MapleStory’s Impact on MMOs Can Still Be Seen Today

MapleStory was one of the first free-to-play MMOs, and introduced some of the alternative revenue models seen in almost all MMOs today.

maplestory mushroom features

The gaming industry lost a major figure when Kim Jung-Ju, founder of Nexon, passed away last month – announced by the company on February 28. While Nexon has been responsible for many big titles, it is perhaps best known for the 2003 sensation. MapleStory. When MapleStory first came to North America in May 2005, its popularity overseas translated well, and became one of the first Asian MMOs to truly penetrate the western market.

Nearly two decades after its launch, MapleStory still going strong, even hosting a BTS collaboration two years ago. MapleStory has a myriad of reasons to explain its enduring popularity with loyal fans, and most of them also explain its impact on the current generation of MMORPGs. Although remembered for its unique 2D art style combined with addictive combat, MapleStoryHis true legacy lies in his changing online gaming revenue model.


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MapleStory Helps Popularize In-Game Microtransactions

new world greataxe microtransactions

While there are old examples of microtransactions appearing in games, MapleStory was one of the first major titles to popularize the system. Because it was one of the few free-to-play options available to western audiences at the time, besides RuneScape, MapleStory enjoyed by a large number of players who may not have spent any money on the game. In order to correct the lack of revenue from player subscriptions or initial purchases, MapleStory introduced microtransactions – a concept that is now ubiquitous in almost all game genres. This is arguably the main driver behind the revenue of most AAA gaming companies, netting Activision Blizzard over $5 billion USD last year alone.

Although it was one of the first games to introduce microtransactions, MapleStory also establishes the well-designed principles of microtransactions that are still seen in modern games such as Genshin Dampak Impact. The original microtransactions were almost exclusively a cosmetic option that had little effect on the game. However, being one of the first games to help popularize microtransactions also comes with a load of all the negative connotations associated with the practice, as seen in titles like New world or shooters like Call of Duty: Warzone.

MapleStory Introducing Loot Boxes and Random Gifts

loot box online lord of the rings

Perhaps the only funding model more controversial than microtransactions is loot boxes. Although the origins of microtransactions are more obscure, it is more or less agreed that concepts similar to modern loot boxes began to emerge in Japan. MapleStory server circa 2004. At that time, players could buy “Gachapon tickets” for 100 yen – about a dollar – and get random items from the in-game vending machine. From there, the feature slowly gained popularity and became quite common. In the MMO world, the loot box system was integrated into early titles like Lord of the Rings Online and Star Trek Online, but this system is perhaps best known for its association with first-person shooter titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or supervise.

The history of the loot box system is very similar to the microtransaction model that MapleStory help pioneers. While it started out as a rather harmless feature that put players in the driver’s seat for how much they would spend on free video games, it has grown and is not often seen as a predatory system with studies linking loot boxes. and problem gambling. But in the end, despite the wider gaming community’s stance on microtransactions and loot boxes, their impact is undeniable across the MMO genre – as well as pretty much everything else on the market today. Both systems find their roots in the early days of the 21st century in MapleStoryonly one significant part of his legacy to this day.

MapleStory now available on PC.

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