After months in the free play, open beta stage, Lineage II celebrated its much-awaited commercial launch with a grand celebration at the SM Mall of Asia last January 12. Hundreds of people – players and non-gamers alike – flocked to the mall’s Music Hall to witness the biggest, grandest game launch yet this side of Asia.
The Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game celebrated its South-East Asia launch simultaneously in four other venues as well: Baguio City, Cebu City, Davao City, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (for the Malaysian and Singaporean gamers). Live broadcast feeds connected all five venues to each other.
Lineage II’s kickoff party lasted all afternoon and well into the night as various contests, activities, and performances peppered the event. As the rains poured outside the MOA during the launch, so did the prizes. A total of PhP1 million in cash and gift packs were given away, in addition to the much-coveted, premium in-game items.
Some 5,000 people attended all five venues. Early registrants came in as early as 1:00am, and MOA’s Music Hall was already at full capacity a mere hour after the launch’s opening. The huge crowd was there for the rest of the day, up until the event’s culmination that night.
For the long-time Lineage II players, the MOA launch held a Battle Tournament that pitted some of the best in the game. As the ultra-competitive Battle Tournament went underway, Lineage II’s very own Game Girls further turned up the heat with their song and dance performance of their first single, Have Fun Go Mad. The girls performed for two more times throughout the event.
As promised, some of the country’s popular music acts came to further enliven the crowd: Sugarfree, Paraluman, and Top Junk.
Alert eyes and skilled hands not only participated in the Battle Tournament but also in the equally challenging on-the-spot drawing contest, placard contest, and in the Lineage II Amazing Race. The first-place winners in these competitions also took home several thousands of pesos in prizes as well as special gift packs. The launch got the MOA crowd involved early on with a trivia contest.
The crowd-pleasing group Cosplay contest featured impressive, effort-laden costumes of the in-game characters in Lineage II. The audience got more entertained as the groups tried to upstage each other with their creative skits.
Clans flocked the five venues to join the Clan Rally, where the clan with most number of gamer attendees, loudest clan shout, and best clan flags, win cash and gift packs. Some clan leaders came all the way from Baguio, Cebu, Davao, and other parts of the country to attend the MOA event. Some Malaysian and Singaporean gamers also attended the MOA event.
As day turned into night, a fireworks display outside the venue signalled that the event would only get more exciting. A pyrotechnics display onstage later ushered in the arrival of the celebrity hosts for the main program: DJ Andi, Jaimee Joaquin, and Mojo Jojo.
The guest speakers came to the stage later on. The VIP speeches were led by Asian Media Development Group’s Chairman Arturo B. Diago Jr. Also provided speeches were NCsoft representative Brian Kang, and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Allan Aquino, whose presentation of 2008 special promotions got a huge applause from the gamers.
Capping the night was music band Calla Lily’s much-awaited performance. Female fans shrieked and sang as Calla Lily played their widely popular songs including Pasan, Lineage II’s official soundtrack.
The Lineage II grand commercial launch was sponsored by Razer Mouse, Globe Innove, Epson, Bitstop, Jollibee, Astone, Intel Philippines, Cosplay.ph, Playground Magazine, Cube iTV, Epinoy Mall, Dickies Philippines, 1 VIP, 99.5 Hit FM, Magic 89.9, Baranggay 97.1 LS FM, Gadgets Magazine, Speed Magazine, and Game Magazine.