Prologue: Analysis of the Maplestory Economy

Updated: Mar 3, 2019

Written By Samuel Sim (RafflesCarte)

Level 230 Phantom (D2J)


The virtual economy is definitely a very interesting one, but what is it that makes the economy of MapleSEA so attractive? Why do people still play this childish 2D game with graphics inferior to that of games such as Path of Exile and Diablo III?

Path of Exile

Path of Exile


Firstly, Maplestory has a free market (no longer true as of 2018), and is a free market. In this fully liberal economy and market of Maplestory, the rich have much more opportunities to get richer, while the middle and low income do exactly what most middle and low income people do in our society today, work for the rich (I will be elaborating more about this in my later chapters). There are absolutely no rules and tariffs imposed on the rich, except for the occasional 3% tax for trades including more than 100 million mesos, and most definitely, the annoying mesos cap.

Secondly, there is money to be made, real life money. The rich can sell their in-game virtual goods for SGD (Singapore Dollars), and even virtual money into SGD, with the conversion rate being 30m per SGD in 2010, 50m per SGD in 2011, 70m per SGD in 2012 and 90-100m per SGD in 2013. The inflation rate is pretty bad, but I will do a comparison of it with other economies some other time. There are a actually rare few who actually play Maplestory for a living, such as MapleSEA's top player, Lim Shang Jin, otherwise known as PerfectLogic. Ironically, 95% of the rich spend real SGD to get rich in Maplestory, in the process spending lots of money to get the highest range possible. This bears similarities to real life, where most rich people have had a relatively affluent family background to start their lives off with. Click here for the article "The game of Life", which discusses the similarities games have to life and even relationships.

Lastly (this is irrelevant to the economy, but instead is the heart of MMORPGs 'Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games'). Maplestory is one of the rare few games where the community bond is strong, where you meet people from different backgrounds who have a common interest. These bonds are further enhanced through the formation of guilds and alliances, and even more so when fighting tough bosses which require synergy and communication. I myself use Garena Chat to communicate with my expedition members while fighting tough bosses such as Magnus, Pink Bean and Empress Cygnus. It is simply due to these long-lasting friendships that result in many people returning to the game after quitting it for some time, and ultimately this 2D game surviving for more than 18 years.

End of Prologue

Click above for the next Chapter

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