If you played Nexon’s version of Dungeon Fighter Online, you probably found your way to Dragon Nest at one point or another in hopes of getting your action MMO fix without the crippling game support. I know I did — though in many ways Dragon Nest impressed me much less than DFO did. But that’s not the point here.
Dragon Nest and Dungeon Fighter Online are similar in that they are basically hub-based MMO action games with an emphasis on party play and PvP. Neither, surprisingly, have done great in the West under Nexon.
I’ve talked about this before — specifically, whether or not DFO Global’s initial failure was due to Nexon or the style of game.
I’d love to place the blame solely on Nexon, but (if you recall) the now-defunct Rusty Hearts was run by Perfect World Entertainment and died. It was another hub-based action MMO. It may very well be the market, but it’d be a bold-faced lie to say Perfect World Entertainment handled Rusty Hearts well either.
If we went back in time to 2012 and 2013 and looked at Nexon’s DFO Global,we’d see a game very much in the same state Dragon Nest is right now: Slow with actual content updates (and even cosmetics), a website with totally out of date information, abysmal customer service, and ultimately a pathetically small playerbase.
On the plus side for Dragon Nest, Nexon is still pumping out mini-events. But all the other signs are certainly not looking so hot. In a way it feels like I’m watching history repeat itself.
Dragon Nest, much like Dungeon Fighter Online, has done very well in Asia. Not as well, but it still has quite a few player number notches in its belt. This is an established and popular game. And it’s dying in the West like many other Korean-developed games before it.
One could argue all the reasons these types of games just fall off once they come out in English. Could it be the Asia-based publishers that don’t understand (nor care to cater to) the Western market? Could these games just not be the type that do well here? It’s not like they’re bad games by any stretch, sans the restrictions of a free-to-play title.
Dragon Nest‘s time will come, sooner or later. And unfortunately I think that time is coming faster than its playerbase would like.