Nexon’s MMORPG mobile spin-off MapleStory M will be coming to China, in partnership with Tiancity and Tencent Games, as MapleStory: The Legend of Maple..
First developed by Wizet in 2003, MapleStory is a successful South-Korean MMORPG that still operates across the world today. The game also received a mobile spin-off in the form of MapleStory M, that will now be adapted for the Chinese market with MapleStory: The Legend of Maple. The game will be developed by Tiancity in collaboration with the original MapleStory’s publisher, Nexon, and jointly operated by Tencent Games.
MapleStory was a massively popular game at the end of the 2010s, with a reported 92m players in 2009. And although the game’s population had declined significantly by the time Nexon decided to invest in a mobile version, it has apparently been successful enough that continued expansion worldwide is the next step in expanding the MapleStory franchise.
Nexon’s success continues
In comparison to many other companies, Nexon had a surprisingly strong 2023 as its latest financials showed a 49% increase in revenue. At a time like this, they’re well placed to begin expanding their catalogue to other countries, most notably China. Although China has been a difficult market over the past couple of years, it remains the largest and arguably most lucrative mobile gaming market in the world.
Nexon and partner Tiancity will likely need to make a variety of changes to the game to have it qualify for licensing in China, hence the new title and likely a bevy of further alterations to MapleStory: The Legend of Maple. Although the extent of changes required is not known at this time, due to differences in regulations and cultural standards, the Chinese version of MapleStory is likely to be a standalone product for that country only.
Notably, the original version of MapleStory M was announced alongside the sequel MapleStory 2, which didn’t reach the heights of the original and is currently only still active in South Korea. It certainly indicates that the next step for success with MapleStory is on mobile, and with the size of China’s mobile game market, it’s possible MapleStory: The Legend of Maple may once more enjoy the same player count it did back in 2009.