MapleStory, a massively multiplayer online game published in North America by Nexon America, has surpassed a million paying players conducting microtransactions in the game’s virtual shop. Launched in North America in 2005, MapleStory has pioneered the successful free-to-play business model and has amassed more than seven million registered players. “We would like to congratulate all of our players for paving the way for an entirely new way of playing games,” said Min Kim, Nexon America’s vice president of marketing. “When Nexon began servicing MapleStory in North America, we were told that only a few hardcore gamers would ever do microtransactions. This milestone proves that the potential of virtual goods was grossly underestimated. People have been doing microtransactions for years, whether it was popping quarters into arcade machines, trading baseball or Pokemon cards or buying music on online. MapleStory’s million shopper milestone reinforces that playing online games and buying virtual items has become part of everyday life for players and is a proven, successful way of doing business.” MapleStory is a colorful, 2-D scrolling game, featuring fully-customizable avatars including unique hair, clothing, pets, weapons and other in-game functional items. To celebrate the million shopper milestone, Nexon is rewarding all of its past shoppers with rewards of NX, the currency used to purchase items in Nexon games. MapleStory has recently introduced “Big Bang,” a series of major content updates that revamp the game world, introduce new classes, and reveal a new storyline with challenging villains to battle. Big Bang also improves the user experience by adding a new user interface and higher resolution graphics. Big Bang updates will continue into January.