I went looking for KartRider this morning, but it seems to have disappeared.

A little less than a year back I ended up, due to a big colorful ad on the back of Games for Windows Magazine (which itself disappeared in April of last year) downloading and installing the Nexon free to play game KartRider.

It is (was?) a fun little racing game that my daughter and I played on and off for a couple of months.

This morning my daughter was looking at the icons on my desktop, pointed at the KartRider icon, said that we had not played that game in a while, and asked if we could give it another try.

But when I tried to launch the game, it gave an error, citing my firewall as a possible issue.

I went to the KartRider site I had bookmarked, to see if anything had changed or if I needed to download a new client and was greeted by this:

Open Beta has Ended

Open Beta has Ended

The open beta is over (oh, yeah, I forgot it was still in beta) and thank you to all the people who made it a huge success.

The main Nexon site had no obvious mention of KartRider.  The Korean site for the game still seemed to be up and in full swing however.

Eventually I found a notice on the site about the end of the open beta:

Greetings KartRiders!

We’d like to thank our beta testers for all their hard work in testing KartRider!

The Closed Beta will come to an end on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 5pm (PST). We encourage you to get your last few races in!

We will announce the full launch of KartRider at a later date.

Thanks for playing!

– The KartRider Staff –

Hrmm, it has been a while since I peeked in on the game.

Still, I have to wonder how huge of a success the open beta was if they removed all mention of the game from the main US site and have let the US localized version of the game sit for more than seven months.

They still have MapleStory, Combat Arms, and a couple of other games listed on their US site, but could this be another sign (ala NCsoft) that Korean game makers aren’t able to tap the US market as effectively as they do their home market?

15 thoughts on “KartRider?

  1. morganic

    Went looking for info on it because I remember trying it out and wikipedia had this to say:

    A closed beta for an English version (KartRider) began in America on May 1, 2007 and ended on May 31, 2007. The open beta began on October 2, 2007 and ended on March 19, 2008. The English version of KartRider is currently closed for an indefinite period of time, and the official version has not yet been released. Furthermore, no official information regarding the release date has been given by Nexon America.


  2. TheRemedy

    It was probably a bad idea to make a Mario Kart clone when Nintendo released a new Mario Kart (which happened to be one of the best selling games last year) for the Wii.


  3. Rick

    I think Kart Rider was slated to be a free-to-play game, with RMT available for upgrades, so I’m not sure that Mario Kart was direct competition.

    My daughter and I were just talking about this yesterday, when a friend of hers came over with her DS and Mario Kart. I played the beta a lot, and I think I checked it out because of blog posts here. I check back occasionally to see if it has launched, and I’ve been frustrated to see the lack of news you’re describing.

    I’d have this installed on my computer already if it was launched and playable. I really enjoyed it.


  4. TheRemedy

    They are both games where you run around a track in a go-kart, how are they not directly competing? And I really doubt any young person gives a crap about things like “free-to-play” and “rmt,” they will just want what all their friends are playing.


  5. SmartGuy

    …..kartrider in Korean and China is one of the most hottest game… alot of people are online for both of them…but it just don’t work out for US


  6. Kart Rider USA ownz!

    Korean kart rider… SUCKS China kart rider SUCKS because of the drift 24/7 i don’t wanna play drift i just wanna have a nice relaxing item mode race with no drifting :)


  7. malotapol

    i’m also frustrated with the lack of info on kartrider. but a friend of mine recently got me hooked on a new US-based kart-racing game called mobracer. it’s at http://www.mobracer.com. it’s also a 3D, MMOG, free-to-play kart-racing game, is A LOT of fun i must say! one big difference is that it’s all in-browser, so no downloads required, which is nice if you’re using a few different computers. check it out, curious to see if other kartrider fans like it as much as i do.


  8. matador

    i’m a mario kart addict.. but after playing kart rider it will really blow your mind cause of the steep learning curve when it comes to technique.I am sorry but i havent found any racing game that can seriouslly compare.. i usually check for kart rider every now and then hoping it will be back. Kart rider can definetly bring in alot of money i remember i bought a gamepro magazine and the back was an ad for kart rider.. ohh those were the days


  9. KartRider

    Hi there!

    If you really like KartRider, you have to check out at least one of the asian Versions: Korean KartRider (the original), PopKart (China, also good but a little bit more lag).

    There are registration guides on our german KartRider-Forum: http://kartrider-forum.net/

    Maybe you can translate them and they are helpful for you. Feel free to ask in english in our forums if you need help.


  10. KrazyGamer

    The game KartRider or PopKart is a racing verion of the game PopTag PopTag is still on nexon with the same charaters but different mode


  11. kart rider

    Karting in South Korea was created. In Korea was not constructing in China created.

    karrider from south korea


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