24 September 2009

Ragnarök Online

I did not think I would produce really a lot when I started to write this article. But I actually wrote a lot, and I have to cut my original post into parts so that I can empty my Notepad buffer sometimes ... So this article is the first in a serie of I do not know yet how many other articles. I still have to write about

  • private servers
  • Gravity Corp. Business Plan with Ragnarok Online
  • my RO experience
  • and maybe other things ...
But for the moment, let's introduce this MMORPG.

A South-Korean manhwa ...

RO is a South-Korean MMORPG. The Wikipedia article concerning RO is a bit out of date but you can find there some basic informations.
The MMORPG comes from a manga/manhwa from Lee Myung-jin. The author has been working with Gravity, a South-Korean video corporation. I could not find any source mentionning until when this collaboration lasted or will last.

... leading to a MMORPG

Gravity Corp. Logo

The MMORPG was first released in South-Korea in August 2002 (en.wikipedia.org writes 2001 but they are mistaken [edit of January 2010: I fixed the release date on Wikipedia]), then was released internationally as an open-beta in December 2002 and I first tried it in early 2004 (see the calendar given by iRO). At the moment, there are many servers each of them dealing with a particular country. The most known ones are the Korean (kRO), International-US (iRO : Chaos, Loki, Iris and Valkyrie servers named after the manga characters), and European (euRO) servers. There is/was also a Test Server which name is Sakray (more will be said about this later ...). Some servers are F2P like the French one (fRO) or others, but the game is P2P for almost all servers. And there are also Pirate/Private Servers.

Number of players

ropd player coverage

I know that many people consider obvious that WoW has the biggest amount of players registered in the MMOG market. The MMOG Chart does not show RO, so I thought it must be a too small MMORPG to appear on this chart. I only saw on this chart very old datas concerning RO. I thought RO was a pretty small MMORPG. But :

  • March 2004 : The community of Ragnarok Online is dynamic and growing, attracting more than 17 million players from all over the world, in 130 different countries
  • May 2004 : The Gravity title has 25-million subscribers, worldwide.
  • June 2004 : 25 million registered Ragnarok players remain active
  • February 2009 : more than 50 million registered users worldwide on RAGNAROK Online alone
In some of the above links, you can read that Asian players represent a huge part of the total amount of players. I currently do not know why MMOG Chart does not show Maple Story, Ragnarok or some other Asian MMORPG while Lineage II is included. Also, I was only able to find the nearby figure concerning iRO amount of players. At least, this figure proves there are more than 100.000 players on iRO, and thus RO deserves a place in the MMOG Chart.
A RO account is roughly $10 per month.

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