NCSOFT’s new game “Blade and Soul” has become an instant hit in China just after release. The strategy focusing entirely on the Chinese market succeeded in enthralling Chinese users, drawing attention to whether or not this will spark another Hallyu, or Korean Wave.
According to a game industry source, a pilot service launched by NCSOFT’s “Blade and Soul” registered over 170 connected servers. With one server handling roughly 10,000 users, the total user number is estimated to be at 2 million. Simultaneous login counts, measured during the afternoon – the peak time of day – also registered over 150 million users.
Tencent, which runs “Blade and Soul” in China, installed 100 servers on the first day of pilot service. But with users increasing exponentially, Tencent had to add more servers to its network. Tencent had expected less than 100. Apparently the demand forecast proved to be wrong. Some popular servers are even experiencing bottlenecks with waiting times required before logging in.
The popularity of “Blade and Soul” has surged after Tencent hosted a gaming event called “Tencent Game Carnival.” Tencent homepage is filled with user comments asking for more servers, and “Blade and Soul” was registered in the “most searched list” on Baidu, one of China’s most popular Internet portals.
“Blade and Soul” is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that has been specifically designed and targeted for the Chinese market. With a theme revolving around ancient Chinese swords and sorcery, it has been highly anticipated since its launch. NCSOFT’s Vice President Yeoun Song-eeh has been busy in her travels to China in an effort to gain access to the local distribution network of Tencent, China’s biggest gaming company.