Popular Online 2D Games

So, there’s usually a variety of opinions when it comes to the success of an online game, that’s set in a 2D environment.

On one hand, some say: “Even if you make a great online 2D game you’ll never achieve a player base above 50… and that’s IF you’re lucky.”

On the other hand, some shoot for the stars and come crashing back to earth with: “I’m gonna make the most epic online 2D game anyone has ever played and it will be as popular as WoW!”. You can almost hear the snickering now.

Because I like to be as realistic as possible, I’m going to challenge both sides of this proverbial coin by covering games that are not only well made, but have a substantial player base. (Nowhere near millions, but much higher than 50)

Without further ado, here are a handful of online 2D mmos that have achieved success over the years:

1. Maplestory

Average Player Base: 25,000

MapleStory is a free-to-play2Dside-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game, developed by the South Korean company Wizet. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies such as Nexon. Although one may play the game for free, one can only purchase some character appearances and gameplay enhancements from the Cash Shop with real money.

2. Tibia

Average Player Base: 25,000

Tibia is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created by CipSoft. It is one of the oldest MMORPGs and was considered most noteworthy in its early years; however, with the development of MMORPGs, its popularity has grown much slower than other MMORPGs. Its most unusual aspect is its 2D graphics environment, which may have contributed to its slow growth, as the gaming community rapidly shifted to 3D graphics.

3. Nexus TK

Average Player Base: 20,000

NEXUS: The Kingdom of the Winds alternately known as Nexus TK or simply Nexus, is a Pay to PlayMMORPG, currently run in the US by Kru Interactive. Nexus began as a U.S. version of the Korean game 바람의 나라 (Baramue Nara, or simply Baram) developed by NEXON Inc. of Korea, and is loosely based on Korean mythology and on a series of graphic novels by an artist named Kim Jin. Development of Baram began in Korea in 1994 and the game was released in 1996. One year later, it also entered Beta in the United States, going commercial in 1998.

4. Ragnarok Online

Average Player Base: 50,000

Ragnarök Online often referred to as RO, is aKorean massive multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG created by GRAVITY Co., Ltd. It was first released in South Korea on 31 August 2002 for Microsoft Windowsand has since been released in many other locales around the world. Player characters exist in a world with a player environment that gradually changes with the passage of time. Player characters interact in a 3D environment but are represented by 2D character sprites for front, back, side and diagonal facings.

5. Habbo

Average Player Base: 10 million per month

Habbo (previously known as Habbo Hotel) is a Finnish social networking service aimed at teenagers. The website is owned and operated by Sulake Corporation. The service began in 2000 and has expanded to include 11 online communities (or “hotels”), with users in over 150 countries. In August 2012, the site opened to users from Turkey. As of August 2011, over 230 million avatars have been registered. There are an average 10 million unique visitors monthly.

You forgot, Wonderland Online (wich has a lot of players), Angels Online, Goonzu Online, etc.

Why stop at MMOS? Games like terraria and starbound are extremely popular.

Why stop at MMOS? Games like terraria and starbound are extremely popular.

To answer simply: There really isn’t much doubt you can create a successful 2d game outside of the online genre, and actually have people play. There is more skepticism when it comes to online games. Granted, most of these titles came out in the early to late 90’s, and have nostalgia to boost their appeal. So the skepticism may be somewhat warranted. But these, along with others I didn’t bother to post, prove at least one thing: online 2d games are still alive and well. To be quite honest I could just be trying to convince myself it’s not a dead market. But I hope this encourages someone who feels like “What’s the point?” Over the many years I’ve been here, I’ve started and quit several projects because of that self-defeating attitude.

Check out realm of the mad god, trust me with the graphics you’ll be totally surprised how popular it is. But I must say, it’s freaking addictive.

And LaTale?

it is pretty popular i play it

i perefer latal over maplestory

why?

better graphic

better music

faster combat

nice events

etc

Among those all i only play Tibia…

Have you ever tried Wonderking?

Wonderking I think shut down, there is Soul Saver atm (old name was Ghost Online), Nostale online, Conquer online, MythWar online, Trickster online (private server only sadly), etc.

To answer simply: There really isn’t much doubt you can create a successful 2d game outside of the online genre, and actually have people play. There is more skepticism when it comes to online games. Granted, most of these titles came out in the early to late 90’s, and have nostalgia to boost their appeal. So the skepticism may be somewhat warranted. But these, along with others I didn’t bother to post, prove at least one thing: online 2d games are still alive and well. To be quite honest I could just be trying to convince myself it’s not a dead market. But I hope this encourages someone who feels like “What’s the point?” Over the many years I’ve been here, I’ve started and quit several projects because of that self-defeating attitude.

I know exactly what your talking about. I’m the King of abandoning projects due to losing hope getting that “Why am I even doing this?” question, lol. With Chaoscraft, I’m making a game that appeals to a large audience, bigger than just Eclipse and I’m hoping that I do things right, and yeah, have a couple active players that enjoy playing, whatever the number I’ll be happy, I just want to complete it this time around.

Most of those I didn’t knew.

They seem fine by me, and there is clearly hope with all those players, atleast on Habbo.

I prefer 2D games.

Don´t forget Dofus 😄 It is a very nice tactical game, but it is to one of the unbalanced game ever. (I prefer V1.29 since 2.0 kinda sucks.)

Don´t forget Dofus 😄 It is a very nice tactical game, but it is to one of the unbalanced game ever. (I prefer V1.29 since 2.0 kinda sucks.)

I agree. I’ve played Dofus and a few others mentioned here. The ones I listed in the o.p are just examples.

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