Virtual divorces run rampant among online gamers

Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 14, 2011) -- MapleStory, the action-packed side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role playing game from Nexon America, witnesses its share of in-game romances. 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 since been annulled at the players’ request.

With such a high annulment rate, Nexon called upon its massive community for insight into this phenomenon. MapleStory player Tyler, 20, from Vancouver, B.C., shares his 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, circumstances took a turn for the worse for Tyler, and he quickly 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.”

And that’s when things got serious. Not unlike the tossing of a man’s possessions out of a scorned girlfriend’s apartment window, Tyler’s MapleStory inventory was compromised:

“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.”

But Tyler wasn’t the only Nexon community member who experienced the heartbreak of a MapleStory romance gone sour. Seth, 19, 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.” 

MapleStory, which has more than 100 million players worldwide and can be found on Facebook ( http://apps.facebook.com/maplestoryadventures) and on the iOS mobile platform, is well known for its in-game marriage system that delivers substantial benefits for those getting married. “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.”

The MapleStory Marriage Process

To get married in Maple World, the couple must participate in an official process. First, they must get engaged. This requires players to complete a quest which is rewarded with an engagement ring. Players can use the engagement ring to send a proposal to his or her significant other, and they must accept in order to become engaged. If they do not accept, the player can use the same ring to propose to someone else.

Once engaged, players must purchase a cash shop wedding ticket. Once the ticket and the engagement ring are presented to an NPC, players can set a date, send out invitations and make a gift wish list. Once the couple is married, both players receive a wedding ring, coveted in-game item that boasts impeccably strong statistics, and the couple lives happily ever after. Or so it would seem.

But in order for players to undergo an annulment in MapleStory, the individuals must pay 500,000 mesos (MapleStory’s in-game currency) along with their wedding ring. They also must wait at least 10 days after the annulment before marrying another.

The Extended Tale of Tyler’s Heartbreak

“We met through a friend I made while playing MapleStory. We started dating online, and everything was going great at first. We hung out, trained, did party quests, and even leveled up together. A few months later, the Amoria update came out, and a few months after that, it was my birthday. I convinced my brother to lend me the money for the NX [Nexon’s currency] to undergo the marriage process. We invited all our friends and had a great time. We did the Amoria PQ together all the time. We made second characters that we only played on together. Mine was, ‘YouCom,’ hers was ‘PleteMe.’ Together, ‘YouComPleteMe.’ We even trusted each other with our accounts and would play on each others characters.

Everything was going great for a while, and then some crazy stuff started to happen. I was completely shocked! I thought everything was still perfect between us…I kept telling her we just needed to talk and figure out what had happened between us. She started to get mad, and told me to leave her alone, that we were over. So I left her alone. Heartbroken, I went to change my account password, as it included her name. As I loaded the webpage, I just barely managed to change my password before she could log into another character. I was furious that she had betrayed my trust. We didn't talk much after that. “

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Editor’s Note: To learn more about the MapleStory marriage/annulment process, please contact Ali Miller ( amiller@nexon.net ) to speak to a producer or Tyler or Seth about their marriage/break-up experiences. For images, screens and video, please visit the MapleStory folder on our large media FTP, which can be accessed using the following login info:  


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