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An Anime MMORPG may be the Next Big Thing

The most popular massively multiplayer online role playing games have always centered around somewhat realistic looking fantasy characters. In North America anyway. On the other side of the globe, Eastern Asian citizens have been working long and hard to develop a slew of anime MMORPG games which have definitely appealed to fans of the genre throughout the years. While it has been tough enough for American companies to peddle games that break the fantasy mold like Star Wars Galaxies or Planetside, Asian game developers have pushed out countless titles with anime inspired graphics in a variety of MMORPG genres.

As the first hugely successful anime MMORPG, Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds has enjoyed massive popularity since 1996. Published by the guru of Korean MMORPG design, Jake Song, the game was one of the first MMORPGs to have over one million subscribers. It is a fantasy based game set in a medieval atmosphere containing a myriad of anime inspired characters. The game¡¦s website now offers free downloads for the aging game, and only requires a small subscription fee to cover for server charges.

Also an anime MMORPG, Ragnarok Online debuted in mid-2002. The game was hugely successful in Asia and enjoyed moderate popularity in North America. It featured beautiful three dimensional graphics which had an almost hand painted look to them. At the height of the game¡¦s success, its developers claimed that there were over seventeen million subscribers, making it the most popular anime MMORPG ever until 2005.

The newest addition to the anime MMORPG market is Maple Story. Also a Korean game, MMORPG is totally free to download and has no monthly server fees. However, in order to obtain better graphics or special weapons, the user will have to pay a small fee. Maple Story also made history by being the first two dimensional side scrolling MMORPG, bringing a new depth of play to a genre where all other games look incredibly similar. It is also the current record holder for most players, clocking in at over 30 million worldwide.

MMORPG Guide 2009