Tag: smartphone

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.

Game Center launches for Kakao Talk

Wemade uses Kakao Talk, the largest smartphone messenger in Korea, as a smartphone game marketing platform.

Kakao Talk will launch ‘Game Center’ within it from the end of May. The main purpose of the game center will have users of Kakao Talk to play smartphone games from Wemade Entertainment. The game center is going to launch games from Wemade only until they secure stability of the service. Wemade will prepare special mini games only for Kakao Talk.

After launching the game center, smartphone games from Wemade will go abroad as well. ‘Chaos&Defense’ will be available in the U.S. as well as China, Japan. ‘Rhythm Scandal’ will be serviced through Shanda in China.

Wemade will release various smartphone games during the first half of the year – Chaos&Defense, Rhythm Scandal, Pet Island, Hero Square etc. Wemade is currently working on more than 40 smartphone game projects.

Wemade Entertainment is a share investor of Kakao Talk.

Non casual genre will become popular for mobile games

Jae-jun Song, VP of Gamevil, said “Smartphone games are heading to Non-Casual genre. It will become a main trend for the year 2012” for the keynote speech at 2012 Smart&Social Game Party in Seoul.

He said casual games like ‘Angry Birds’ are the leading force of the smartphone game market until now. However, non-casual games and big name titles have been introduced more and more and got loved by users. He added “Normally when a new platform comes up, casual games become popular in the beginning. However, if the platform gets matured, non-casual games are increased gradually. Since non-casual games have high ARPU usually, we think they will become a main trend for 2012.”

In addition, he told that the other mainstream will be F2P. He said even though we still have many smartphone games to purchase, F2P games is the mainstream now in fact. 71% of the total revenue of Gamevil comes out from in-game purchase. It was 43% in 2010 and it will be growing much larger in 2012.

The scale of global mobile game market is about $9.3 billion according to the report from Nomura group. Korean mobile game market size is about 3% ($298 million) of it. However, the market grows 52% comparing to the last year. It makes Korean mobile game market as the fastest growing market in the world.

Since the category for games were allowed at Apple App Store and Google Play last year, the time to play mobile games reaches 20% of PC games playing.
Gamevil will focus its resources on the global mobile game market. Even though Korea is the fastest growing mobile game market, their customers are mostly from abroad. Gamevil broke the the record of 100 million accumulated download number in March – 44million from Apple App Store, 36million from Google Play, 22 million from Korean local open market such as T-Store etc.

Especially, Gamevil will focus on china and Japan, which the popularity of games are not decided by the popularity in North America.