Tag: blade&soul

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

Blade&Soul tops the PC Bang ranking chart

Blade&Soul from NCSoft tops the PC Bang ranking chart in Korea and made Diablo3 stepped down to #2. Blade&Soul is occupied 20.35% while Diablo3 is 17.74%, League of Legends 14.03%. This is the first time Diablo3 is below 20% during the last 5 weeks.

What made Blade&Soul as #1 in the chart is that it was a weekend with no server maintenances. NCSoft was promoting the game at PC Bang with a huge event during the weekend as well. CCU records for Blade&Soul already broke 240,000 with 32 servers.

On the other hand, Diablo3 patch 1.0.3 made fans hugely disappointed in Korea. It made Diablo3’s PC Bang occupation rate below 20%.

However, the commercialization of Blade&Soul could be the one of variables. NCSoft announced that it will start the commercialization service from 30th of June with 23,000 Korean Won (about US$19.81) monthly fee. The monthly fee is 3,200 Korean(About US$2.76) Won higher than World of Warcraft in Korea.

Blade&Soul OBT records 150000 CCU within an hour

Blade&Soul OBT started PM 4:00 on the 21st of June. The game records 150,000 CCU within an hour and increased the number of servers from 2 to 25. NCSoft has prepared the total of 30 servers for its OBT. Servers were stable and pleasant unlike Diablo3.

According to Gametrics who provides various data from PC-Bang in Korea, Blade&Soul is ranked #3 followed by Diablo3 and League of Legends (LOL). The rate of PC-Bang occupation was 9.61% while Diablo3’s was 22.14% and LOL was 16.06%.

LOL PC-Bang occupation rate seems not affected by Blade&Soul OBT because the genre is different.
NCSoft spent US$ 432,000 on Blade&Soul for 6 years.

Blade&Soul OBT from the 21st of June

Blade&Soul OBT will be started from the 21st of June. NCSoft was already held the event that users could choose a server and create a character through the last weekend. During the event, 13 servers were full. Fatigue system that players blamed the most during the 3rd CBT has been deleted.

New contents for OBT have not been revealed much yet. Users already experienced much better customizing options for creating characters during the last weekend.

NCSoft released the brand new trailer for OBT as well.