NHN Entertainment has filed a constitutional petition in response to the recent web board game restrictions.
According to ThisisGame’s cover on the issue, NHN Entertainment has deemed the web board game restrictions, which were released on the 23rd of last month, invasive of the laws set by the constitution and has filed a petition. May 23rd marked the 90th day since the passing of the web board game restrictions, making it the last day that a petition can be filed in opposition.
The web board game restrictions are laws that were enforced since February of this year in order to prevent gambling within them. The laws enforce several different restrictions on web board games such as GoStop or Poker games, such as: ∆ Re-Identification of the player every quarter ∆ $300 monthly limitation on cash purchases ∆ Single bets limited to 1/10 the amount of monthly cash purchase limitation ∆ 24 hour forceful shutdown period for accounts that lose more than 1/3 of the monthly cash purchase limitation within a single day.
This is the first time that a game developer has ever lawfully confronted the web board game restrictions. While Neowiz Games has previously filed a petition in March, the petition was filed regarding the web board game restrictions, but rather the mobile gambling game guidelines released in 2011 by the Game Ranking and Administration Committee.
A personnel from NHN Entertainment has carefully commented about the petition in a phone conversation with ThisisGame: “While it is true that the constitutional petition has been signed, we cannot release any details yet. However, this petition does not mean that we oppose the restrictions nor does it mean that we plan to oppose them.”
This recent petition has caused certain public crowds to speculate that the lawful actions are in response to the damages the web board games have endured due to the restrictions.
In truth, it has been found that large web board game servicers such as NHN Entertainment and Neowiz Games have suffered decreases in the number of users and sales since the enforcement of the restrictions. In the case of NHN Entertainment, the company has suffered a 40-50% decrease in the number of users and more than 60% decrease in sales since the restrictions have been put in place.
NHN Entertainment, a company that had separated itself from NHN Corp. earlier this year, plans to add three new subsidiaries. The three new companies, which are fully financed by NHN Entertainment, are NHN BlackPick, NHN PixelCube and NHN Studio 629. This inquiry will be held as the focus of the upcoming shareholders’ meeting on January 29th, and will be put in effect on February 1st.
NHN BlackPick will be responsible for operating and managing PC based MMORPG <E.O.S>, <Asta>, and <Football Day>. NHN BlackPick will also be responsible for managing the mobile games <Team Nine> and <Baseball 9 Dan>. On the other hand, NHN PixelCube will operate the mobile games <Fish Island>, <Line POP>, and <Line Jelly>. Lastly, NHN Studio 629 will be developing and operating the mobile games <POKOPang for Kakao> and <Wooparoo Mountain for Kakao>.
The most noticeable feature of these new subsidiaries is that they are not each divided into specific categories, such as business, development and operation, but rather all three are responsible for multiple fields of game development. All three companies have received full rights for their games in management and licensing. NHN Entertainment will not limit the capabilities of their subsidiaries. This will allow the three companies to be independent of each other regardless of their plans.
Ever since NHN has grown larger, it has continuously attempted at dividing itself in order to allow further growth. NHN has separated their Ads and Infrastructure departments away from the core company back in May 2009. It established Camp Mobile and Line Plus this year in order to follow the latest mobile trend. The latest change to NHN is their decision to create NHN Entertainment to separately manage their games department.
All three of the subsidiaries will still be located within the NHN Entertainment Play Museum, developing and operating various genres of games, including action, puzzle, and RPG.
NHN Entertainment reveals a new gaming brand called TOAST on 29th of August at the same time with going public in KOSDAQ. HANGAME will remain as a board game brand. TOAST is Global Brand for both PC and Mobile. It has a goal to present enjoyable games just like having French toast every morning.
The main reason to launch a new brand for NHN Entertainment is a negative influence of HANGAME. HANGAME has become a top web-board game brand with 22 million registered users since it is launched 15 years ago. Unfortunately, it is not harmonized with PC-based RPGs and Mobile games because of its strong web-board game image.
A person from NHN Entertainment told “We have tried hard to change its image, but it was just so difficult to escape from its traditional image.”
With the launching of TOAST, games such as TERA, Kritika, Dungeon Striker, Dragon Friends etc that have been published through HANGAME will be moved under the brand of TOAST. The future games like ASTA and EOS will be published under TOAST as well. Existing HANGAME users do not have to register again for TOAST.
TOAST will pioneer the world market more actively. Wooparoo Mountain will be published through GREE and Fish Island through LINE, a mobile messenger. NHN Entertainment will establish a branch in China within the year.
TOAST will be launched during the second half of the year.
Hangame announced the financial report for 1st quarter of 2013. The revenue is $142 million, which is up 5% compared to the previous quarter. But it is 4.7% low compared to the same period of last year.
Web board game has gone down a bit, but Mobile and PC game has grown quick. Especially, mobile game revenue grew up 738% compared to the same period of the last year. Mobile game revenue is $12.4 million. The revenue of LINE, a mobile messenger, is $62.1 million that is more than a half of the total game revenue. 80% of the revenue is from Japan. NHN is publishing 24 mobile games through LINE in Japan. Total number of registered LINE users has been reached 150 million.
PC division has grown 32% compared to the same period of the last year because TERA and KRITIKA have been performed well.
Hangame will be separated from NHN from August.
Dungeon Striker, Action Online Game from Eyedentity Games, OBT will be started from 15th of May with tons of new contents including 5 new classes. Total of 4 new dungeons for high level contents will be included as well.
An update for the game will be added every month after OBT starts. Each update will include a new class and dungeons. In addition to the existing 9 classes, War Priest, Blade Dancer, Warlock, Mystic and Dreadnought will be introduced.
A person from NHN told “We are focusing on providing contents that users wants for a long term continuously.”
You can watch the movie that introduces 5 new classes at the following link: