Free-to-play MMO leader Nexon America passed along some interesting statistics of relationships in its game Maple Story, and how they are just as awful in the virtual world as they are in real life – no offense intended to my wife.
According to data released by Nexon America, virtual divorces are all too commonplace among online gamers, with 75 percent of MapleStory in-game marriages ending in heartbreak. Last year in North America 26,982 in-game marriages were performed with a price tag of $25 per wedding. Of those marriages, 20,344, or 75 percent, have been annulled at the players’ request.
Nexon thought this was an interesting phenomenon and decided to ask MapleStory players what was going on. One player named Tyler from Vancouver, B.C., shared an interesting story:
“I was young, naive, and thought I had met ‘the one.’ She asked me what I wanted in MapleStory for my birthday, and I told her that the only thing I could ever want was for her to marry me."
After the ceremony, Tyler said that he saw his relationship heading in the wrong direction:
"She started saying that I wasn't the person she fell in love with. That I had changed, and that I didn't seem to care about her anymore.”
Tyler’s soon-to-be virtual ex-wife decided to teach him a lesson:
“I got a call from my best friend, saying that all of my items were dropping. It was her. Less than a week later, we decided that we needed to sever all ties between us, and we had our marriage annulled. I haven't talked to her since.”
Tyler Apparently isn't alone in his virtual relationship troubles. Seth, a 19-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colorado, tells his tale:
“My former Maple spouse and I started off great; going on party quests together, boss runs, training, helping each other become better Maplers. Then I realized after a while that she was only out there to get free things off of me and we got in this conversation where she admitted to this accusation, so I decided I would have to annul our Maple marriage.”
On the plus side, there's no such thing as alimony or divorce settlements in MapleStory. Players are not required to divide their possessions up or anything crazy like that: “Getting married in MapleStory can be quite a fun event for the happy couple and their friends,” said MapleStory producer Crystin Cox. “While it looks like our players break up at a much higher rate than people do in real life, at least our players are not on the hook for alimony. Couples who break up are not required to split up their loot, virtual pets or any enchanted items.”
They do, however, have to pay for an annulment.