As almost all South Koreans own smartphones, the mobile games market saw a sharp rise in popularity. In fact, mobile gaming exceeded PC and console gaming a few years ago, especially mobile “massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).”
The Korean mobile gaming market also witnessed a sharper increase in downloads since the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted from quarantine measures that forced people to stay in their homes, finding ways to entertain themselves.
Here are the top nine mobile MMORPGs in South Korea this 2020.
1. Lineage M (NCSoft)
Lineage M is a free-to-play mobile fantasy game version of NCSoft’s original Lineage MMORPG. The game allows players to choose from a range of classes, as it brings back classic elements, including alliances, magic, and dungeons.
Players could level up their characters, unlocking special skills and abilities to fight against enemies in dungeons or mobs. They could either play by themselves or join up with parties to enhance the experience of having an adventure. Lineage M allows gamers to explore an open world.
Depending on their preference, Lineage M players could conduct combat either manually or automatically. Additionally, exciting rewards await players who take down World Bosses scattered throughout the game.
2. Lineage 2M (NCSoft)
Lineage 2M is a 3D MMORPG mobile fantasy game developed by game company NCSoft. Based on the famous online game Lineage 2, the game adapts spectacular visuals to meet this generation’s standards.
Players could explore a colossal open world where they could create unique characters from various classes and races. Gamers could also mix and match the options and have several different characters linked to their accounts. A key feature of Lineage 2M is its unique skill tree system that allows players to invest and upgrade new abilities.
3. The Kingdom of the Winds: Yeon (Nexon)
“The Kingdom of the Winds: Yeon” is the mobile version of Nexon‘s MMORPG blockbuster “The Kingdom of the Winds,” which debuted in 1996 on PC. Topping 2.6 million downloads in only two weeks after its release last July, the mobile fantasy game is on the way to join blockbuster names.
The game retained most of the 2-dimensional visuals and music from the original. However, Nexon added a modern interpretation of the characters and contents within the game.
4. V4 (Nexon)
Developed by Nexon, V4 is a real-time open-world MMORPG that adopts a cross-platform system allowing players to experience the game in mobile and PC platforms. Gamers could also use the “inter-server” system to interact with other players on different servers. The mobile fantasy game offers a trading system, five different camera modes, and Player-versus-Player (PvP) server battles.
Players could choose between six classes dubbed as “devil hunters” with over 50 customization options for appearance and skill trees. V4 also features a player-driven marketplace called the Trading Post that offers players rewards from players’ prices for equipment and items.
5. MU Archangel (Webzen)
Webzen‘s mobile MMORPG MU Archangel is the latest addition to the growing roster of games under the MU franchise. MU Archangel is a continuation of the revamped version of the original PC game MU Online, including the user interface, game design, and primary content “Devil Square,” and “Blood Castle.”
The game supports a monster-hunting system suitable for the character’s level. The MMORPG also features an offline system to help players with the tedious level upgrading.
6. Ragnarok Origin (Gravity)
Launched last July, Ragnarok Origin is a mobile MMORPG published by gaming company Gravity. The fantasy game takes after the original Ragnarok Online game that launched over two decades ago. However, the RPG comes with upgraded content and graphics.
Gamers could participate in interactive events, including farming, mining, and fishing, in the game’s authentic open-world map. Additionally, Origin features a nurturing system that allows players to choose and cultivate a variety of unique occupations. It even offers pet customization.
However, Ragnarok Origin is only available in South Korea for the moment.
7. Blade & Soul: Revolution (Netmarble)
Blade & Soul: Revolution is the first mobile MMORPG adaptation of the highly popular PC online multiplayer game Blade & Soul. Made with Unreal Engine 4, the game guarantees high-level graphics and outstanding cutscenes and battles.
Players could create various character designs with the game’s deep customization system based on illustrator, Hyung Tae Kim’s aesthetic designs. There are also four kinds of jobs in the game: inspector, warrantor, historian, and technicians.
The game aims to achieve the original’s deep combat and combo system with more than 30 weapons available.
8. Lineage 2: Revolution (Netmarble)
As a part of the Lineage game series, Lineage 2: Revolution is a mobile MMORPG developed by Netmarble and licensed by NCSoft. The fantasy game takes place a century before the events of “Lineage 2: Goddess of Destruction” storyline.
Lineage 2: Revolution features dungeon raids, clan wars, mass-scale PvP combat, and a series of quests for story progression. Although, Netmarble specifically adapted the gameplay to fit mobile devices, such as automated movement executions. The majority of the game allows for automatic level grinding.
Players could also form clans with their friends or strangers to do quests together.
9. A3: Still Active (Netmarble)
A3: Still Alive adopts a classic PC MMORPG with a player-killing (PK) system in an open-world platform. The modern mobile adaptation features a player-versus-player (PVP) battle royale mode starting with 30 players. The game allows players to pick from five classes, such as archer, paladin, assassin, sorcerer, and berserker.
Due to the game’s nature, the battle royale mode features no auto-combat, as players manually control their movements. Game developer Netmarble designed A3’s gameplay to start fast and end fast to create a more exciting experience.
“The best way to describe A3: Still Alive would be ‘extreme competition.'”
– Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sig