South Korea’s Netmarble Games is slated to officially launch its megahit role-playing game “Lineage II Revolution” in 11 countries Wednesday, amid rising expectations that the foray into overseas markets will attract new players and boost the game’s falling revenue.
Netmarble will begin offering “Lineage II Revolution” in 11 markets in Asia including Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines from Wednesday. The game is set to arrive in Japan within the third quarter and in China via Tencent within the fourth quarter of this year.
“Lineage II Revolution” is a mobile role-playing game based on the storyline and characters of NCSoft’s famed PC online game “Lineage” that is one of Netmarble’s top-grossing mobile games.
Netmarble Games' “Lineage II Revolution” (Netmarble)
Launched exclusively in Korea in December, the game raked in some 206 billion won ($183 million) in revenue in the first month of its launch. This figure is close to the first-month revenue of $206.5 million generated globally by Niantic’s worldwide hit mobile game “Pokemon Go.”
The game’s explosive success helped boost Netmarble’s market capitalization ahead of its 2.66 trillion won public listing last month, the country’s biggest initial public offering in seven years.
However, the game’s market influence has been waning recently, as NCSoft is planning to introduce its biggest mobile game of the year “Lineage M” on June 21, directly rivaling and potentially stealing away users from Netmarble’s “Lineage II: Revolution.”
Adding to the woes, Korean regulators have recently banned minors from playing the game, citing issues with the in-game item trading system. Netmarble said it is working to swiftly fix the issues raised by regulators, which have yet to revert the game back to its initial “ages 12 and up” rating.
Given the situation, Netmarble has high hopes that the global release of “Lineage II Revolution” might revive the game’s market value.
So far, more than 2 million players have preregistered for the game as of last Friday, according to Netmarble. The game’s showcase events in Taiwan and Thailand held last month drew positive reviews from hundreds of media officials and players as well, the firm said.
Meanwhlie, Netmarble said it is planning to launch "Lineage II Revolution" in the US and Europe by as early as the fourth quarter of this year.
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org