One Million Play Aion In China

Chinese MMO distributor Shanda have reported that one million people logged on to the Chinese-language version of NCSoft’s Aion in the first four days of play. It’s worth remembering that the Chinese model means that gamers play by the hour, so this could easily go on to become a gigantic success, or just disappear overnight – a distinct possibility when financial type sources (via suggest that many gamers came away from their hours of Aion with some rather negative feedback. Aion is scheduled for release in Europe and North American in the autumn. (At which time I expect we’ll have to pay by the month.)


  1. a rob amongst many says:

    Pay by the hour?

  2. Gauntt says:

    Well technically you play by the hour as well…

  3. Xercies says:

    Yes Korean and China don’t pay monthly they pay hourly for some strange reason…glad i don’t live there…

  4. weegosan says:

    it’s largely due to game playing being a lot more social (also a massive % of games players cant afford a machine capable of running new games) so gaming cafes are hugely popular. So they tie the payment method into the same method people pay for their gaming cafe time. Wow in China has the same system (also the % of people will things like credit and debit cards is tiny by comparison, so buying gametime is more convoluted).

  5. Serondal says:

    That makes sense. You sit down in a cafe buy 2 hours of time there and get 2 housr of time on Wow to play your character.

    Just another luxury we have over the rest of the world ;) ALTHOUGH I would say they have a small advantage over us in that if we get bored half way through the month we already paid for the whole thing lol.

  6. Grayson says:

    Its actually a much better way to pay by the hour. The Chinese pay the equivalent of 6 cents an hour to play.

  7. Serondal says:

    I think the most expensive thing about paying by the hour is that hour of your life you’re giving up to play WoW to begin with ;)

  8. DigitalSignalX says:

    I Googled it last week after RPS’s article and followed one of the many walk-through guides posted for how to register, download, modify for English and play the first free 8-12 hours of AION.


    Have been anticipating this title for almost 4 years, and (from my impression of the first 11 levels) it’s quite simply Asian WoW. Down to the fonts, the art style, the GUI.. (Example)

    So incredibly disappointing. The flying is dangled like a grand reward and then is a complete failure, lasting initially barely a minute with the promise of it lasting… 2 minutes… after many levels. After playing Perfect World ( example) for almost a year and enjoying it’s vertical play, this came as a bitter pill. Expectations were that AION would be it’s more polished, larger and developed big brother, not it’s distant cousin.

  9. Serondal says:

    sooner or later the west will come to realize that Asian MMORPGS have nothing to offer us . . . Of course that is a pretty sweeping statment, and really I just mean the korean ones and their ilk. Japan has given us FF11 which is not my cup of tea but I understand some love it to death. But all these mmorpgs coming out of korean grind houses are just a waste of time and money.

  10. Xercies says:

    FF11 is quite good for the social aspects of MMO since the forced grouping for anythign above level 10 makes you bond a bit more and meet friends. It’s the only game where i find the friends list actually useful.

    Anyway this just looks like another Korean grinder to me, i don’t particularly like grinding that much. Sometimes its therapeutic but other times i just want to do something else.

  11. Starky says:

    I’d LOVE if MMO’s offered pay by the hour IF and only if they capped it.
    Like say:
    £10: 1 month subscription gives unlimited access
    50p per hour, but caps at £15 (so at the 30th hour that month you can play until the end of the month for free.

    I wish western MMO’s offered something like that, if they did a lot more companies would be getting some of my money, Eve, city of heroes, Warhammer, and Age of Conan (maybe even EQ2) and more – games that I’d never play enough to justify the flat monthly fee, but would be more than willing to drop a few pound for a few hours play every now and then.

  12. malkav11 says:

    Flying was my favorite thing about City of Heroes, is likely to be my favorite thing about Champions Online, is my favorite thing in WoW now that I have my epic flying deathchicken (and I weep when I have to go back to the old world and am groundbound again). Suffice it to say, more MMOs need flying.

    Also, Oblivion’s failure to include Morrowind’s Levitate spell was its single largest flaw in my book.

  13. Zyrusticae says:

    I actually like this game.

    It’s like WoW without all the bits that really, really irritate me.

    (Also, no, it’s not a Korean grinder – it is, indeed, an Asian WoW. With much better graphics and character customization that isn’t 10 years old. Woot.)

  14. DigitalSignalX says:

    All of the early trailers and screens of AION were Flying this, Flying that, Flying left and right. This amazing looking new fantasy MMO with vertical game play… grr.

    Another minor gripe is the complete lack of character stats. Not sure if that’s just a trial account thing or for all users, but I could only choosing char type and cosmetics, leveling up does nothing except act as a base for which quests and skill books you can use.

    *** there are many mods for oblivion now that include flying: user wings, mounts, fixes for textures from above etc.

  15. M.P. says:

    You sure that Deutsche Bank report is about NCSoft’s game? The article calls it “Aion Flux”.

  16. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yes, it’s the same game, that’s just a typo.

  17. tj says:

    my biggest dissapointment is the flying, if you can fly you should be able to stay in the air for almost eternity, but here you can barely stay there untill you get over a mountain :/ stupidly made