not enough to buy users interest any more - we needed to come up with new strategies and  maple story mesonew game systems that did not exist before," he said, using examples of a Wedding System and  maplestory mesos new Pirate class - which both resulted in significant player spikes.

But the application of those four factors needs to change in priority depending on the point in the life cycle of the game, he added, with content, prevention of mistakes, and the addition of significant new content updates most important a launch, stabilisation and maturity phases respectively.

maple story meso  now boasts over 87 million accounts globally, with successful launches in Korea, China, the US, Europe and South America, among other regions, and local teams developing the game according to the culture of its own region.

In terms of how the game is player base looks on the global scale, South Korea is - unsurprisingly - the biggest region by player base taking 26.1 per cent of total players.

Taiwan follows that with 20.4 per cent, Japan accounts for 18.9 per cent while the US and China have notched up 13.8 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively. The rest of South-East Asia takes 4.5 per cent, while Europe has 1.6 per cent.

Chae was speaking at the inaugural DICE Summit Asia, taking place as part of GC Asia 2009, at the Suntec Convention Center, Singapore.

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