Category: Mobile

AD HyungTae Kim’s Next Move is Mobile Game

Nextfloor, a developer of mobile games <Dragon Flight> and <El Brisa>, announced cooperative development with Shift Up. Shift Up is a start-up mobile game developer founded by HyungTae Kim, ex-AD of <Blade & Soul>. It’s his first move after resignation from NCsoft and the MMORPG.

Shift Up conisists of many members from <Blade & Soul> development team. They are currently recruiting illustrators, concept artists, 3D artists, programmers, and game designers in order to work on the project veiled. The project should reportedly be out within the second half of this year.

“It’s honor to be with Shift Up’s start. We will put our best effort on this project with a renewed attitude,” said MinKyu Kim the CEO of Nextfloor.

“It’s so supportive that being with Nextfloor right next to us. I will do our best as an illustrator and a developer, and I am pretty sure that this cooperation is Shift Up’s chance to one step forward,” said Kim the CEO of Shift Up.

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Naver Band Ready to Compete Against Kakao

Naver is reportedly going to launch a new gaming platform on its SNS Band in April.

According to industrial experts, Naver is going to launch the platform with about 10 mobile games. The most of front-line would be brand-new titles while popular titles would follow up later.

The Naver Band is pretty attractive for mobile game developers because it just takes 20% of revenue away from them while Kakao Talk takes 30% away. That is, they guarantee the poor developers of maximum 64% of profit.

On top of that, the #1 portal site in Korea supports diverse promotion including webtoon PPL, gaming dedicated page, pre-registration event, CPA mileage save, etc. This is undeniable bait for the small companies in lack of marketing budget.

Besides the PC portal, Naver Mobile boasts 21M daily UV as of July 2013 and more than 20M has downloaded the Band as of October 2013. 20M is nearly a half of Korean population.

Emerging of the Band gaming platform, the industry is more than welcoming it since they have been waiting for another platform besides the Kakao which has been exclusively conquoring the market so far.

Exact date of the debut is not announced yet.

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Naver to Create A Mobile Gaming Platform

Korea’s number one search engine, Naver Corp., is enhancing its current mobile game channeling service to start a gaming platform.

ThisisGame’s recent interview with Naver has revealed that the popular search engine company plans to enhance and upgrade its current mobile site’s (m.naver.com) game channeling service ‘Naver mobile game channeling’ and begin its official service.  Just as KakaoTalk Corp. has previously used its pool of messenger users as its audience when it launched the ‘Kakao Games,’ Naver plans to utilize its current pool of 37 million users for the launch.

The Naver mobile game platform will allow its users to freely download mobile games onto their devices using their Naver account, regardless of the time and location.  While the actual downloads will be done through the ‘Naver AppStore,’ they will also be able to use the Google Play Store depending on the situation.

Hence, this means that the games on the Naver platform will only support the Android OS.  This will surely be a welcoming news for many developers out there that felt the pressure of having to abide to the rules of the KakaoTalk platform, which requires the developers to develop an iOS version of their games as well.

Naver is currently contacting numerous mobile game developers to propose the use of their channel, and games that have already made huge success on either the Google Play Store or the T Store are not of exceptions either.

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Naver AppStore on Android OS

 

Developer portions 73%, more beneficial than the current platform

In the light of appealing to the developers, Naver has been emphasizing the higher portion of the profit that the developers will be receiving when using the Naver platform.

One of the main things that Naver has been emphasizing is that they have paid particular attention to the cries of the developers regarding the profit that they get in return.  In the case of Naver Mobile, developers are able to reap profit from all revenue with the exception of 10% market fee, 7% channeling fee, and 10% user mileage.  It has been said that even a part of the 7% channeling fee will be used in ways beneficial to the developers.

The numbers stated above are definitely in favor of the developers in comparison to those of Google Play Store.  Google Play Store currently takes 30% of the revenue the game creates.  On top of this, if the game is platformed on the popular KakaoTalk platform, another 30% of the rest (21% of the total revenue) is given to the KakaoTalk platform.

If one were to reiterate the numbers above, it ultimately boils down to 51% of the total revenue paid to the platforms, and the developer ends up receiving 49%.  However, with the terms of the Naver Mobile, the developers would in fact receive 73% of the total revenue, standing out among Google Play and KakaoTalk platforms.

Another point that Naver emphasizes is that a large portion of the 10% user mileage is often spent back on the game itself, resulting in higher profit for the developers.

 

Easier user acquisition using promotions on Naver

Naver plans support the games on their mobile platform by using their own popular search engine website (www.naver.com) to run advertisements and promotions.

A large portion of these promotions will be done by running multiple versions of advertisements, such as banners and articles, in the entertainment and gaming sections of their website, aiding in the exposure of the game.  Naver is confident that they will be able to attract at least 30,000 users through these means of promotions.

According to a personnel from the mobile gaming industry: “Acquisition of 10,000 users via pre-launch sign-ups was considered a tremendous achievement on the KakaoTalk platform.  If the numbers can really be as high as Naver predicts, this new platform will be something that many developers will find difficult to refuse.”

Developers will be able to launch through the Naver mobile platform by requesting via the appropriate proposal procedure at least eight weeks prior to the game’s launch.  After series of meetings and contract signings, the game will be ready to launch under the Naver mobile platform. 20140113175828_3105

 

The lacking Naver AppStore

Many experts in the mobile gaming field understand and regard the new Naver mobile platform to be a very appealing platform.  Many also have the opinion that the current popularity and recognition of Naver among the population does not fall behind that of KakaoTalk, and that this new change could bring seriously detrimental effects to the ‘for KakaoTalk’ trend.

However, the outlook of Naver mobile is not one that is completely fault-free.  Naver AppStore, where all the app downloads will be done, loses out in influence, popularity, and inventory size in comparison to the other popular markets, such as Google Play and TStore.

According to a personnel from the mobile industry: “Google Play and TStore are often pre-installed onto the mobile devices when they are initially sold, and because of this, it is no wonder they have high numbers.  On the other hand, Naver AppStore is a separate application that the users have to download on their own, and it will be interesting to see how the market will fare.

Naver plans to run several marketing campaigns for the user acquisition of the Naver AppStore, such as TV ads, search engine ads, and AppStore events.

2013 TOP 10 Korean Game Issues

What were the most popular topics in Korean gaming industry in 2013? Here’s TOP 10 news.

1.     Mobile, Mobile, Mobile…

With the hit mobile games like <Anipang for KAKAO> in 2012, mobile game category has made the entire environment of Korean game industry changed. We would call 2013 as the year of mobile games.

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<Chachacha>, <Magumagu 2013>, <Modoo Marble>, <Taming Monsters> from Netmarble, <Windrunner> from Wemade, <Cookie Run> from Devsisters are the most favorable mobile games in Korea. KAKAO Talk has become truly the best mobile game platform in Korea.

In terms of the market size, the mobile gaming industry grew up to $115.6 million last year, which has increased by 51.4% from what of 2012.

2.     Gamevil Acquired Com2uS

It shocked everyone in the industry when we heard two of top Korean mobile game companies became one in October. Gamevil took over Com2uS by acquiring 21.37% of Com2uS’s shares for $466.7 million. It would be remained as the most big deal in Korean game industry for a while.

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The two companies are the best in marketing experience, the global user pool as well as the brand awareness throughout the global mobile game market. They both have mobile game platforms called Gamevil Circle and Com2uS Hub respectively, which hold lots of users beside KAKAO Talk. In addition, both have 10 years of developing mobile game experience.

We are curious what they, as one, could reach fruition in 2014.

3.     Restructuring

Even though the mobile games made unexpected hit, some companies had to restructure themselves. Neowiz Games, Ntreev, Mgame, Dragonfly, Hanbitsoft, Liveplex and GREE Korea are among them.

4.     Continuing of League of Legends fever

The whole Korean gaming market seems to still be in the grip of the League of Legends(a.k.a LOL) fever. The game has been #1 at PC Bang ranking for 75 weeks consecutively and has been loved by lots of gamers whenever a regional or a world championship LOL e-sports events take place.

As Korea is a host-country for 2014 LOL world Championship, the LOL would continue its popularity and become the most popular e-sports game in Korea as well.

5.     Politicians represent the Game Industry

After a representative of Minju-dang, the opposition party, has become the chairman of KeSPA(Korean e-sports Association) in January, a Congressman from Saenuri-dang, the ruling party, has been inaugurated as the chairman of K-IDEA(Korea Internet digital entertainment association) in February.

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It is still highly controversial over having such high powered politician sit as the representatives of the industry. We have no idea what would be brought until the time would tell us.

6.     POPPIC happening

First of all, POPPIC is a publisher who publishes a series of books containing various illustrations created by amateur artists. The problem is that they have not paid the artists properly and fully. The worst is that they did not only pay artists, but also did not treat them correctly. Instead they abused the pure passion of the amateur. The artists should be treated correctly even though they are not pro yet.

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7.     G-Star crisis

Before G-Star 2013 was held, there were quite a stir. A publisher like Wemade declared to boycott G-Star this year in order to protest against the latest consideration of government – 1% additional taxation on the gaming industry.

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NCsoft, Neowiz Games, Webzen and Com2uS have also decided to boycott the event after deep considerations. Lots people worried whether the event could even be held as normal.

Fortunately, G-Star 2013 achieved a quite success with the largest B2B section ever.

8.     GTA V hits Korea

2013 would be the happiest year for console gamers because lots of big name titles were released such as <GTA V>, <Last of Us>, <Bioshock Infinite>, <Tomb Raider Reboot> and <Monster Hunter 4>.

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For the most, <GTA V> was suffered from a short supply because too many gamers wanted to play it during the thanksgiving holidays. The game has been sold over 100 million copies in Asia only. Since Korea is not the best place for console gaming, the hit of GTA V is unusual phenomenon.

9.     Next Generation Consoles out

When talking about 2013, we cannot omit the release of the next generation consoles – PS4 and Xbox One. PS4 was released first in Korea on the 17th of December. Since Xbox One will be released in 2014 in Korea, the console war in Korea is ahead in 2014.

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10.   Gaming Becomes One of the Major Four Addictions

Out of many gaming issues in 2013, movement to legislating the games as one of the four major addictions was the biggest and the most critical. Since the bill was proposed in April, it became an huge issue throughout the country. The bill suggests that the games are an addictive material along with alcohol, gambling and drugs.

It has been tabled for now. However, the argument would be continued since some congressmen still insist the bill to be established.

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(Video) Mobile RPG ‘MU: The Genesis’, set to release in October

Game focus in strategic party play controlling both the Hero and soul soldiers of the player’s choice.

Game developer Webzen tries their hand in the mobile gaming market using one of their most successful title, <MU>.  Let us take a look at their teaser trailer for the upcoming mobile title <Mu: The Genesis>.

Developed by Webzen Mobile, one of Webzen’s subsidiaries, this teaser trailer was released to the public on September 30th.  <MU: The Genesis> is a mobile RPG that continues on the legacy of the Korean MMORPG <MU>.

Viewers are able to witness the fight between one of the game characters “Pan” and a monster that had jumped out of the computer monitor screen.  Pan summons his soul soldiers, corners the monster, then eventually pushes the monster into the iPhone on the desk.  The teaser trailer ends with Pan jumping into the iPhone himself.

<MU: The Genesis> plans to make the strategic gameplay of the hero and its soul soldiers the main feature of the game.  Players are able choose how to develop their heroes as well as to choose their own soul soldiers in order to have a truly unique experience.  The main contents of the game include a campaign mode that progresses the player along a sequence of stages, a battle mode that allows free combat with adjustable difficulty, and event dungeons that become accessible during specific time periods.

<MU: The Genesis> is set to release more information on October 14th.  All the recent game related news and notices are released via the official teaser site (http://mtg.webzen.co.kr/), and players are also able to subscribe to receive these via SNS updates.

You could watch the video here: http://www.thisisgame.com/webzine/news/nboard/4/?n=49854

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