Well, not exactly. The announcement last September that the massively popular casual MMO MapleStory by Korean games-maker Nexon Corp. was bound for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) DS handheld system stirred a lot of excitement. And with good reason, a true blue mobile MMO would present a lot of interesting possibilities. But not too soon after, word came that the ubiquitous, traveling MMO’s time has yet to come and that the title would largely be focused on single player play. Now, in a detail-rich interview with Gamasutra, Nexon’s manager of international business development Stephen Lee sheds some more light on the specifics:
You mean MapleStory DS? It’s not an MMORPG kind of game. It’s a typical kind of action role-playing game. It will have fairly different gameplay compared to the original version. It will be specifically adapted to the platform itself…We have some features that support multiplayer, but the main feature will focus on single player.
Results of previous attempts to adapt MMO play in an offline context — Sega’s Phantasy Star series for instance — have for the most part been mixed. We’ll have to wait until later this year to see how exactly the adaptation shakes out.
Until then, for the definitive back-story on MapleStory — and some priceless real-world anecdotes — check out Reena Jana’s clever piece from last year. The game also made BusinessWeek’s annual 101 Best Web Freebies list for 2007.