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Dungeon Fighter Online's second chance and the importance of MMO support

September 08, 2018 2 min read

An MMO needs to iterate upon itself to survive. It's a simple fact that any game which constantly consumes resources needs to constantly change to keep its players interested. That's one reason why I have so much fascination and interest in the genre, but also what makes them risky to get attached to. The livelihood of MMOs will ebb and flow with the quality of their updates, such as how Battle for Azeroth set new records for World of Warcraft. Conversely, the lack of such updates is usually their death knell.

Five years ago, Dungeon Fighter Online’s global servers suffered that death. A devastating blow to me, given DFO was my favorite MMO. But the writing was on the wall. Global publisher Nexon’s servers were not only very far behind the original version, their updates were becoming slower and slower. Global players dropped it and lost interest. The servers were becoming too costly for their income. Nexon didn’t try to salvage it.

And yet two years later DFO’s original developer, Neople, brought it upon themselves to localize their game all over again. We’ve seen a handful of close shaves for many an MMO (Final Fantasy XIV’s 1.0 days spring to mind), but for one to be shut down and brought back years later is almost unheard of. Maybe the closest thing we’ve had since would be a long-abandoned game like No Man’s Sky rocketing in players after its recent mega-patch, but that game was still technically playable before then. Even after dying -- or more accurately, because of what it did in the process of coming back from the dead -- Dungeon Fighter Online is still my favorite MMO to this day.

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