The “K” in “Korea” stands for “king,” because that is what they are when it comes to playing MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games. Is it luck or locality that lets them keep the throne? Mobile Geeks take a closer look.
Gamers in Asia take part in MMO games more fervently than playing alone. It seems that campaign mode, which is when players ride solo and play with computer controlled players, is not so popular. This is mainly because Asian gamers do not pay much attention to the storyline in games but rather just the gameplay.
Before the first Mario came out in 1981, games were all about the gameplay. After that, developers began realizing that the story was what drove the game to become more interesting and appealing to other people rather than just gamers. The simplest and most idealistic storyline was saving a princess who was trapped in a tower by a tenacious and hideous monster. Sound familiar? Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of The Legend of Zelda and Donky Kong, applied this idea to the very first Mario, and that very same idea went into a highly acclaimed game released in March of 2013 – BioShock Infinite.
The creator of BioShock Infinite, Ken Levine, is all about story. Being one the most intelligent writers on this planet, he has written many storylines for several critically acclaimed games such as BioShock and System Shock 2. He makes players be emotionally attached to their characters and tell unforgettable stories that will stick with players for all time.
The story is important in video games. It literally defines it, but why do most gamers in Asia not see that? First, they like to work together to complete one objective. Games like League of Legends, the most played game around Asia, or Dota 2 require players to work together and cooperate to complete an objective. Sometimes, the objectives may seem insignificant or repetitive. For example, Dota 2 and League of Legends require players to destroy their opponent’s “tower” at all costs. It might not seem like a big deal, but the game does change it up with different modes in the game.
One other game that is popular with young people around Asia, especially in Korea, is ArcheAge. Like League of Legends and Dota 2, ArcheAge is a competitive online multiplayer; and like the former games, ArcheAge can make situations feel a little repetitive and dull. However, ArcheAge allows players to play however they want. Players can hand glide and have assistance from a legendary animal, but that is only until players have reached a certain kind of level. Counter-Strike Online is another game that everyone often hears about from young people around Asia. It is one of the most commonly played games in Asian countries like Korea, Japan, and even Taiwan.
Video games like the Dead or Alive franchise and the Dynasty Warriors series, which were both developed in Japan, should be given some credit in the gaming industry in Asia. It was Dead or Alive 3 that the game developers realized the importance of having a storyline. Stories were set up as the background of each character and the storyline began to bloom after each one. In Dynasty Warriors 8, the latest in the series, players can play many different modes in the game. One of the most interesting modes is Ambition Mode. It is like a separate section of the campaign with a little bit of story but also relies on players’ creativity when building a city and endurance when fighting hordes of enemies without healing.
Furthermore, nowadays, a lot of games offer choices that will affect the game in some way or sometimes even the ending. In The Walking Dead series, players are met with a decision to whether cut off an infected man’s leg. Players need to take note that cutting it off probably will not stop the infection from spreading through his body. It is these kinds of decision makings that let players be participants rather than observers. Plus, they make players feel as though they are in control of any moral or immoral decisions they have to make, causing them to have an emotional attachment to characters in the game.
When met with decision making in games, most Asian gamers choose their options as if they are taking a quiz. From watching some gameplay videos on YouTube that have Asians as commentators, they usually ask themselves which is the “right” answer.”
However, both Western and Eastern games take advantage of open world maps, because who doesn’t like to explore in a virtual world? Assassin’s Creed is well-known for having an open world map, and recently Watch Dogs has created a seemingly bigger version of Chicago. In addition, side quests, which are small tasks aside from the main mission, are put into games. Some fit like a sock, while others fit like an oversized T-shirt. In South Park: The Stick of Truth, the side quests are immersive and entertaining. On the other hand, the side quests in Assassin’s Creed 3 were tedious and downright boring. They did not seem to cohere with America individualizing herself from Britain.
Online multiplayer is particularly huge in Asia. It is one of the main engines of socialization, especially for young people. Not only is it quite addicting but also an efficient way for friends to be friends, or enemies temporarily.