Big-spending players of mobile RPG game MapleStory M are upset over recent changes, with some planning to cut their spending on Nexon’s hit game.
The change, however, isn’t related to gameplay nerfs to their favourite characters. Instead it’s a nerf to their wallets — as developer Nexon released an emergency patch on 16 February to balance the in-app purchase prices across all regions.
This has affected players who have been spending money in the game, as Turkish in-app prices were previously half that of what they were in Singapore.
The patch, which came after a now deleted reddit post, saw Nexon doubling or tripling the price of some packages in MapleStory M. This in turn made Turkish packages cost even more than those of Singapore.
Redditors who have been buying these packages were up in arms, calling out the developer for being "greedy."
Here's what a sample of the increased prices look like. The Daily Crystal package, which most players buy, comes in three tiers. The first tier is now 200 lira or about S$38.20, compared with the S$30 in the Singapore Play Store. The second tier, is 290 lira (S$55.38) versus S$46. The highest tier is 470 lira (S$89.75), almost 30 per cent more than the S$69 of the Singapore store. Previously, the highest package would cost about S$40 converted.
"This patch was implemented in order to provide an optimised game service in response to currency rate fluctuations," a Nexon spokesperson said when contacted by Yahoo Southeast Asia about the changes.
Players plan to reduce spending
While the process of buying in-app purchases from another region is somewhat in the grey area , Google doesn't stop you from changing regions (one time a year) as long as you can provide a valid address. Players doing this, however, affect the developers bottom line.
Some players, such as 29-year-old Malaysian Saw Eng Chuan, who spends RM300 (S$100) a month on the game, feel otherwise.
“It’s a big blow for the MapleM community, as the Turkish lira is much lower than the Singapore dollar. Nexon is still earning even if players are paying through another currency," said Saw.
Saw added that he planned to cut down on his spending in MapleStory M by about 50 per cent, since he won't be able to get as much value anymore.
28-year-old Jerry Xia, who works as an analyst, told Yahoo Southeast Asia he felt demotivated as he now needed to pay double for his game packages.
Xia, who spends around AU$600 (S$615) a month, is planning to cut his spending down to just AU$200 a month. He added that he would probably consider spending more if and when Nexon offers a discount he was comfortable with.
If players were hoping for cheaper prices from other markets in the region such as Indonesia or the Philippines, they were out of luck, too, with prices there matching the Singapore MapleStory M pricing.
The change also looks to affect the in-game economy, as the cost of the in-game currency, meso, is set to increase. It's currently pegged at around S$35 for 1 billion mesos by players who spend real-life cash to purchase the in-game currency.
All is not lost for the players though. If a significant amount of whales (players who spend massive amounts of cash in the game) start to cut back on spending due to the doubling of prices, Nexon may decide to revert the change since it affects their bottom line.
The other scenario could be that the whales don't care, and current players will just have to live with the new pricing.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com
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