Tag: pc bang

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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Warface will be free to individual in Korea

Nexon, the publisher for Warface from Crytek, held Media conference for the Korean service. Nexon satisfied with the result from OBT because every aspects of the game show positive results.

According to OBT analysis, 47.4% of OBT participants enjoyed both PvP and PvE while PvE only user is 28.7% and PvPer is 23.9%. They also choose each class almost evenly – Rifleman 25%, Medic 25%, Engineer 24%, Sniper 26%.

PC Bang occupation rate is getting higher. Users who play the game at PC Bang could get benefits such as accessible to various weapons without Vendor Points, +20% more XP, Game Points and Vendor Points, Instant Resurrection Coin for PvE mode. As a result, 40% of the total participants have played the game through PC Bang.

Nexon promised they will keep the nature of high quality classic FPS game and add in-game items that never affect to the game balance. Therefore, Nexon will charge to PC Bang only and let individual gamer play the game free.

In Russia, more effective weapons in the game could be purchased in cash. However, Nexon think it will not work for Korean gamers. That makes Nexon to choose a different commercialization method in South Korea with Crytek supports.

No smoking at PC Bang

The owners of PC-Bang attended the rally to protest against the government regulation on smoking at PC Bang.

Korean government is about to prohibit smoking at PC Bang from the 8th of June. PC-Bangs are obligate to make a smoking section separately since 2007 already. Because smokers have contributed to PC-Bang sales between 50~80%of the total, the most owners oppose the regulation strongly. It has been known that the PC-bang market size is about $3.6 billion and about 90,000 people working at PC-Bang in Korea.

The organization of PC-Bang owner announced the survey result that 66% of them will discontinue the business if the regulation is applied from June. They insisted that the regulation must be delayed until 2015.

Chaos Online is getting improved

Chaos Online, AOS game that developed by Neoact and published by Sesisoft, Nexon, went to Indonesia and China. Chaos is the Korean version of DOTA and originated from Warcraft III mod as well. Chaos Online is a stand-alone online version of Chaos.

It launched 2 years after League of Legends (LOL) came out in 2009. They adopted a few strengths of LOL and made up for the weakness. The unique feature of Chaos Online is the dynamic play style from anti-magic potions, a dispel staff, invincible effect of town portal.

The reason starting the service in Indonesia first over China and Japan is that Indonesia has similar PC Bang cultures and gamers inclination like Korea. On the other hand, The company chose Indonesia first to test the game under the harsh condition because IT infrastructure is a bit behind among Asian countries. The company focused on the regional PC Bang tournament because there is almost none portal web site in Indonesia.

CBT for China was started on the 7th of August. Haopang, a subsidiary of Shanda Games, is Chinese publisher. They chose Haopang because it knows e-sports well. Asiasoft, SE Asian publisher of the game, also understands e-sports well and has e-sports TV channel called Cybergames. The feedbacks from Chinese gamers are similar to games in Korea. They like the style of how the game is played and graphics.

The ultimate goal for Chaos Online will be hosting the world tournament. As a first step, Chaos Online will be presented at WCG 2012 as a demonstration sport. Korean team will play against the champion of Pre-league in China as an event match.

The game will be published in SE Asian countries includes Thailand on September and in Taiwan on December. Various features for e-Sports will be added until the first half of 2013. Chapter 3 update will be released in November.

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.