While we had some grim news related to NCsoft's dip in profits yesterday, there may be a silver lining to this, in the form of Aion: The Tower of Eternity. A press release from NCsoft states that the Aion beta has surpassed all previous records for a beta test in Korea: "Concurrent user numbers have already jumped to more than 170,000 players, making it the most popular beta event in Korean history." That's a significant achievement, given how mature the market is in Korea. 11,000 people were logged into the Aion beta only two minutes after service began and hit 40,000 players within an hour. The rapid influx of players necessitated NCsoft having 25 servers running to accommodate them.
David Reid, president of publishing for NCsoft West in Seattle said, "The response we're seeing in Korea is incredibly exciting. Our Aion community in North America and Europe is rapidly growing. We've got aggressive plans for the western launch in 2009." On the subject of Aion's launch, the press release lists Korea's commercial launch as being just a few weeks away. As Reid stated, the North American and European Aion launches are set for 2009, but NCsoft hasn't nailed down a specific launch date for these markets at this time.