MapleStory M, based on Nexon’s hit title, was launched in China on August 17 and quickly proved to be a massive success.The game quickly climbed to fifth place in China’s highest-grossing iPhone game chart and topped the country’s mobile download charts. In fact, the game’s performance was so strong that it pushed the title to number one on the global growth charts.
In total, the game generated $55 million in China in its first 35 days in the market, helping push the game past a massive $600 million in lifetime revenue, according to Sensor Tower data.
It’s no secret that China is the world’s biggest mobile gaming market, despite the turbulence that has epitomised the country’s gaming industry over the past few years, and MapleStory M’s strong performance highlights once again the remarkable strength of the country.
The game was first released in South Korea in 2016, followed by a worldwide rollout in 2018. Sensor Tower identifies South Korea as the game’s top market by cumulative sales, at 37.75%. This is followed by the USA (13.6%), Taiwan (13.5%) and Japan (9.5%). With 9.1%, China has become the game’s fifth largest market in a fraction of the time as other countries.
Another success story
In the 35 days following its release in the country, China’s iOS market accounted for a massive 87.9% of all sales of MapleStory M. This was followed by Korea (3.6%), The USA (3.2%), and Taiwan (2.8%), with the rest of the world accounting for just 2.5%.
The Chinese release of MapleStory M helped push the game seven spots in the global MMORPG sales charts, from number nine to number two.
The game’s access in China has been attributed to several key factors, namely the graphics, music, and a sense of familiarity. An effective localisation strategy, including working with Chinese tech giants Tencent and Segi Cheonsung, has also been cited as a reason for the game’s success.
MapleStory M quickly emerged as a major source of revenue for Tencent, replacing League of Legends: Wild Rift as the company’s top-earning biggest mobile game by Chinese market share, accounting for 9.4% of the company’s sales.
It’s worth noting that this data only accounts for the Chinese iOS market - as such, it’s possible that the actual revenue when taking into account third-party app stores is significantly higher.
We listed Tencent as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.