Monday, June 24, 2024

End of an era as Ragnarok concludes PH service in March

Ragnarok Online, the phenomenal game that created a new gaming genre and defined a generation, is shutting its local servers this March to close its Philippine service, marking the end of an era.

ragnarok PH

In an advisory posted on Feb. 13, Level Up, the operators of the once popular online, said it is was no longer feasible to maintain the local service.

?We find it difficult to share the heartbreaking news that Ragnarok Online will be concluding its local PH service on March 31, 2015. Please know that if we had any other choice, we would have wanted to keep going. Unfortunately, it seems our journey has now come to its end,? it said.

Ragnarok Online, which was launched to great success in 2003 as a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), played a major role in the shift from PC-based games to online games among local players.

Apart from spawning numerous competitors and gaming conventions that continue to this day, the online game also became part of popular culture and even came to define game-obsessed youth as the ?Ragnarok Generation.?

The fortunes of its local distributor, Level Up, led by its gaming boss Ben Colayco, were also tied the success of its blockbuster game. Although it introduced other pioneering games such as Oz World, the first massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) in the country, none were as successful as Ragnarok.

In 2006, the company was acquired by telco giant PLDT, through its Internet arm e-PLDT, boosting its portfolio after getting some competition from new online game distributors.

Six years later, the local gaming community was surprised by the announcement that the company was merging with main rival E-Games to create the ?largest online game publishing operation in the Philippines.?

Only three later, Level Up would again shock the gaming industry by discontinuing the Philippine service of Ragnarok and moving it to a new international server.

?Coming soon in April 2015, iRO will open a new server where accounts of PH gamers who opt-in to the program will be transferred. We will be providing information and updates on this within the next few days,? the advisory said.

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