Dungeon Fighter Online

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Dungeon Fighter Online
Dfo new logo.jpg
SeriesDungeon & Fighter
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Genre(s)Beat 'em up

Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO), known in South Korea as Dungeon & Fighter[a] (DNF), is a multiplayer beat 'em up action role-playing game, developed and published for personal computers by Neople, a South Korean subsidiary of Nexon, and originally published by Hangame in 2005. The game was originally released in South Korea as Dungeon & Fighter, then in Japan as Arad Senki,[b] and then published in China by Tencent.[5] In 2014, Neople began an alpha test of a global version of Dungeon Fighter Online using the last English version hosted by Nexon, which has since ended.

DFO is one of the most-played and highest-grossing video games of all time, with over 850 million players worldwide and over $20 billion in lifetime revenue as of December 2021. This also makes it one of the highest-grossing entertainment media products of all time. The game has received Japanese anime and manga adaptations.[citation needed]


Dungeon Fighter Online is similar to classic 2D side-scrolling arcade hack and slash/beat 'em up games, such as Golden Axe or Double Dragon.[6] Players traverse 2D screens while fighting hordes of monsters. There are a number of social aspects to Dungeon Fighter Online, including Guilds, PvP Arenas, Party Play.

Skills can be designated upon an upper row of hotkeys, that can be further expanded by the decision of the player. However, a player can choose to manually input the command to perform a certain skill; for example, a Blade Master can choose to press the assigned hotkey for the skill Draw Sword, but can also choose to perform its direct input. Directly inputting the skill (done by pressing the arrow keys in a certain sequence and then pressing the basic skill key) makes the skill cost less MP and lowers the cooldown of the skill (the time needed to wait to use the skill again) by a small amount. Skills are usually performed separately from normal combos; however, some skills are "cancellable," meaning that those skills can be used in the middle of normal attacks.


Dungeon Fighter Online was developed by a South Korean company called Neople who previously only published a number of casual online games through their own game portal site.[5] It was originally planned as a small game as the entire game was developed in five months based on the forecasted life expectancy. However, the response was better than they expected so the budget was increased and the game was expanded.[7]

Extensive testing took place before the premiere launch in Korea. Three closed beta periods were held between December 17–31, 2004, February 1–13, 2005, and June 28 – July 11, 2005. Neople accepted only 999 players per test and allowed only one hundred minutes of gameplay per day.[8][9][10] Content was fine-tuned and updated daily throughout the test period based on testers feedback.[7] After a short hiatus, open beta commenced on August 10, 2005 at 3 pm. By 11 pm, there were over 15,000 concurrent users.[11]

Even though many games being released at the time were 3D, Neople decided to create Dungeon Fighter Online in 2D because they did not believe it affected gameplay, they did not feel a 3D game could capture the look and feel of the original illustrations of the characters, the ease of casual players getting into the game, and they had more experience with 2D games. Hi-res is not a likely path the game will take because director Yun Jong Kim's main focus is "efficiency".[7][12]

North American release[edit]

Five years after the original release in Korea, Nexon America revealed plans for an English version of Dungeon Fighter Online at the 2009 Game Developers Conference in late March.[13] The title was renamed from Dungeon & Fighter to Dungeon Fighter Online because of the awkwardness to say "Dungeon and Fighter".[14]

Thousands of applicants were accepted into closed beta, which held for seven days between July 28 – August 3, 2009.[15] Closed beta for an English version of the game ran from July 28, 2009 to August 3, 2009. Early access has begun on September 15, 2009. Open beta started September 22, 2009. Open beta plans were announced at Penny Arcade Expo 2009. Early access to open beta, available for players who received a beta key, proceeded on September 15, 2009. Open beta began a week later on September 22, 2009.[16] Dungeon Fighter Online officially launched on June 9, 2010.[17] It was announced on April 2, 2013, that the North American version of Dungeon Fighter Online would be shutting down on June 13, 2013.[18]

On May 15, 2014, Neople held an alpha test for a global version of the game.[19] On October 10, 2014, beta testing was announced, set for March 24, 2015.[20] Neople announced a closed beta test for Dungeon Fighter Online, scheduled for release around March 2015, due to them moving their office to the island of Jeju, located off the south-west coast of South Korea. However, it became an open beta test because the Facebook page for the game had reached a specific number of "Likes", something that had been previously promised by Neople when it was still planned for a closed beta test.[21]

On January 19, 2016, Dungeon Fighter Online Season 2 was released.[22] On August 9, 2016, the game was released on Steam as free-to-play, offering achievements and paid DLC.[23] On January 17, 2017, Dungeon Fighter Online Season 3 was released.[24] On February 27, 2018, Dungeon Fighter Online Season 4 was released.[25] On February 26, 2019, Dungeon Fighter Online Season 5 was released.[26]


Dungeon Fighter Online had a 300 million registered users celebration on May 25, 2011. On August 24, 2012, Nexon reported that the game recorded a peak activity of 3 million concurrent users in China alone.[27] Dungeon Fighter Online had 25 million monthly active users as of November 2012.[28] It reached a total of 600 million users worldwide by 2018,[29] and exceeded 700 million registered users worldwide by March 2020.[30]

The game grossed over $2 billion in revenue as of March 2012.[31] As of 2015, it had an annual gross of $1.052 billion.[32] Nexon revealed that Dungeon Fighter Online grossed a revenue of $8.7 billion in just over 10 years after its 2005 debut, more than the combined box office gross of Star Wars, the biggest film franchise at the time.[33] In 2017, Dungeon Fighter Online grossed $1.6 billion, making it the year's second highest-grossing PC game (after League of Legends) and third highest-grossing video game (after League of Legends and Honor of Kings).[34] By the end of 2017, the game had exceeded $10 billion in worldwide revenue,[29] becoming one of the most-played and highest-grossing video games of all time.[35]

In March 2018, Dungeon Fighter Online was the highest-grossing PC game of the month, above League of Legends.[36] Dungeon Fighter's $223 million March 2018 gross was the third highest ever monthly revenue for a free-to-play game.[37] Dungeon Fighter Online was the second highest-grossing digital game of 2018 with $1.5 billion,[38] and again in 2019 with $1.6 billion,[39] bringing its lifetime gross revenue to $13.4 billion as of 2019.[33][34][38][39] As of May 2020, Dungeon Fighter Online has exceeded $15 billion in lifetime gross revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing entertainment media IPs, with its lifetime revenue larger than the box office gross of the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Avengers film series.[30][40] As of December 2021, the original PC version of Dungeon Fighter Online has grossed over $18 billion in lifetime gross revenue and exceeded 850 million registered users worldwide.[41][42][43]


  1. ^ Korean: 던전앤파이터.
  2. ^ Japanese: アラド戦記, Hepburn: Arado Senki, lit. War Records of Arad


  1. ^ a b c "Neople History". Neople. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "[Dungeon Fighter] Set the launch date for Taiwan". ThisIsGame Global. July 16, 2009. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  3. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online officially launches June 9". ThisIsGame Global. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  4. ^ "Nexon Today Launched Dungeon Fighter Online". mmosite.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Tencent Obtains Exclusive License to Operate Dungeon & Fighter in China" (PDF). Tencent Holdings Ltd. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "GDC 2009: Dungeon Fighter Online, A First Look". GameSpot. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Interview: Dungeon Fighter Online Creator On Korean Hit MMO's Western Transition". Gamasutra. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  8. ^ 던전앤파이터, 17일 클베 시작 [Dungeon & Fighter Close Beta Starts On The 17th] (in Korean). GG Game. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  9. ^ 던전앤파이터, 2차 클로즈베타 테스터 모집 [Dungeon & Fighter Recruits 2nd Closed Beta Testers] (in Korean). GG Game. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  10. ^ 던전 앤 파이터 [Dungeon & Fighter] (in Korean). Game Spot. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  11. ^ 던전앤파이터, 오픈베타 첫날 동시접속자 1만명 돌파 (in Korean). GG Game. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  12. ^ "Interview: Herb Yang, Managing Producer for Dungeon Fighter Online". 2D-X. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  13. ^ "GDC 2009: Dungeon Fighter Online, A First Look". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Nexon's Min Kim". Ten Ton Hammer. April 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  15. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online Heads to Closed Beta". Warcry Network. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
  16. ^ "Nexon America Establishes Early Access Beta for Dungeon Fighter Online". GamersHell.com. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
  17. ^ "[UPDATE] Dungeon Fighter Online Official Launch Countdown – Clean Slate Event". Nexon. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  18. ^ "DFO Closing FAQ". Nexon America. Archived from the original on 2013-04-09. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  19. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online returns from the dead". Massively. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  20. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online". Facebook. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online". Facebook. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  22. ^ "Season 2 - Act 01. Reborn | Dungeon Fighter Online". www.dfoneople.com. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  23. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online on Steam". store.steampowered.com. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  24. ^ "Season 3 - Act 01. PANDEMONIUM | Dungeon Fighter Online". www.dfoneople.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  25. ^ "Season 4. Act 01. Origin | Dungeon Fighter Online". www.dfoneople.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  26. ^ "Season 5. Act 01. Harlem | Dungeon Fighter Online". www.dfoneople.com. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  27. ^ "Dungeon Fighter Online passes 3 million concurrent users". GamesIndustry.biz. 24 August 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  28. ^ "Avoiding latency-related revenue caps in MMO games". SuperData Research. 20 November 2012. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Dungeon Fighter Online gross lifetime revenue exceeds $10bn". GamesIndustry.biz. June 21, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "Investor Presentation Q1 2020" (PDF). Nexon. May 13, 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  31. ^ "Nexon Investor Presentation - FY2012 Q2" (PDF). Nexon. 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-09-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ a b "Nexon courts Western game developers with creativity pitch". VentureBeat. March 6, 2017.
  34. ^ a b "2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: DIGITAL GAMES AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA" (PDF). SuperData Research. January 25, 2018.
  35. ^ Palumbo, Alessio (26 December 2018). "Project BBQ Is a New 3D Dungeon Fighter Online Game Made with Unreal Engine 4 for PC". WCCFtech. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Worldwide digital games market: March 2018". SuperData Research. April 26, 2018. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  37. ^ "Fortnite made $318 million in May". Business Insider. June 28, 2018.
  38. ^ a b "Market Brief – 2018 Digital Games & Interactive Entertainment Industry Year In Review". SuperData Research. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  39. ^ a b "2019 Year In Review: Digital Games and Interactive Media". SuperData Research. Nielsen Media Research. Archived from the original on 9 April 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  40. ^ "Nexon's Highly Anticipated Mobile Dungeon&Fighter will Launch in China on August 12". Business Wire. Nexon. June 26, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  41. ^ Mahoney, Owen; Uemura, Shiro (February 8, 2022). "Investor Presentation Q4 2021" (PDF). Nexon. p. 38. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  42. ^ Hyeong-woo, Kan (March 24, 2022). "Nexon launches Dungeon & Fighter Mobile". The Investor. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  43. ^ Hyeong-woo, Kan (23 March 2022). "Nexon launches Dungeon & Fighter Mobile". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 20 April 2022.

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