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There are many types of games out there, but we can’t deny the fact that Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games are one of the most popular especially in Asia.

In this article, we delve deep into the MMO genre and why it’s so popular in Asia. While we’re at it, we’re also going to list down the most popular MMO games in Asia. Let’s begin!

What are MMO Games?

So many people seem to be clueless when it comes to the term “MMO”. For starters, it stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Game which means online games that have huge amounts of players in real-time.

Simply put, these types of games feature a vast open-world where players interact with each other to complete tasks and missions. It also doubles as a platform to connect with like-minded players and mingle with them.

How about MMORPG games? MMORPG or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are a type of MMO. These type of games focus on an individual character within an open world full of other players. The MMORPG genre is slowly dying while MMO players are increasing in players over the years.

Why are MMO Games so Popular in Asia?

When we talk about MMOs, it seems that Asia comes in mind at first. Why is that? How did Asia become a big market for MMO games? We’re going to list out the factors:

  • Generally fast internet connection in most Asian countries (Japan and South Korea particularly)
  • Most MMO games are free to download and play in Asia
  • Since the games are free, there’s no pressure to spending large amounts. If there are spenders, they are happy to spend money for some in-game equivalents
  • Complete customization of characters
  • Popular to play in internet cafes
  • Leveling and character progression
  • Open-world exploration
  • Ability to connect and play with friends or random people around the world
  • Regular updates and tons of content

Most Popular MMO Games in Asia

MMO Games in Asia

If you’re ever curious as to what MMO games are doing particularly well in Asia right now, so are we! That’s why we’ve gathered down the most popular MMO games to date and try to see what makes them so popular. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

World of Warcraft 

When it comes to MMO games, World of Warcraft takes the cake. It was released in November 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment but it’s still going strong to this day. The game takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth. WoW is the succeeding game following the super successful Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. In 2008, WoW had more than 5.5 million players in Asia alone. Although its popularity can’t be measured by numbers alone, they don’t lie. For being one of the classic games today, WoW still wows Asian gamers with its exciting gameplay and massive world.

Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online is an MMORPG that was developed by Pearl Abyss and originally released for Windows in 2015. The game is a fantasy one focused on action. In terms of gameplay, it requires manual aiming and free movement. It also features activities such as farming, trading, housing, fishing as well as PvP events. Perhaps one of the main reasons why it’s such a popular game in Asia is the advance character customization features. Like any other MMORPGs, there are fighting elements such as attacking, blocking and combos. Overall, it sits well with Asians with its fantasy theme closely reminiscing the history of most countries in Asia.

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV initially met huge criticisms at it’s first released in 2010. This forced Square Enix to redesign the game and fix all the issues with it. Thus, the Final Fantasy XIV game that a lot of Asians know today was released to the public in 2013. The Final Fantasy franchise has always been popular worldwide, it only grew in fame with the release of this game. Final Fantasy XIV features an environment where players can interact with each other like any other MMORPG. What makes FFXIV successful is the story-driven gameplay, character customization and more.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Another popular title among Asians, the Elder Scrolls Online is one you shouldn’t miss. It’s part of the “The Elder Scrolls” series and was released in 2014 for Windows. As with its previous installments, The Elder Scrolls Online’s gameplay is mostly nonlinear which features different quests, random events and exploration of the world of Tamriel. What makes this game so enjoyable is the option to play a character of different races: Humans, Elves, and Bestial races. There are also a lot of classes that players need to choose from when creating their character. Aside from that, there are skills that they can master such as Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Provisioning and more. This game has such a large fan base that it’s hard to quantify the number of players. But one thing’s for sure, a lot of people love this game!


Developed by Trion Worlds and released in 2011, Rift is another popular MMORPG game in Asia. There are two factions within Rift: The Guardians and the Defiant. Basically, the Guardians are religious while the Defiants believe in science and technology. As with other MMORPGs, the game is growing in community and has been a major title in recent years.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 was developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT. It was released back in 2012 as a second installment to the success with the same title. What makes this game unique is that it claims to feature a storyline that’s responsive to player actions in a multiplayer setting. There are lots to be enjoyed from this game: exciting combat system, vast open world, seasonal content, unique storyline and gameplay, fashion wars and more. With so many great features, we can see why this is one of the most popular MMO games in Asia.

Final Thoughts


Even with the rise of games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Overwatch, MMO games remain alive thanks to its huge fanbase in Asia. Nothing will beat a good game that you can play with friends in a community. Such is the appeal of MMO games to the modern gaming world.