Blade & Soul and Diablo 3 blamed for Rift Korea demise
Trion Worlds’ Rift is shutting down in Korea reportedly due to unbeatable competition from NCsoft’s Blade & Soul and Blizzard’s Diablo 3.
Rift’s official shutdown is scheduled a month from now on April 25. Its cash shop though will be closing ASAP on March 28.
Rift launched last year in Korea to positive reception, but it seems it could not overcome the overwhelming popularity of NCsoft’s martial arts MMO and the Blizzard’s dungeon crawling online rpg, said gaming website MMOCulture when it broke the news on the Rift Korea closure.
Blade & Soul has been a popular hit in Korea, in part due to its developer’s close ties to the market. NCsoft is headquartered in Korea and many of its games, including MapleStory, enjoy a strong following in the country.
Meanwhile, Diablo 3 seems to have benefited from the popularity of its sister Blizzard franchise, StarCraft, which has been one of the most popular in the country’s history and credited for triggering an eSports gaming craze.
Players of other Rift versions need not worry for now on what this closure will mean for stateside support. The shutdown seems to be an isolated case, with no other country version closing together with the Rift Korea.