Recently, online and mobile baseball game developers are giving up the license of Korean pro baseball.
<Wind Up> developed by Rontab and published by KTH has recently not renewed the license of team and stadium’s real name. Com2us who is currently developing <Pro Baseball> also has decided not to continue using the real name of the teams for their next title.
The biggest reason the developers hesitate signing the license is the increased cost due to the double contract. In the past, they could use the real names and information of each team by contracting with just one, KBO.
However, since 2011, they must make a contract with CJ E&M who has the exclusive right for the information of team and stadium and make another contract with NHN who is entrusted for the information of active players and some of retired players after 2000 in order to use their names.
Even more, another third contract with Nineteen club where about 300 old players retired before 2000 are registered is required if their information is needed.
KTH official said “We wanted to use all the team information in <Wind Up> for our players so badly. But the cost dramatically increases if we sign every contract. And they also request the ‘running guarantee’ out of net income which was not counted in the past redoubles our burden on the expense.”
According to Thisisgame’s cover, NHN demanded 5% of the net income besides the earnest money.
Recently, a claim for damages against <Slugger> published by Neowiz Games?ends in favor of the Nineteen club. The court judged that the pro baseball information’s weight among the total net income of <Slugger> is 22%. Therefore Neowiz Games now has to pay more than US$12.5m(total net income in 2010 is US$58m) to them for just using their names and information.
“We are not saying we do not pay it. We are saying it is irrational. The court’s decision is hard to accept,” said an official from Neowiz Games.
An official from game industry also mentioned, “the pro baseball associations are looking at the online baseball game as a major source of money and have a tendency to demand high expanse under many excuses. But that is not good for both baseball game market and pro baseball in a long term. It will ultimately shrink the new projects and the size of the market which might boomerang on the pro baseball one day.