By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- Lineage 2M, a mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by South Korean online game maker NCSOFT Corp., was the highest grossing app on the Google Play Store during the first quarter of the year, industry data showed Monday.
The mobile version of the mega-hit game "Lineage 2" was the most popular app in the world on Android platforms during the January-March period, partly on the back of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has confined people to their homes, the data from analytics firm App Annie showed.
"Mobile games served not only as an entertainment tool but as a way of social connection as going outside was largely forbidden globally due to intensive social distancing following the COVID-19 outbreak," the firm said.
The new mobile version of the mega-hit game "Lineage II" landed on Google's Android and Apple's iOS devices last November, becoming the top-grossing game app in just nine hours.
Global mobile game usage shot up 20 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with a year earlier, App Annie said. Global app downloads also rose 15 percent on-year during the cited period.
Separate data from Nielsen showed that the average time spent gaming in the United States, France and the United Kingdom increased 45 percent, 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Lineage 2M, which integrates NCSOFT's technology and expertise built over the past 20 years, features full 3-D graphics and 4K UHD resolution.
The mobile game is a follow-up to the online MMORPG "Lineage II," which was launched in 2003. Other mobile entries in the series are NCSOFT's Lineage M and Netmarble Corp.'s Lineage 2 Revolution.
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