K2 Network

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K2 Network, Inc. was an American producer and publisher of video games based in Irvine, California. It pioneered the use of the free-to-play (or "freemium") business model among North American and European MMO game publishers in 2004.[1][2]

On July 5, 2012, the company merged with Reloaded Games,[3] and the merged entity ceased its K2 Network branded operations.


K2 Network was founded in 2001 on the belief that "the community experience of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG’s) will become one of the most significant forms of entertainment in the 21st century."[4] The company initially licensed games created by Korean development studios, and localized and serviced those games in North America, South America and Europe via its portal GamersFirst.com. In 2007, the company raised $16m USD in a Series-B financing round led by Intel Capital.[5]

Licensed MMOs[edit]

K2 Network's licensed titles included Knight Online World for which it acquired the Western territory rights in 2003 and began publishing operations in 2004,[6] ceasing operations in May 2012.[7] The game grew quickly to more than 40,000 concurrent players[8] and proved especially popular in Turkey where K2 Network monetized the game using its network of ESN code resellers.[9] K2 Network also licensed and published MU Online,[10] War Rock and Sword 2.[11]

Creation of Studio Subsidiary Reloaded Productions[edit]

In November 2010, K2 Network's subsidiary Reloaded Productions purchased the rights to APB: All Points Bulletin from Realtime Worlds during the latter company's administration proceedings [12] for a fraction of the game's original 60 million GBP development cost,[13] aiming to convert the game from a traditional subscription based business model as designed by Realtime Worlds, to a game called APB: Reloaded using the company's free-to-play model. In June 2011, Reloaded Productions acquired Fallen Earth from Icarus Studios planning to repeat the subscription-to-freemium business model conversion.[14]

On March 16, 2015, Reloaded Productions purchased the rights to Hawken.[15]


  1. ^ "Revolutionary free2play with Unlimited Playing Time" (Press release). K2 Network. December 6, 2004.
  2. ^ http://www.trademarkia.com/free2play-78779650.html
  3. ^ Dan Crawley (July 5, 2012). "Free-to-play pioneer K2 Network merges with Reloaded Games". VentureBeat.
  4. ^ http://www.gamersfirst.com/corporate/?area=company
  5. ^ Mark Androvich (June 18, 2007). "K2 Network secures $16 million, led by Intel Capital". GamesIndustry.Biz.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2012-07-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ http://www.snoxd.net/index.php/topic/4677-k2-settled-an-agreement-outside-court-with-mgame/
  8. ^ "Knight Online the Most Popular MMORPG on Download.com" (Press release). K2 Network. October 27, 2005.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-07-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "K2 Network and WebZen reach license agreement for MU ONLINE" (Press release). WebZen. December 1, 2005.
  11. ^ "Rock the House with GamersFirst at E3" (Press release). K2 Network. June 14, 2010.
  12. ^ Tom Curtis (September 17, 2010). "Realtime Worlds Lays Off Final Staff In Dundee and U.S. Offices". Gamasutra.
  13. ^ Business Editor (April 21, 2011). "60m GBP Video Game Sold Off for 780 000 GBP". Scotsman.
  14. ^ Shawn Schuster (June 15, 2011). "GamersFirst announces acquisition of Fallen Earth with new F2P business model". Massively. Archived from the original on June 18, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  15. ^ Wesley Yin-Poole (2015-03-16). "People behind APB Reloaded buy Hawken". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2015-03-16.