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 Aion  Preorders Reach 400,000

Aion Preorders Reach 400,000

September 17, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

September 17, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

NCsoft says that with 400,000 preorders, its MMO Aion is set to trump rival major MMOs launching this year -- promising "the biggest MMO release in recent years" when the title launches next week.

Developed in Korea, Aion is better-tailored to Western tastes than other Eastern imports, NCsoft asserts. s currently up and running on around 225 servers across South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Japan. The game generated 40.6 billion won ($32.7 million) in revenues for NCsoft's most recent fiscal quarter, excluding royalties -- a strong start.

The publisher has never made a secret of its large-scale ambitions for Aion in the West; CFO Jaeho Lee has said it "could be the second [most] successful MMO in the U.S. market next to World of Warcraft."

WoW's apparently unshakable market dominance has presented a challenge for many publishers who've tried to launch major MMOs in the West only to achieve mixed results at best.

Titles like Funcom's Age of Conan and Electronic Arts' Warhammer Online launched to very strong initial commercial reception with heartening early user figures, but never dented WoW's userbase -- and later merged servers and laid off staff when launch spikes bled off in the weeks and months post-release.

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