MapleStory currently boasts more than three million registered users in North America, making it one of the fastest growing massively multiplayer online games. According to Xstatics, compiled by Xfire.com for the month of April, MapleStory is fourth among the top ten MMOs currently being played online, and 15th among the top 20 PC games currently being played online.
“We would like to thank our 50+ million users worldwide and rapidly expanding U.S. audience for helping us mark the two-year anniversary of MapleStory in North America,” says John H. Chi, chief executive officer of Nexon America. “Nexon looks forward to celebrating MapleStory in the years to come by providing even more innovative content and unique gameplay for our passionate community.”
Through the month of May, various anniversary events will take place in the MapleStory universe in which community members can participate. The “Massive Maple Item and Weapon Hunt” promotes an all-out hunt for monsters carrying unique Maple Items and Weapons. The “Birthday Present Blow-out” features cake and candle monsters designed exclusively for this event carrying birthday presents for users based on their level. “Cody’s Quest” will offer users who complete the celebratory and birthday themed quests an extraordinary and rare game item. In addition to these commemorative events, special GameMaster events will take place in MapleStory each day during the week of May 9-16. Finally in a special “thank you” to the community, Maplers will be “Seeing Double” as experience points (EXP) and drops will be doubled from May 11-31.
MapleStory will also offer players opportunities to submit content for future in-game inclusion with three contests in the month of May. Building off the success of previous fan art contests, players will be asked to capture the spirit of MapleStory’s 2nd Anniversary by uploading original fan art for “Fan-tastic Art!” The Top three submissions will receive limited MapleStory dolls, one converted poster of their fan art, and 100,000 Maple Points. The “Design a Weapon” contest invites players to create a new weapon design with one lucky user being awarded 50,000 Maple Points, the privilege of naming the weapon, and the honor of having their new weapon implemented into the game. Lastly, “It’s A-A-A-L-L-I-V-E-E!!” will allow players to design and name a monster to be brought to life in the game; the winner receives a MapleStory doll and 25,000 Maple Points, in addition to having their monster join the unique horde already featured in-game.
“There is no doubt that we’ll see some very creative, funny, and downright eccentric designs and artwork submissions from a community exceeding 3 million users,” says Min Kim, director of game operations at Nexon America.
Until May 16, all items in the cash shop will be on sale during the “Cash Shop Sale.” Players will be able to buy hip, popular items for 1,000 Nexon Cash. Mysterious packages with a bonus 2x Exp cards will also be sold in the cash shop for a limited time.
MapleStory continues to expand in North America as one of the fastest growing massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG). Averaging 45,000 new registered users a week, the award-winning game is known for its robust and active community with the ability to personalize game characters in endless combinations. Filled with vibrant backgrounds and charming characters, players interact with each other online through chatting, trading, mini-games, and coordinated events. Groups of players can also ally together in parties or guilds to socialize, hunt monsters, and venture through the immersive lands on thrilling quests.
In MapleStory, players can purchase in-game apparel and accessories that enable them to create unique identities, utilizing an innovative cash shop system (microtransactions). These features are purely optional, and players can try out items prior to purchase in virtual dressing rooms, ranging from colorful outfits to fire-breathing pets.
As the pioneer of the microtransaction, or Item Selling business model, Nexon has sold millions of virtual items worldwide through MapleStory and other hit titles such as KartRider and BnB: Crazy Arcade. In 2005, Nexon Corporation reported $250 million in revenue, driven primarily from millions of microtransactions.
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