Mu: Origin – the Mobile Game no one Asked For

So apparently Mu: Origin is launching in Western markets real soon. The English language closed beta is already available and some videos are already up on the net. I had a chance to play the game a bit myself and after spending 20 or so minutes with it, I can safely conclude it will be a complete bust in the West. It plays like any other nonsense Chinese browser game. If you haven’t played a Chinese browser game, they’re all the same. The core elements of these games are 1) the game plays itself. These games almost all have built in bots that do absolutely everything for you. So even though these games bill themselves as MMORPGs, they’re basically no different than clicker heroes. 2) The PvP in these games are incredibly pay to win. Chinese developed games are notorious for their pay 2 win elements. It’s almost like they have no shame.

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As someone who enjoyed Mu Online to a degree (the free to play PC MMORPG), I was very disappointed with what Mu: Origins had to offer. Why on Earth did Webzen let a Chinese company develop their flagship MMORPG into a mobile game? Why couldn’t they do it themselves? I’m not being unfairly critical either. The game even boasts on its homepage that the PvE is automated and super easy. If you’ve played Felspire, League of Angels, or any other Chinese made browser MMORPG, the gameplay in Mu: Origins should feel similar.

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I only played this game for about 20 minutes before I deleted it from my tablet, but I was surprised to learn that the game is actually a pretty big success in Asia. Mu Online has always been Webzen’s most profitable franchise. They publish Continent of the Ninth Seal, ELOA, and Rappelz as well, but these games are largely rounding errors on Webzen’s income statement. They make practically all their money from the Mu franchise and Origins is an enormous hit in Asia. In fact, Since Webzen launched the game the company’s stock price (Ticker: 069080 in Korea) tripled in price! This price increase was entirely due to Mu: Origins too. So perhaps I’m just wrong and the game is indeed good. After all, the market has spoken right?

If you don’t like pay to win automated Chinese MMOs, skip Mu: Origins. Save yourself the time. I assure you that there’s little to like with this one.

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