Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Making Money Off a 15 Year-Old MMO?





Making money off MMOs is easy right? Just ask Chinese publisher Shanda Games, who are raking in around $100 million a month off a 15 year-old title, which they have ported to mobile. Indeed, the Legend of Mir Mobile is a game which had its heyday 15 years ago, as The Legend of Mir 2 on the PC. The Korean title enjoyed wild success back then, especially among the Chinese players, who crowded its servers 250k at a time, back when only about 5% of the population of the country had access to the internet. These days, player numbers are still just as impressive, and the title brings in between $92m and $107m a month, according to Shanda Games' Zhu Xiaojing. In fact, the best it's recently done over the course of a single day was $7 million.

Obviously, with such great success in the books, the company is looking to cash in further on the Legend of Mir IP, through video content and even through a possible movie - in the mold of Warcraft.

Despite its age, the game hasn't been static:  it has been updated continuously over the years. Still, the recipe of its success is something of an unknown. Some jot it down to nostalgia on the part of those who got to play it in the internet cafes of 2002-2003, and who now get to play it again, on the go, during breaks from work. Obviously though, the game also broke through to a brand new audience over the years, quite possibly due to its very popularity.

Traditionally, the Chinese market has been one fond of older titles and not at all afraid to stick with them. The most popular FPS in the country is CrossFire, which is 10 years-old itself. There is indeed no sense in phasing out something that works just for the sake of change and novelty...


Philip Thalberg works for the home of the best Dota 2 Coverage, Gosugamers.net.

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