CYBERGAME: 'ROSE' ONLINE  COMMUNITY  GROWING  FAST

MANILA, October 3, 2005
 (STAR) Attracting over 300,000 registered players a mere three months after it was introduced, Philippine ROSE (Rush On Seven Episodes) Online is indisputably the fastest growing massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the country today.

Published by Level Up!, the same company that brought the highly successful Ragnarok Online to the country, ROSE Online is the first 3-D online game that features fully customizable characters as well as player-owned and -controlled cars and mechanical robots.

Ching Merano, ROSE Online community manager, credits the game’s personalization feature as one of the reasons why the game is succeeding.

"The first thing a ROSE player notices, especially if he has previous experience in online gaming, is how much freedom he has with how his character looks. For instance, while job classes have clothes that are specific to their classes, there are also a lot of ‘civilian’ clothes that all characters can wear regardless of job class," Merano says.

The weapons are also interchangeable between job classes for as long as the player fulfills the stat points required to wield a particular weapon.

But the most compelling reason for its success, Merano says, is that ROSE fulfills most gamers’ wishlist on how a game should look, feel and play.

ROSE’s player interface is friendly and can be understood even by first-time gamers so it’s no surprise that ROSE is being marketed as a girl-friendly game.

Of the 300,000 registered players, 30 percent or 90,000 are female. Sheila Paul, ROSE Online business unit director, says, "While gaming in general is still dominated by male players, a lot of girls are getting into it as well. We believe this is a huge market potential for us and the relatively large percentage of female ROSE players proves it."

Level Up! is hoping ROSE Online’s appealing visuals and character customization features will capture the fancy and imagination of the female teen and "tween" (nine to 12 year olds) market.

"Visually, ROSE is very different from the hard-edged look of current online role-playing games. Everything, from the landscape to the characters, looks more colorful," Merano says.

Looks notwithstanding, however, ROSE offers the same gameplay challenge that’s offered by most hardcore online games.

While the online gaming market is increasingly getting crowded with game publishing companies launching new offerings practically every six months, Paul is confident that ROSE Online will continue to hold its own.

"When we went commercial early this month, we expected some player attrition but instead, the number of players climbed steadily and we continue to enjoy a healthy concurrent player count," she adds.

ROSE Online has between 8,000 and 10,000 current players (the number of players playing the game at the same time). The number varies depending on the day of the week.

Level Up! is confident that ROSE Online will enjoy even greater success when the company formally launches the game this month.

Meanwhile, to keep the community strong, Level Up! is promoting several in-game activities such as new quests and a chance for players to travel to the game’s second and yet undiscovered planet Luna.

ROSE will be officially launched on Oct. 29 with a grand public event dubbed "ROSE Bash" at the Glorietta 4 Dolphin Park in Makati.

Activities will include the finals of the Search for ROSE It Girl, ROSE Cosplays, fan art and cheerdance competition. Free all-day gaming will also be available at the newly opened Extreme Gaming Grounds in Glorietta 4. The game site is found at www.roseonline.ph.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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