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I'm trying to develop a plausible argument about what might be considered the top 5 Asian MMORPGs. I realize that definite figures are not available, and also understand that awesome-and-useful sites such as MMOGCHARTS and MMODATA need to be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, I would like to come up with a list of approximately five Asian titles that could be considered the market leaders.
By Asian MMORPG, I'm referring to games that are initially designed by an Asian company and targeted toward Asian players. So, Aion (Korea) would be considered an "Asian game" as would Final Fantasy XI and Lineage. Games like City of Heroes and Dungeon Runners -- though created by a subsidiary of a Korean company -- would not be considered "Asian" according to this definition.
After looking at subscription numbers, it seems that the market leaders are: Aion (Korea), Lineage II (Korea), Lineage I (Korea), and Final Fantasy XI (Japan). But... these numbers don't take into account the many free-to-play games out there.
In your opinion, what would arguably constitute the top 5 Asian-produced MMORPGs, whether subscripton based or free-to-play? Should subscription-based and free-to-play be considered entirely different categories?
Thanks for your time. I look forward to reading the thoughtful views/opinions of other players. This site is a terrific venue for well-informed discussion about such topics.