Tag: starcraft

Gstar2012: Wrap-up

Gstar2012 was held from the 8th to 11th of November at Bexco, Busan with 190,000 visitors. Gstar2012 was special because it is hosted by Korea Association of Game Industry instead of KOCCA(Korea Creative Contents Agency, which is a government organization. Let’s find out what achievements Gstar2012 has accomplished.

New venue for B2B
B2B area for Gstar2011 was inconvenience because it is split into several areas. With the completion of the 2nd Exhibit hall, B2B area for Gstar2012 was as good as it gets. Even though B2B schedule was shorten to 3 days from 4 days, the number of business meeting that was held during the event has been increased about 49% with the total number of 167. More than 50% of companies were from abroad as well as the number of buyers from abroad has been increased more than 100%.

190,000 visitors

Gstar2012 recorded 190,353 visitors for 4 days, which is 30% down from the last year’s record, 290,000. The reason is that the organization has changed the counting method. Gstar counted visitors one time only instead of counting them based on the visiting number.

Mobile for the win

Mobile games were very popular at Gstar2012. Many mobile game companies were presented include Com2uS and Gamevil. T-store, an open market from SK Telecom, also presented the large scale B2C booth for the first time. Nowcom and Wemade introduced a series of mobile game aggressively.

On the other hand, giants client based online game developers such as NCsoft, Webzen, Hanbitsoft, Mgame did not participate in Gstar2012. Mabinogi2: ARENA from Nexon, BLESS from Neowiz, Icarus from Wemade, Red Gems 2 from L&K Logic Korea were MMORPGs that we could find at Gstar2012. As a foreign company, Nintendo & War Gaming presented the large scale booths.

The place for Gstar2013

The contract with Busan was closed. Therefore, the organization will select the new host city for  Gstar2013 during the early next year.

 

The result of our Gstar2012 survey

We asked a series of questions to 833 visitors. The below is the result.

Most wanted B2C booth – Nexon

66.8% of people who took part in the survey said Nexon B2C booth was the best Nexon presented Warface, Pro Baseball 2K, Mabinogi2:Arena, FIFA Online 3, Counter Strike Online 2. . The 2nd and the 3rd were Blizzard with Starcraft2: The Heart of the Swarm and Neowiz with BLESS.

Most visited B2C booth – Nexon

Booths on the left side were took #1, 2, 3. Nexon took the 1st while Blizzard and Gamevil took the 2nd and the 3rd.

Most cool exterior – Blizzard

Blizzard booth was favored by 51.3% people as the most cool booth exterior followed by Nexon, Neowiz and War Gaming.

Most wanted Game – Mabinogi 2

Mabinogi 2 was selected as the most wanted game at Gstar2012. The 2nd was Starcraft2: The Heart of the Swarm.

Most satisfied game – Dungeon Striker

124 out of 139 people selected. Dungeon Striker from NHN as the most satisfied game after playing. FIFA Online 3 was the 2nd best.

Most wanted game to play again – FIFA Online 3

77.5% of people chose FIFA Online 3 as the most wanted game to play again. Starcraft2: The Heart of the Swarm was the 2nd with 70.3% chose.

KeSPA rejected to join GSL Starcraft2 League

KeSPA(Korean e-Sports Association) announced they will not join GSL Season 4 Code A qualifier.

GOM TV, the host of GSL (Global Starcraft2 League), asked KeSPA whether they will join or not during the last season as well. At that time, they said their team and pro-gamers are not ready enough for competing and need more time. However, they rejected to join this season again.

GOM TV, KeSPA and Blizzard were held the day of the vision declaration, which they said they will unite separated Korean e-Sports scenes into one and cooperate to improve e-Sports. It seems it was an empty promise after all.
GOM TV told “We will open the registration for GSL Season 4 Code A qualifier from the 24th of August as we planned”. It seems the decision from KeSPA could break the reconciliation mood between GOM TV and KeSPA.

Fans have gone crazy to watch during last WCS matches as well as Cross matches, which were the events that KeSPA and GSL pro-gamers are all competing together. Because GSL pro-gamers participate in StarLeague from Ongamenet, fans expect KeSPA pro-gamers will be presented at the next GSL season.

However, the decision from KeSPA is pouring the ice cold water over Starcraft2 fans again. KeSPA boycotted MSL in 2007 and made GOM TV Classic Starcraft League closed in 2008, and 2009 by not allowing their pro-gamers to participate in the league.

GOM TV is very disappointed and they will announce their stance very soon. A staff from Blizzard Korea also said “We are disconcerted by KeSPA’s sudden announcement. We will look over it and make an announcement by tomorrow”.

Photos from Chinajoy 2012

Chinese 2012 was held last week. So many Chinese online games was introduced to gamers. We have picked a few pictures from Chinajoy 2012. All of them were taken from foreign booths.

Chinajoy 2012 at Shanghai international Expo center

B2C Booth of Chinajoy 2012

John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, with Soon-woo Park, CEO of The9 Korea at Planetside 2 booth

Planetside2 20vs20vs20 PvP booth

World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria booth

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm booth

Blizzard’s Panda folding fan was very popular

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.

Diablo3 causes Cataclysm at PC Bang Ranking

Many issues has been made since Diablo3 is launched throughout the world – Korea is not an exception. Because Blizzard Korea announced that they prepare the enough number of the collector’s edition for the launching event and everyone could buy one or two, 5,000 fans who stayed overnight to buy the collector’s edition in Seoul on the 14th of May. However, the truth is they prepared 2,000 copies only because they estimated 1,000 people will join the event. Fans got angry enough even before they meet error 37.

Dominating at PC Bang Ranking
According to the data from Gametrics, a professional Korean PC Bang statistics provider, Diablo3 occupied 28.93% of total PC Bang occupancy rate from the 15th to 21st of May. After the server became a bit stable on 21st, the rate went straight up to 38.75%. There has been only 1 game that the rate goes up over 30% – Starcraft.

League of Legends(LOL) was #1 in Korea with 20.70% before Diablo3 launching, however the rate went down to 13.65%. (On 24th of May, Diablo3 rate 39.41% / LOL rate 11.57%) Not only LOL rate went down, but also the rates of all games within top 10 before Diablo3 launching went down.
Because of the lousy launching event, people who have not involved with any game experiences before shows interests toward Diablo3 include KPOP stars, politicians etc.

Most Korean developers and publishers pretended not paying attention to Diablo3, their actual thinking seems ‘Let’s avoid Diablo3’ now. In fact, there was no Korean online game companies announce CBT, OBT around the 15th of May. We are not sure whether Diablo3 made most Korean online game companies’ share prices down recently or economic crises in Europe did, but it is true that share prices of Korean online game companies went down.
We are not sure how long Diablo3’s domination is continuing in Korea. But if it goes long enough, many Korean online games will be affected by Diablo3.

Blue – Diablo3 / Red – League of Legends / Green – Aion