Best Imported Game: MapleStory (Nexon / Wizet)
by Dana Massey
It seems there is a new foreign MMO localized for English-language audiences every few weeks, but despite the explosion of primarily Asian games, Nexon's adaptation of MapleStory remains the gold-standard.
In 2005, the side-scrolling cartoon MMO came to these shores and like it had all over the world, quickly carved out a great number of players. MMO sites like this one fawn over World of Warcraft and their nine million subscribers, but across all versions, there have been well over 50 million accounts created for this "cutesy MMO".
Like most games of its kind, MapleStory firmly embraces the free-to-play business model, where players can download and enjoy the game free of cost, but can spend money on enhancements or items for their characters.
In North American, a recent GM update states that the game approaches its 5 millionth account, which may not translate as easily to active players as subscribers, but is still a sizeable accomplishment.
The game itself has accomplished a lot with simplicity. Players adventure, fight monsters, explore dungeons and collect experience. There's nothing revolutionary there, but MapleStory is a testament that players prefer a solid, fun experience over the latest pixel shaders. They've carved out their niche with a game whose graphics owe more to Super Mario than Crysis. For that reason, it was easy to name it the Best Imported MMO.
Honorable Mention: Exteel (NCsoft)
By JR Sutich
Exteel had its commercial launch in Korea in January of 2006. The game has been a great success in Asia and in December of 2007 was released in the United States. Exteel is an FPS/MMO hybrid that has fast-paced combat combined with a persistent character/skill system. Currently the game is using a Free-to-Play business model with a microtransaction currency available known as NCcoins.
Players engage in a number if different battle scenarios including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch or engaging NPCs. Characters are able to be ranked up and can acquire new skills and equipment some of which are only available by using NCcoins. If you're a fan of John Woo, giant anime robots and intense PvP, then Exteel is a game you should definitely be checking out.
- New Category
Click on to see who grabbed Best New Game of 2007.