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Mabinogi II: Arena stops development

Betas, Fantasy, MapleStory, MMO Industry, Mabinogi

Mabinogi II
Hope that Mabinogi II: Arena wasn't on your "most wanted in 2014" list, because Nsquare has announced that it's ceased development on the MMO.

The love child of Nexon and NCsoft, Mabinogi II was to be an action MMO arena with spectators watching teams crawl through countless dungeons. The Nsquare team said that the market didn't look ripe for Mabinogi II, although it did say that it would take another look at the project in the future. For now, Nsquare is moving on to work on MapleStory 2 and other titles.

Nexon puts millions into Rumble Games

MapleStory, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MMOFPS, Mabinogi, Miscellaneous, MMORPG

Rumble Games, founded by former BioWare/Pandemic CEO Greg Richardson, has just received a nice cash boost from Nexon and its investment partners. Rumble announced today that Nexon, Google Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital have invested $17.5 million in the studio, which intends to use the funds to expand its markets and further support its stable of free-to-play and mobile titles.

Nexon, the Tokyo-based producer of online games like Mabinogi, Combat Arms, and MapleStory, apparently sees something it likes in Rumble's games, which include KingsRoad, Ballistic, and Nightmare Guardians.

New MapleStory character returns from the dark side

Fantasy, MapleStory, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play

New MapleStory character returns from the dark side
If you fell for the line, "Come to the dark side -- we have cookies," it's your own fault. But such was not the case for MapleStory EU's newest hero, Xenon. Captured, his body altered, and his mind erased, this once normal boy became a pawn to be used by the evil scientist Gelimer of the Black Wings. But redemption arrived in the form of a lab raid by the Resistance, and Xenon's memories of his past started to break through the corruption and restart him on the path with the Resistance.

Armed with both his lightsaber Energy Sword and a mastery of the Energy Control System, Xenon -- the first character to utilize a hybrid fighting style -- set out to fully rediscover his past. Players will participate in special stories that will help Xenon regain his memory and possibly unveil more mysteries along the way.

[Source: NEXON Europe press release]

MapleStory rewards new and existing players for this week's World Transfer event

Trailers, Video, MapleStory, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Promotions, Family

MapleStory rewards new and existing players for this week's World Transfer event
All this week from June 19 to 26, MapleStory is holding a special World Transfer event where anyone who wants to move characters over to a new world can do so for only one meso. But the best part is the free stuff! For any new players that sign up for a MapleStory account through June 30, a Blue Dragon Adventure Pack is waiting in the game.

This adventure pack includes customization coupons for face, hair, eye color, and style, as well as a set of Maple items that boosts your character's stats. Pet accessories are also included, as well as the coveted Blue Dragon pet.

Check out the videos and run-down of the Blue Dragon Pack features after the cut for more information.

[Source: Nexon press release]

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Maplestory celebrates eight years with events

Fantasy, MapleStory, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

Maplestory celebrates eight years with events
Do you remember what you were doing eight years ago? Nexon does. It was introducing the 2-D fantasy MMORPG game MapleStory to North America. Since then, the game has grown with plenty of content from new characters (like Kanna and Hayato) to extensive character customization options.

To celebrate this eighth anniversary, Maplestory is holding a number of events for players to enjoy, including daily eighth anniversary coin giveaways to all players level 10 and above, and special XP bonus events and hot-days throughout the month. Special celebration boxes containing in-game items will also drop off defeated mobs.

As for going into the ninth year, NA Producer Teddy Kim stated, "We have a dedicated and engaged group of players, and we appreciate the loyalty and passion they have for MapleStory. We are committed to continuing to deliver the best content to our players to keep the adventures rolling."

[Source: Nexon America press release]

Nexon Europe adds new character and dungeons to MapleStory

Fantasy, MapleStory, Classes, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

Nexon Europe adds new character and dungeons to MapleStory
Have you ever thought that adventuring would be so much easier if there were two of you? MapleStory players in Europe will have the chance for just that experience if they choose the newest character -- Mihile, The Knight of Light. As a special ability, this knight can duplicate himself, essentially creating a shield to protect against enemies. At level 70, Mihile can also transfer this same skill onto other players.

Along with the knight, Nexon Europe is adding three new dungeons to MapleStory. Players will soon get to dive into four dungeons based on the seasons through Spiegelmann's Strange Gallery, take a cable car to the quests in Fatansy Theme Park, and discover the secrets of of the beautiful Sakura Castle. The first two will be accessible starting at level 50, but the final dungeon is only for players over level 70.

[Source: Nexon Europe press release]

Massively Exclusive: MapleStory adds samurai Hayato

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play

Exclusive video Maplestory adds the legendary samurai to the cast
The pantheon of MapleStory characters has just admitted a newcomer to its ranks -- the legendary samurai Hayato. Having lost his clan to the evil forces of Oda Nobunga, Hayato seeks vengeance. Weakened by his mysterious appearance in the Maple World, he must regain the knowledge of his fast and powerful sword combos in order to fight off the invading forces of Oda.

In this exclusive video, watch Hayato battle through ninjas and face Oda Nobunga himself in order to stop a dark ritual and save the princess.

[Source: Nexon press release]

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MapleStory celebrates the magic of marriage and subsequent divorce

Fantasy, Video, MapleStory, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Humor

So it's that sort of marriage, then.
Valentine's Day is nearly here, and the best way to celebrate it is to have your pixelated avatar pretend to marry someone else's pixelated avatar. MapleStory allows you to do just that, and the game has thus far had around 28,000 couples tie the knot in-game. It's also seen 15,000 of those couples subsequently divorce, which seems like a staggering number when you realize that the game does not offer any systems to model the crumbling of your emotional bonds and the slow desertion of your childhood dreams.

As it turns out, the staff at Nexon keeps track of a lot of interesting little tidbits about the marriage system. The longest marriage in the game is at 1,100 days; the shortest one clocks in at just three seconds. The average isn't too bad at 518 days, but couples that both married and divorced in 2012 wound up with an average run of 107 days. And some poor soul is already on marriage number 13, which implies Larry King-like devotions to remarriage. If you're looking at all of those stats and thinking that you can't say no, check out the wedding trailer past the break.

[Source: Nexon press release]

Gallery: MapleStory

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Massively Exclusive: The MapleStory developers talk about the Root Abyss

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

Well, that's the face of horror right there.
When dealing with international games like Nexon's MapleStory, it's a simple reality that updates are often going to be coming out later for US players. It's just the nature of the beast; new updates have to first be tested natively, then localized. But the upcoming Root Abyss breaks the mold, with the full version due to be released on the global servers on January 16th before the Korean servers get a live push of the update.

But there's more to the dungeon than just the release date -- there are four new bosses and a variety of updated prizes for everyone to earn. If you're looking for more insight into how the dungeon was designed, click on past the break for an exclusive developer diary from the Korean design team. You can also check out the dungeon's trailer, which features a quick preview of all four monstrous and disturbing bosses.

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Jukebox Heroes: Christmas music

Final Fantasy XI, MapleStory, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Miscellaneous, League of Legends, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Christmas music
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the staff at Jukebox Heroes! When it comes to the season, I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Christmas music junkie. Not nearly as bad as some I know, and I'm totally for a ban of hearing such music in public spaces before Thanksgiving and after New Year's Eve. I just love how it's so cheery and makes me feel warm in my tummy.

A couple of months ago when I realized that this column would fall on Christmas day, I entertained the notion of just featuring MMO Christmas music. That seemed a bit silly to me; there's no way that there could be more than a scarce handful of tunes, right?

It turns out that there's quite a bit, actually.

So whether you're celebrating, taking some time just to game, or bored out of your gourd, why not hit the jump and see how MMOs have contributed to the enormous library of Christmas music?

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Massively Exclusive: Previewing Mihile from MapleStory's New Dawn update

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, Classes, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play

The old dawn was actually kind of boring.
It's going to be a brand-new day for MapleStory when the New Dawn update goes live in early September. If you can't wait that long, we've got a little treat for you: a video preview of Mihile, who previously served as an NPC and can be played in the update. Players will be able to explore Mihile and find out how he became the Knight of Light -- and investigate his abilities in the process.

Mihile uses a one-handed sword and a special shield known as the Soul Shield. Unlike other shields, this one improves as Mihile does, earning an upgrade with each advancement and leveling up as it gains experience. That gives Mihile a defensive bulwark from the start of his career all the way to the apex. Check out the preview past the cut, and keep your eyes peeled for more information before the update in early September.

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MapleStory lands on Steam with special offers

Fantasy, MapleStory, Business Models, Patches, Free-to-Play, Promotions

MapleStory lands on Steam with special offers
Free-to-play is the trend of last year; right now, the "in" thing for MMOs is to get a coveted spot in Steam's store. MapleStory has made the move to the cool kids' table, apparently, as Nexon announced that the title is now available through Valve's digital service.

While MapleStory is free-to-play through the service, Nexon and Steam are offering two additional package deals for those interested in plunking down a few bucks for in-game goodies. The $9.99 starter pack includes a 30-day stat-boosting pendant, a teleport rock, a pair of megaphones, and a brown kitty pet that has a three-month lifespan. Alternatively, players may elect to buy the $4.99 value pack, which has just the teleport rock and pet.

MapleStory recently released its Mutiny update, which overhauled the Pirate and Dual Blade classes and added several new "mini-dungeons."

[Source: Nexon press release]

MapleStory celebrates its seventh anniversary with experience bonuses and cake monsters

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play

MapleStory 7th Anniversary
Do you feel lucky, MapleStory players? You should, because Nexon is celebrating the game's lucky seventh anniversary, and the studio is passing the good fortune on to the players with a series of in-game events and double experience weekends.

For the duration of the month, players will be treated not only to double experience and drops every weekend, but they'll also be able to take part in events such as the Maple Rising Star Contest, which requires players to complete tasks to show support for their favorite NPC contestant. And of course, no anniversary would be complete without a visit from the deliciously vicious Cake Boss monster, which combines a challenging battle and a tasty treat into one mutant monstrosity. To put the icing on the proverbial cake, Nexon has released a short anniversary trailer that recaps the major MapleStory events of the past year, so put on your party hats and join the festivities after the cut.

[Source: Nexon America press release]

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MapleStory proclaims Alliance Eternal this week

Fantasy, MapleStory, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

With this week's Alliance Eternal patch in MapleStory, Nexon has returned the balance of the classes to where it should be. The final update in the Alliance trilogy focuses on Cygnus Knights and Explorer classes, retuning them and bringing their power levels back up to par with the classes that received developer love with the previous updates.

Alliance Eternal has a few other fun surprises for players. Level 120 characters can hop through a Dimensional Schism and take on the sinister-sounding Arkarium, while Cygnus Knights level 110 or above have new quest chains to investigate.

Nexon's also looking forward to the coming months. MapleStory will hit its seven-year anniversary in May, and players should expect a big bash when that happens. The devs also teased a "big summer content release" on the horizon with two new characters including the Phantom hero.

MapleStory gets political, players respond with bewilderment

Fantasy, MapleStory, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play

Pictured: MapleStory.  Not pictured: political acumen.
It's an election year in the United States, and that means that it's time to start polling for opinions across the country. If the country goes the path of MapleStory, the incumbent President has nothing to worry about. A survey of 1,655 random MapleStory players was conducted this past weekend, with 47.79% claiming that Barack Obama had made the most positive impact out of the current candidates. The runner-up? Abject confusion. More than 20% of respondents did not recognize any of the names involved.

The respondents were also polled on the most important issue facing the presidential candidates, with unemployment taking the top spot (40%) and the gap between rich and poor taking second place (28%). It's not necessarily indicative of much, but even though it's an informal poll conducted by Nexon America of a fairly random playerbase, there's a staggering degree of confusion at work. Or MapleStory players really like President Obama, one or the other.

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