Codemasters Online has announced that ArchLord, its free-to-play fantasy MMO, has reached a total of 500,000 registered player accounts in the US and Europe.
ArchLord, originally launched in South Korea by NHN, is a massively multiplayer RPG with a heavy focus on guild warfare. In the game, the leader of the most successful guild alliance becomes ruler of the entire server, with the power to control the economy, curse and enchant players, summon elite monsters, and kill stuff from a flying dragon mount. Death and taxes, basically.
Codemasters originally launched the game as a subscription title but, after finding limited success, made it entirely free, alongside stablemate RF Online. It's this move that has brought half a million players to the game in the West.
However, it should be noted that free game accounts aren't as representative of the game's actual player base as subscriber numbers are for a paying game, since there's no reason for inactive accounts to be closed.