NC Soft’s Blade & Soul is the hot new game in Korea, with its open beta topping the PC Bang charts at 20.35%. Diablo III‘s iron grip on Korean gamers seems to have weakened as it drops to 17.74%, the first time it went sub-20% in 5 weeks. So is this the end of Diablo III? Not very likely.
THISISGAME noted that Blade & Soul came in on top because it had a good weekend with no interruptions for server maintenance. While Diablo III was down for Patch 1.0.3 over the weekend, NC Soft was heavily promoting Blade & Soul at PC Bang with a huge event, resulting in 240,000 concurrent users. To put this in perspective, Diablo III had 300,000 concurrent users during its open beta, and its servers crashed. Evidently, “No Server Crashes” is the new buzzphrase in advertising.
It is important to note that the numbers are comparing two very different games, and it cannot predict if Blade & Soul has any staying power as an MMORPG. With all the initial hype and the bitter rage associated with Diablo III‘s patchy outages, it is difficult to gauge the real level of interest for Blade & Soul. Maybe people are just playing it because they can’t play Diablo III.
That said, Blade & Soul does look awesome. It is slated for release in Korea on June 30 with a monthly fee of 23,000 Korean Won ($19.77). No news of a release stateside, so here’s a video showing you how pretty it is.