WoW has an estimated eight million players. That’s a lot, BUT, the real
king of MMO is Ragnarok Online developed in S. Korea, which a lot of people
in US have never even heard of), with twenty-five million members
in twenty-one nations!
Some experts are saying that S. Koreans enjoy online gaming more than
anyone else. Oh? I wonder how they measure the enjoyment-metric?
Probably they are referring to the percent of S. Korea’s population that
plays online games, which is said to be more than 30%; over 15 million
gamers. Hmm, more even than China?
This gaming popularity in S. Korea is partly due to S. Korea’s economic
problems back in the ’90’s. At that time, the government spend billions
of dollars on improving it’s internet infrasture. Since then, fast
broadband connection speeds are available just about everywhere.
And the game at that time, one of the first to come out, was Lineage.
New players had to ‘pledge’ themselves to a more experienced player.
This gets them assistance, power, and success. and rapidly builds
teams, groups, and guilds. This one ingredient made Lineage take
YES, it’s Runescape!
Runescape is another online role playing game. It was created by the
British firm Jagex. Runescape has about nine million players. And
in the last two weeks, it’s reported that six million actually played
the game. Active players is the real metric here!
What makes Runescape different is that the game is programmed in
Java which means it can be played in any browser with only a small
download of 1.3 MB. And it will run even on old computers. The
average computer age playing Runescape is seven years.
The original coders were just two brother, but now Jagex employs
over 400 people and the average age of those people is just 22. LOL
Old people can’t code?
Since the first 100 hours of play are free, Runescape attracts a
huge crowd that want to check it out. If they like it, they can
subscribe for as little as 4.5 euros, ($5us), per month.
Jagex is planning new titles which will also be in Java, but Jagex
executives say “Don’t worry, Runescape will remain it’s main focus”.
Well, not actually HERE, but in China for sure!
And if it works there…
Since so many poor little Chinese children can not control their
online game playing within reasonable hours and since their parents
can not control their children’s playing time, the Chinese government
needs to step in and take control of those pesky little children
that are ALL getting addicted to online games.
Evidently, the Chinese government sees excessive, (defined by them),
online game playing to be sort of an epidemic like the Black Plague.
Turning their little Chinese dolls into isolating, anti-social,
non-thinking zombies that can’t get enough sleep, don’t eat right,
fail at school, get into drugs, and someday maybe even become
I think that last point may have hit a nerve as the Chinese goverment
has actually taken steps to ban certain game content that disagrees with
any Chinese version of history.
Anyways, the new anti-addiction software will limit the number of points
that can be earned in any particular game and if the player goes over
the limit, a warning shows on the screen!
Good luck with that.