Warhammer Online fails miserably in Korea

Warhammer Online, a “foreign” MMORPG developed by EA’s studio BioWare Mythic (formerly EA Mythic and Mythic Entertaiment) and published by NHN(Hangame) will end its service in Korea at the end of this month. Warhammer Online is a MMORPG that focuses on a RvR (Realm vs. Realm) gameplay, characterized by a user’s option to choose either “Order” or “Destruction” side. The publishing license for Warhammer Online in Korea was established in November 2008, and after starting its Korean service in January 2009, Warhammer Online underwent two closed beta tests. Despite the fact that the expectations were rather high for Warhammer Online at the beginning as it seemed to reap quite a success in North American and European market (not anymore, unfortunately), it turned out that Warhammer Online couldn’t do the same in Korea.

The main cause behind this breakout is the lack of human resources in development, which, after all, resulted from the poor performance of Warhammer Online in the Korean MMORPG market. In addition to that, EA had recently been going through a series of restructuring and layoffs, whose impact critically hit BioWare Mythic.

Warhammer Online, though, definitely had chances of success in the Korean MMORPG market. At the beginning of the year, Warhammer Online received much attention for its arduous attempts at localization. Its customer service and Q&A team were especially passionate about localizing Warhammer Online in a Korean way, eagerly receiving feedbacks and instantly complying with user demands. NHN was particularly prudent about the performance of Warhammer Online as well, as NHN had previously experienced painful failures in publishing Lord of the Rings Online and Monster Hunter Frontier Online. A number of modifications were thus made to the Korean version of the game – from little details, such as characters’ appearances, to those pertaining to the systematic localization. Despite their efforts, however, another “foreign” game has failed to attract the Korean players. Once again, the saying that the only foreign MMORPG to succeed in the Korean Market will be World of Warcraft still stands true.

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