RIFT Closing Doors in South Korea
RIFT has had a great deal of trouble finding its footing in Asia -- something I stated back in December, as the game's Taiwanese and Korean servers took the plunge into free to play territory. The shift to the title's mostly free to play model did not help: RIFT is closing its doors in South Korea for good April 25.
Publisher CJ E&M attempted several promotions through last year attempting to draw new players in and keep the active playerbase subscribed. This unfortunately did not pan out, as other more popular titles in the region released at roughly the same time. Blade & Soul being one of the big ones.
Meanwhile, it seems RIFT is doing fairly well in North America. The title reached its two-year anniversary five days ago, and more content is reportedly in the works.
It's not uncommon to see a title do well in one region and not so great in another. Many Korean-developed MMORPGs suffer the same fate when released in the West, especially those that retain a subscription. Aion is one example of a title that, for all intents and purposes, generally failed in the West under a subscription -- but pulled in huge player numbers once it went free to play. It's a shame RIFT couldn't do the same in the reverse situation.