Archive for: July 2012

Blueside keeps fighting against Eyedentity Games

Blueside will file a civil action against Eyedentity Games

Blueside announced that they regret that the result of prosecution’s investigation on the technology leakage issue has been ended up with not guilty. Previously, Blueside insists that their technology has been leaked to Shanda from Eyedentity Games. The police was under the investigation during the last couple of months that Eyedentity Games developed Dragonnest by using leaked technology from Blueside.

Blueside said that the investigation was focused on whether the program source is a business secret or not, which is separated from infringement of copyright issue. Because the police agreed that 2 former developers from Blueside developed Dragonnest by using Blueside’s game engine, they will file a civil action against Eyedentity Games soon.

Eyedentity Games also made an announcement against the statement from Blueside that if Blueside file an action, they will react legally as well and Dragonnest will not stop its service.

Nexon was fine for acquiring shares illegally in Taiwan

Nexon has to pay a fine regarding its acquisition of Gamania shares.

Fair Trade Commission (FTC) held that Nexon must pay 900,000 Taiwan dollars as a fine for acquiring Gamania’s share illegally. In addition, Nexon needs to sell shares of Gamania or follow report procedure. If Nexon won’t, 50 million Taiwan dollars of additional fine could be addressed.

Currently Nexon is the major shareholder of Gamania with 34.6% of shares. According to laws of Taiwan, if one has more than the one third of the total capital or shares, it could be considered as a merger. If one being acquired is occupying the one fourth of a market, the company who acquires must report it to Taiwan government.

Gamania has been a partner of Nexon since 2005 and published Nexon’s online games such as Maple Story, Kartrider, Vindictus for Taiwan.

Nexon announced the statement regarding FTC’s decision like below on the 4th of July.

 

Nexon’s Statement

July 4 2012

Nexon today has been informed of the decision made by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), which has ruled that Nexon was subject to merger filing pursuant to the Fair Trade Act regarding its acquisition of Gamania shares. It is regretful to learn that the FTC and Nexon have had different viewpoints on the definition of the relevant gamemarkets and the market shares of the respective companies therein. As the issues on the market definition and market share are quite controversial among industries, Nexon will re-consider and verify the facts, data or evidences on which the FTC formed its decision andmay seek any remedy.

Nexon has always maintained a long-term commitment to the growth of the Taiwanese digital game market ever since Nexon and Gamania’s partnership began in 2005. As the major shareholder of Gamania, Nexon highly values the relationship and continues to holda strong and positive business outlook for Gamania and the Taiwanese digital game market. We believe we have delivered some of the top games in the Taiwanese market to this day and will continue to strive to bring such innovative content to local gamers andthereby support the further development of the digital game industry in Taiwan.

Technology leakage issue from N3 to Dragonnest

The Industrial technology leakages investigation team from local police investigated 2 developers of Eyedentity Games who previously worked for Blueside, a creater of Kingdom under fire series from November, 2011. They suffered discredit for developing Dragonnest by using Fametech game engine from Blueside.

Blueside insists that their technology has been leaked to Shanda, a major Chinese publisher, because their former employees developed Dragonnest by using their game engine technology. Eyedentity Games, a developer of Dragonnest, has been acquired by Shanda.

Police has found that 2 former Blueside developers used a part of programming codes from N3, a Xbox360 title, during the beginning stage of developing Dragonnest However, the prosecution decided they are not guilty as well as Eyedentify Games and admitted only the one of developers is responsible partially.

According to the prosecution, the developer kept a part of N3 materials at his home for working at home in 2006. He did not discard data after moving to Eyedentity Games. The prosecution imposed fines on him.
Blueside has sent an official document to Nexon, a Korean publisher of Dragonnest, to stop the service. However, Nexon will not stop the service because of the decision from the prosecution.

TOP 11 gaming issues during the 1st half of 2012 in Korea

1. Blade&Soul and Diablo3

Both was launched during the period and made various issues. Especially Diablo3 claimed #1 PC Bang ranking chart with 430,000 CCU. Diablo3 also suffered from server issue, a roll-back error, balance & bug issue. Blizzard announced the restrictive refund policy for Diablo3 after Fair Trade Commission’s investigation.

Blade&Soul topped Diablo3 during OBT, but stepped down to the 3rd after the commercialized service was started.

2. Nexon acquires shares from NCSoft

Nexon acquired 14.7% shares from NCSoft CEO Taek-jin Kim and became the major shareholder of NCSoft. It was huge because two among biggest Korean online game companies agreed to cooperate. On the other hand, the question around NCSoft is getting bigger because NCSoft CEO Taek-jin Kim has not revealed the use of 800 billion Won (about $700 million), which is a compensation for 14.7% shares from Nexon.

 

3. On restructuring

M&A was a hot issue last year. During the first half of the year, restructuring was a hot issue among Korean online game companies.

NCSoft announced its restructuring plan on the 19th of June and started accepting voluntary resignation. NCSoft will cut at least 100 employees and focus on developing games more. Neowiz Games has done restructuring and NHN is on restructuring now as well.
Restructuring is happened every year, but the atmosphere around the Korean game industry is chaotic because many people have left the industry this year more than ever.

4. PC Bang ranking Cataclysm

PC Bang ranking has not changed for many years until this year. League of Legends topped Korean PC Bang ranking on March with 13.91% occupation rate and kept staying at the top before diablo3 launching.

Diablo3 achieved ‘The best PC Bang occupation rate record ever’ with 38.75% and topped League of Legends. Blade&Soul claimed #1 from Diablo3 during its OBT.

5. Another Cataclysm for e-Sports

Starcraft’s Brood War has dominated Korean e-Sports market for more than 10 years. However, The year 2012 is the last. Proleague hosted by KESPA (Korean e-Sports Association), will be held with Starcraft2 from October, 2012 to 2013 as well as Starleague hosted by Ongamenet.

In addition, another e-Sports icon is rising – League of Legends. Summer league of LOL The Champions will be held soon as well as World Championship in Autumn with the total prize money of $3 million.

6. Playable time select system

New protection system from game addiction called ‘Playable time select system’ will take effect from the 1st of July. It is the system that restricts the youth from playing game during the time that a legal representative requests.

Once the system is conducted, the youth under the age of 18 and his/her parents as a legal representative could set the game available period. If the time that parents want is collapsed with the period that a youth wants, the period selected by parents becomes priority.

Korean online game companies are needed to spend additional developing cost to apply the system into their games. Some companies request Game Rating Board to categorize their games as ‘Over age 18’ not to apply this system into their games because of the additional budget.

Xbox360 and PS3 are no exception. PS3 Store will be closed on the 29th because of it.

7. Items trade for Real Money

Real Money Aution House (RMAH) for Diablo3 was opened on the 13th of June in the U.S. However, Korean could not use RMAH because of the government’s policy. Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) announced that the acts of trading game money, items by a company is illegal from July while it is still possible that game money and item trading between individual users.

8. Have you seen any innovation stuffs at E3 2012?

Most people from Korean online game industry were disappointed at E3 2012. There were full of games that were named after sequel or reboot. In addition, we found too much violence within games.

9. Heading for Chinese’s mobile game market

Com2uS and Gamevil, two of most anticipated Korean mobile game companies, is head for Chinese mobile game market. Escape the ape and Tower Defense: Lost Earth from Com2uS was ranked #1 and #2 in Chinese App Store while Gamevil was selected as the best global mobile platform company in China.

10. Smartphone games are booming!

Wemade Entertainment, which was client based online game company once, is now focusing on developing smartphone games. Nexon, NCSoft, NHN, CJ Netmarble, Neowiz Games have made their mobile games division stronger.

Mid-sized online game companies such as Nowcom, Liveplex, Choirock Games are also declared to develop mobile games. We could easily found a new mobile game company, established by an Individual developer. The number keeps increasing now.

11. Crossfire is on fire

The revenue of Online FPS game Crossfire from China only exceeded 1,000 billion Won ($874 million) with 3.5 million CCU. Its global publisher Neowiz Games are disputing with Smilegate, developer of the game, for extending the publishing contract. The publishing contract between Neowiz Games and Tencent will be expired in summer of 2013.
Smilegate is not satisfied with Neowiz Games’ sudden decision that closed domestic service of Crossfire without noticing Smilegate.

Blade&Soul started the commercialized service

Blade&Soul started the commercial service from the 30th of June. Monthly fee is 23,000 Won ($20.11) for 30 days, 69,000 Won for 90 days. ($60.33)

NCSoft did not update contents for its commercial launching. During July, NCSoft will introduce Su-wol plain, which was introduced during the 3rd CBT, and expand the maximum level up to 45.

In Su-wol plain, there is a town for Young-rin tribe, Half-moon Lake, Fog forest as well as more than 6 dungeons include The sea snake supply base that was presented during the 3rd CBT as well.

Blade&Soul took the 3rd spot for Korean PC-Bang ranking after the commercial service started with 13.97% PC Bang occupation rate. Diablo3 is 17.31% for #1 while League of Legends is 15.35%.for the 2nd spot.

Su-wol plain

Spider’s Nest