NCsoft plan to release big titles from their internal development teams in 2014 as well as make ‘Blade & Soul’ available in more countries.
According to NCsoft’’s financial report during 2013, there are 2 PC based online games in 2014 – Lineage Eternal and Wildstar. Wildstar is almost done and will be released during the middle of 2014. Lineage Eternal, which was introduced for the first time in G-Star 2011, does not have a concrete schedule yet, but NCsoft plan to announce its test schedule during the 3rd quarter of 2014 and will be presented in G-Star this year again.
In addition, NCsoft will release various mobile games by using IPs like Blade&Soul and Lineage. NCsoft said “Many games that have been in development for years will be launched this year. Blade&Soul will be launched in Japan, Taiwan, Russia followed by China.”
JCE, the developer of Freestyle and Rule The Sky, changed its name as Joycity.
The reason to change is uniting the brand. JCE stands for Joycity Entertainment and the title of their gaming portal is Joycity. Therefore, the company changed the name as the same as the portal.The company also changed the articles of association. Previously, the company’s purpose of business was ‘Data Processing/Related Software Developing and Consulting’. The new one is ‘Developing and distributing mobile/online game software’.
Since the revenue from mobile games is occupying 49.1% of the total revenue, mobile games has become important for the company. JCE established MDR(Mobile Development Research) center during January and revealed the brand new mobile game called ‘Rule The Zoo’.
In-game money will not be given as gift among users because of Apple’s regulation. Therefore, users could not send Heart, which is sort of in-game money among KAKAO games, to other because Apple think it is a product to purchase and cannot be given as gift.
Future mobile games need to eliminate ‘Gift’ feature before applying while existing games in App store are needed to eliminate ASAP. After developers receive a new guideline from Apple, they are in worry because ‘Gift’ is not only a product, but also it is a part of social feature in games.
Heart was the essential feature among KAKAO mobile games to make revenue.
Korea and Japan dominate Android Market. 6 of TOP 10 games for Andorid are from Korea. Based on Google Play Revenue ranking, Korea and Japan are selected as the fastest growing countries. Especially, 95% the total revenue at Google Play Store in Korea comes from games category.
Puzzle & Dragons from Gungho Online was #1 on February while Cha Cha Cha of CJ E&M took 2nd, Windrunner of Wemade was 3rd. Among 6 Korean Android games, 4 of them have been published through KAKAO Talk.
However, no Korean mobile games have been listed on iOS top 10 games. The reason why Korean mobile games are strong at Android market could be founded on the domestic mobile environment. Android occupied 80% of Korean mobile market with the world most famous Android mobile phone manufacture – Samsung.
Nexon acquires ‘Gloops’, a Japanese mobile game developer. Nexon’s Japanese office said that it bought 100% of its shares for 520 billion won ($466 million). This is the second buyout for Nexon acquiring a Japanese mobile game company. The first was inBlue in June.
Gloops marked 430 billion won ($386 million) in revenue for the last fiscal year that ended in June. It was operating at a loss before it goes into mobile. Its revenue in 2012 has been increased more than 5 times comparing to the last year.
According to a source, Nexon Japan has been looking for an influential mobile game partner for a long time. It seems they chose Gloops that has grown fast for the past 2 years over platform business holders such as Mobage and Gree. The strategy of Nexon is clear. They target $4,670 million Japanese mobile game market quickly and effectively.
Nexon Japan CEO Choi Seung-woo said “Nexon will participate full-scale in the quickly growing mobile game market by acquiring Gloops and become a leader that pulls the Japanese mobile game market along.”
Gloops is familiar with Mobage while inBlue is friendly with GREE, which allow Nexon could work with various platform business holders for its mobile game business.