Archive for: December 2009

[Nexon] Put Kavatina Story Service on Hold

Kavatina Story will be temporarily put on hold as of December 31. The game was developed by Nexon’s?Wizet Studio whose production includes?Maple Story. Kavatina Story has been on OBT since last June but hasn’t taken off.

In the beginning the casual RPG started with such high expectation because of the studio’s previous success with Maple Story. But players left the game and there has been no update for the last three months.

Nexon sent us an email stating that due to lack of players and?re-shifting?the core developers (possibly to Maple Story 2 team) since the studio head Seung Chan Lee joined the team, the company decided to temporarily shut down the game. The company doesn’t have any specific date for the reopen.

[Korea] 5 Key Trends for 2009? ⑤ Browser-Based Games

This is the fifth and the last installment of the five-part series: Browser-based games.

Browser-based games seem to be a hit in Korea. From a publisher’s view, browser-based games are compatible even with low-spec PCs as long as they are connected with Internet. On top of that, relatively short?development time, low server?operation?costs, no limit on CCUs, low publishing costs all played in favor of?browser-based game frenzy in 2009.

It seems a perfect fit especially for portal operators who would love to expand their lineup with low cost browser-based games. As a result, Chinese games that already developed enough contents are expected to roll out fast in Korea.

Browser-based games became a necessity for major publishers in Korea; NCsoft has?Murim Empire (무림제국: Kor) and Battle Hero (not in service yet) in its pipeline, while Nexon has 熱血三國 (열혈삼국: Kor, not in service), SONOV has Berkanix, Aeon Soft has 武林英雄 (무림영웅: Kor) and Castle of Heroes, Actoz Soft has 縱橫天下 (종횡천하: Kor). Mgame also announced its expansion plan for browser-based games.

<Aeon Soft’s?Castle of Heroes>

Suhee Lee, a CEO of Joara, discussed the current trend of the browser-based game’s success at Korea Games Conference (KGC) 2009. “The market size of Korean browser-based games is estimated at 3 billion Won (US$ 2.3 million), which is considerably small compared to the online gaming market. ?7th Dragon (칠용전설: Kor) which is considered as the most successful game in the genre makes only 200~300 million Won (US$ 154,000~231,000) per month,” Lee explained. “However, the major publishers plan to introduce more than 10 games this year alone and probably more than 100 browser-based games next year. Under the circumstance, the market is expected to grow fast next year.”

<NCsoft’s Murim Empire>

* I couldn’t find English titles of some games here and would appreciate if anyone would help me on that.

[Korea] 5 Key Trends for 2009? ④ Auto, friend or foe?

This is the fourth installment of the five-part series:?‘Auto’, friend or foe?

Auto is another keyword to define the Korean online gaming market in 2009. Auto is short for auto mouse or automouse. Game companies employed two very different strategies toward auto mouse. One is to ban players who use it and the other is to include it in their game system and make it legitimate.

NCsoft is one of the companies came on strong. The company continuously banned a large number of auto users. The action brought out collective civil complaints but so far NCsoft maintained its position on the matter.

EYA Soft is on the other side, however. The company sold an auto mouse item in Murim Story (무림외전: Kor,?武林外?: Chi) but later integrated it to game system because it failed at getting ratings by Game Rating Board.?EYA Soft is applying same tactic to Angel Love Online and became the center of pro-auto.

<Auto system Murim Story?developed by the game developer>

Auto has been a controversial issue all throughout the year among players and game companies. Some users resent auto while there was a movement to make it legitimate as some of Chinese games started supporting auto mouse in their games. Auto programs developed by a third party are illegal but it’s not if they are developed by game developers.

[NCsoft] The Appeals Court Found the Former Employees Quilty of Leaking Company Secrets

Last June the Seoul Central District Court delivered the verdict on the case of five former NCsoft developers involved with the Lineage 3 who have been found guilty of leaking company secrets. (a related posting) Now a Korea appeals court handed down heavier sentences on top of the guilty verdict.

The court ruled that “the data files that defendants took when they left NCsoft clearly belongs to the company.” They won’t do ?jail time but won’t be able to avoid any penalty stemmed from a US$500,000 civil suit that has been filed by NCsoft against these employees last August.

If you want to read the original article on TIG which is written in Korean,?click here.

[CJ Internet] NHN USA’s Former CEO Joins CJ Internet

Whon Namkong?(남궁훈: Kor), a former CEO of NHN USA, was appointed?CEO of CJ Internet. Namkong will replace Young Jong Jung (정영종: Kor), the?current?CEO, in January 2010. Jung led the company since 2005 and hasn’t confirmed his next move.

If you want to read the original article on TIG which is written in Korean,?click here.