Thursday, September 07, 2006

Games with global appeal

South Korea is ruling the online game market. The sales of Korean online games is 31.4% of the global market. Korea is nr 2. in mobile game market with 13.3.% (According to NewTech Korea 2006 report).

The triumphal march of South Korea started in 1996 when Nexon published Kingdom of Winds. The system allows a local server, consisting of servers for each area, to accept 3 000 simultaneous users. It is no doubt that Kingdom of the Winds and two years after Lineage consolidated the foundation for Korean game business. The interesting thing is as Koreans put it: "The things most Korean are becoming the things most global".

Lineage has been the torchbearer of Korean game industry in many ways. Lineage adopted an assymmetric distribution server system that was later adapted more broadly. Also the game system was aggrandized with episodic updates, user power over community titles and the large-scale battles - siege warfare (which became the hallmark of Lineage). As a results to this type of innovativeness, Lineage was truly the first game gaining unprecedented popularity. Its heyday was in 2001, when it recorded 200 000 simultaneous users.

After that Korea truly has mastered massive online game world in many ways. Lately the focus have been spread to social and casual games. E.g. Crazy Arcade BnB by Nexon has boosted the change. Crazy arcade has attracted 350 000 simultaneous users. This has been the highest number ever recorded in Korea. Because of that many game developers have turned towards casual games with shorter development time and better possibilities to introduce bright new ideas.

Korea will be presenting its dominance in MMOGs (and ICT, semiconductors etc.) in Helsinki, Finland this weekend.

The two influential changes in the history of Korean online games were the introduction of distributed server system and the transition from 2D to 3D.

Online Games Market to Hit $4.4 Billion by 2010

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