Category: Platform

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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Neowiz sues EA “We will receive compensations for FIFA Online 2”

A suit filed against EA based on Article 92, Item 2 of the Korean Commercial Act this past June.

Neowiz Games has sued EA Korea in order to receive compensations for the service termination of <FIFA Online 2>.

According to the Neowiz representative, Neowiz had sued EA on September 30th in order to receive compensation for their losses that had occurred along with the termination of <FIFA Online 2>.  After the initial request for the certification of contents regarding their claim for compensation, the lawsuit is currently on-going since late June.

The purpose of the lawsuit is to receive compensation for the invested manpower and expenses during their contract with <FIFA Online 2>.  The Neowiz representative has stated their stance on the matter saying “Neowiz Games has worked tirelessly for the past 5 years in order to bring outstanding service to the game and have been successful in doing so.  However, EA has decided on the termination of <FIFA Online 2> and has not compensated us for the work so far.”

Neowiz Games has filed a lawsuit based on these grounds according to the Korean Commercial Act.  The Article 92, Item 2 of the Korean Commercial Act states that when a developer company has profited with new customers and increase in trades due to the work of a publishing company, and the profits continue to benefit the developer company after the termination of the contract, the publishing company has the rights to file for the claim of compensation.

Neowiz Games has publicly stated that they “will receive compensations for making <FIFA Online 2> a success.”

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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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