Korea’s National Pastime: Game With Elves: South Korea’s NCSoft runs the biggest online multi-player game in the world. On any given day, “Lineage” players number about 330,000. More than 6 percent of South Koreans play Lineage, not bad for a four-year-old virtual-world game with outdated two-dimensional graphics and the usual cast of elves and knights. Subscription cost: $21 a month. Success for the game publisher depended a lot on broadband penetration in Korea, which is about 50 percent.
“Lineage’s success must tantalize software publishers in the United States, where only 12 percent of homes are wired for broadband. Any game in the United States matching the success of publicly traded NCsoft would have 16 million subscribers and annual revenues of about $2.5 billion, given current subscription rates.”