Tag: Nexon

Minecraft-like Maple Story 2 Let Users Create Own Dungeons

The block-type maps of <Maple Story 2> were indeed contents that were aimed for the <Minecraft> audience.

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The ‘Maple Story 2 Supports Day’ took place in the Nexon Arena on the 28th.  The convention was held for the fans <Maple Story 2> who are anticipating its arrival, and game contents and development directions were explained.  The new ‘block-type maps’ were explained at this convention, and the focus of the game was explained to be ‘user created contents.’

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Unlike its predecessor, <Maple Story 2> uses block-type maps.  All stages are designed with multiple 6-side blocks, similar to <Lego> or <Minecraft>.

Each of the blocks that are in a map can be removed and attached at will, and players will be able to use this system in various ways.  For example, players are able to pull out street lamps or telegraph poles to fight, and move or create objects.  However, the moveable objects are restricted to a certain number depending on the stages.

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The features that uses blocks to their full potentials are player housing and dungeon development.  In <Maple Story 2>, players are able to purchase specific blocks within the maps like real estate.  Blocks differ in prices depending on its location or specifics, and players can build objects and buildings on the blocks they own.

If a player lacks in-game currency, that player can opt out to live in a public facility such as apartments.  Even in these public facilities, players still have the option to collect various blocks to personally design their houses.

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Players can also use blocks to create dungeons or mini-games.  <Maple Story 2> offers a separate making tool for such purposes.  Monsters and traps can be placed strategically throughout the given space, and trigger events can be designed to activate upon specific user actions.  Not only can players experience their self-created dungeons in real time, they can share their creations with other players or even “operate” it.

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Aside from these features, <Maple Story 2> plans to add other user-created contents such as transportation systems, crafting professions, and more.

The reasons behind such changes for <Maple Story 2> seem to be in the interests the main target audience group, the fans of <Minecraft>.  <Minecraft> has been gaining popularity among gamers between the ages of 10 to 29 for its freedom to create in group settings.

If users are able to create original contents and share them at will, similar to <Minecraft>, the biggest concern of all online games, contents, will take care of itself.  However for this to be achieved, the game must allow free customization just as much, or even more than <Minecraft>.

<Maple Story 2> is a prequel to its original, and the CBT is planned for the second half of this year.  For those who may be wondering, the game will still be controlled by keyboard only.  Below are some of the screenshots of <Maple Story 2> that were shown at Supporters Day.

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[NDC14] Nexon Misses the Old Days, Developing 6 New Online Games

Nexon Corporation, a company that has had incredible growth via mergers and acquisitions in the past 10 years, has recently declared their plans to take a step back into the shoes of their previous ‘developer’ times.

Nexon held ‘Nexon Developer Conference 2014’ on the 27th, where its founder Kim Jungjoo, CEO Park Jiwon, and Nexon Japan’s CEO Owen Mahoney had the stage.  It was here that the three CEOs of Nexon spoke of the company’s past and plans for the future.

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Last 10 Years Without a Real Blockbuster: ‘Stability’ and ‘Success’ Crippled Us

The talk was led by the founder Kim Jungjoo, who began the conference with a bittersweet joke saying “Nexon is a great corporation.  Nexon is probably the only company in the world that started out as a game developer that survived for 10 years without a new title.”

CEO Park Jiwon answered his jests by explaining that Nexon was able to grow thanks to cooperations with other companies and acquisitions, rather than new titles of its own.  In truth, Nexon maintained its success in the past few years not with new titles, but with live operation of already existing titles such as <Dungeon and Fighter> and with acquisitions such as Neople and GameHi.

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JungJoo Kim, the founder of Nexon

However, this does not mean that there were no titles of its own.  <Counterstrike Online>, which was co-developed with Valve, had started the ‘Zombie Mode’ hype and DevCat’s <Vindictus> still holds many faithful players.

Park speculated that the reason behind the lack of new titles, despite these mentioned successes, was the incredible amount of success that they had with <Dungeon and Fighter> and <Maple Story>.  It was due to the stability and large success with these games that, rather than develop and publish new titles, they kept on focusing on the live services.

And after the installment of the Japanese office, the pressure only rose under these large numbers to live up to.  Finally, the direction of the company was deemed a critical weakness when the mobile gaming wave hit the world sometime in 2012.  The company’s lack of experience in new title developments and absence from the gaming trend kept it from adapting to the fast mobile market.

After 2012, Nexon repeated “the process of benchmarking and canceling a project every 6 months.”  The company’s insistence on simply following the trend and inability to adapt to the ever changing market repeatedly caused numerous projects to fail.

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JiWon Park, the CEO of Nexon

 

Bringing Back the ‘Developer DNA’

What was Nexon like 10 years ago?  Kim referred to Nexon’s status 10 years ago as the ‘Golden Age.’  Many internally developed games were published, and many of them were received well.  While they mentioned that the industry itself was in the process of developing then, their overall verdict is that the company differed very much compared to Nexon during the last 10 years.

Upon receiving the question on what the key factor was during the company’s golden age, Nexon Japan’s Owen Mahoney quickly chose the company’s working atmosphere and environment as his answer.  Having joined Nexon back in 2000 when he had been invited to Korea by Kim, Mahoney commented on the atmosphere of the company back then: “There were many creative games being developed, and even if some of them were canceled, they did not delay in jumping onto another development.  Unlike other large Western corporations back then, all of Nexon’s workers focused on one thing: Fun.”

Mahoney views the world’s gaming industry, including Nexon, to be in recession.  Western console game developers are trying to distinguish themselves by focusing on higher end graphics rather than creative and original system, and Facebook and mobile are choosing games and IPs that have already been successful to create ports.  Fresh and creative games such as <Minecraft> and <Eve Online>, which Mahoney used as examples, are definitely lacking in comparison to the rest of the games out on market.

Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon Japan

Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon Japan

It’s because of these reasons that the CEOs of Nexon and Nexon Japan have made ‘bringing back the DNA of Nexon 10 years ago’ as their immediate outlooks.  According to Park, they are “speaking with the developers of <Kingdom of the Wind> and <Tactical Commanders> and others in order to come up with the best course of action.”

Nexon consists of total of 2,000 developers with 1,500 in Korea and 500 in Japan.

 

6 Self-Developed Online Games in Preparation.  We Will Go Where Others Haven’t

Nexon and its subsidiaries currently have 30 games in development, with six of the lot being developed as new online games and over 20 as mobile games.

Nexon’s VP Jung Sangwon emphasized that the new online games will not be following the trend of the games already out there.  Jung pointed out <Maple Story 2> and <Durango> as the examples of the direction that their new online game development is heading towards.

<Maple Story 2> has tried numerous different approaches at the game system despite the fact that there already is an original, and <Durango> stands apart from the crowd as unique concepts of dinosaurs and survival RPG outlines the game.

SangWon Jung, the vice-president of Nexon

SangWon Jung, the vice-president of Nexon

Nexon will also reinforce its mobile gaming department, and its strategy is simple: the games will be ‘unique games that have not yet been introduced to the market,’ and if similar games already exist, ‘the game will offer more content and fun than its competitors.’  Nexon plans to take advantage of the short development time characteristic of mobile games to challenge itself in areas where it hasn’t been able to so far.

Park commented while talking of the mobile gaming strategy: “So far, unfitting of its size, Nexon has failed multiple times on the mobile front.  From now on, we will not be following the trend that others have set before us, but rather do what we are good at to lead the trend.  In saying this, not only will we do our best with our 20 internally developed mobile games, but if the games meet our standards, we will cooperate with developers outside the company in order to bring the best mobile games to the market.”

[NDC14] Return of the Old Kingdom of the Winds

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World’s first MMORPG <The Kingdom of the Winds>’s very first version is now available since last 27th of May.

Nexon has restored the original version and let gamers play it to feel nostalgia for the old days. The restoration was begun since 2013 July and JungJoo Kim of NXC CEO, Jake Song of XL Games CEO, SangWon Jung of Nexon vice-president and other founding members participated the project. They talked about how it went and obstacles they faced during the project at Nexon Developers Conference 2014(NDC14).

Since <The Kingdom of the Winds> is the oldest MMORPG in commercial service in the world and has gone through 1,000+ updates for last 18 years, they did not make finding the very initial data of the game. They did not even have any data including a source code they need in order to restore the original. Frankly, no one even remember what it exactly was.

They tried finding source codes first and fortunately were able to find old CDs which recorded graphic data of game version 1997, server data of 1998, and client file of 1999. These were the very first data of the then game in commercial service. They were able to successfully restore the old game of version 1996 after searching old database from a gaming magazine published in 1996.

The project was initially started to exhibit the old game at Nexon Computer Museum, but they decided to make it online because it is an online game which is a game of multiple players.

A last hurdle they faced after the successful restoration was Shutdown Law. In 1996, there was no such law and no players’ age in the old DB. Therefore Nexon decided to shutdown the whole server from midnight to 8 a.m. in order to prevent any dispute that might be arisen.

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Maple Story 2 In-gmae Footage Revealed

 

<Maple Story 2> is finally revealed.

Nexon released <Maple Story 2>’s first ever in-game gameplay footage today. You can see cube based maps of forest, hill, desert, and floating islands with various actions such as climbing, flying with balloons, and swimming. Unlike <Maple Story> which is a 2D side-scrolling MMORPG, it is a full 3D quarter-view MMORPG which you can move every direction.

“The footage only shows a part of core content of <Maple Story 2>. More content will be released via a teaser site,” said JinMan Kim of director of <Maple Story 2> at Nexon.

The site(http://maplestory2.nexon.com) opened last November has released latest content like illustrations and trailers.

Nexon is also recruiting the supporters since last 20th of May in order to have a user showcase to share current development and a blueprint for the game in June.

Nexon Developer Conference 2014 Announces Impressive Roster of Attendees

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Nexon Developer Conference 2014 (NDC) is drawing much attention from the game industry as the roster of its attendees become ever more impressive.

Nexon has announced on the 9th the roster of the attendees for the NDC 2014, which commences from the 27th to the 30th.  Some of the keynote speakers stand out among the others.  Many of the speakers are people who were once referred to as the ‘father’ of a certain field.

First, KAIST’s Professor Gil-Nam Kim, also known as the father of Korean internet, takes the stage as the keynote speaker.  Professor Kim is also the professor that taught many of today’s game industry leaders, such as Nexon’s Jungjoo Kim and XL Games’s Jaekyung Song.

Furthermore, Nexon’s director Jiwon Park and Nexon Japan’s director Owen Mahoney also take the stage as speakers under the topic of ‘Game Company CEO.’  Director Park has experience in leading Nexon Japan’s global business, and Owen Mahoney has acted as the VP of EA business development from 2000 to 2009 until his entry into Nexon in 2010.

On the 28th, XL Games’s CEO Jaekyung Song is planned to give a speech under the title ‘Checkpoint of MMORPG,’ NDoors’s director Taegon Kim is planned to give a speech titled ‘Making a mobile MMORPG,’ and PatiGames’s CEO Daehyung Lee is planned to give a speech titled ‘Challenges in the 7th Chinese Market.’

Also, CEO Yongjae Min of YJM Entertainment, the company behind Nexon’s <Fortress> <CartRider> <Malbinogi> <MapleStory>, is also planned to share his experience in the game industry under the title ‘Game Industry’s Past, Future, and the rest of the story.’

On the last day the 29th, Nexon’s VP Sangwon Jang (aka Mr. Dding) takes the stage under the title ‘Tactical Commanders, its beginning and end.’  Lastly CEO Hakgyu Kim of IMC Games, the company behind <Tree of Savior>, takes the stage under the title ‘Memoirs of my life as a developer.’

NDC 2014 has organized its topics as game design, programming, visual art & sound, production, business marketing, and company management.  The conference is to take place at the Pangyo Nexon Buildling and the public support center from the 27th to the 29th, and up to 104 detailed sessions are in plan.