If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone -- and I'm not suggesting we do so -- then Lineage
would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It's also been one of those games that I've always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason, but I never gave it much attention. I think it's because, contrary to many of the "big name" games we cover here, Lineage
was and always will be an Asian phenomenon. That doesn't mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you're on the outside of it.
So let's back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft
rolled out a Diablo
-esque isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time
, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country; a recession had hit (giving people a lot of time with nothing to do), and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft
became overnight household fixtures -- and the country hasn't looked back.
Even if you haven't played Lineage
and you don't know anyone who does, trust me: There are a lot
of people playing this 13-year-old title, to the tune of millions and millions. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken said
Lineage keeps going because it's just plain fun."
This month we'll be looking back at the incredible legacy that Lineage
has given the industry, starting with an overview of the highlights of these past 13 years. Hit the jump and mind the gap!