G-Star 2012 Wrap-Up
November 15, 2012
?????? (Hello everyone!)
We just came back from GStar, the biggest annual gaming conference of South Korea. The show gathered a large number of gaming companies - both online and mobile - including local developers Nexon, WeMade, Com2us, and Gamevil as well as non-Korean companies like Gameloft, Activision, and Tencent.
Korea is known for its passion for games. The reputation originates in the unprecedented hit of Starcraft (1998) - a real-time strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment. The game was so popular among its youth that in 2010, Korean government imposed a midnight gaming ban. Nonetheless, as of today, 50% of the worldwide copies have been sold in South Korea.
The massive hit of Starcraft provided the ground for the rise of its own gaming industry. Successful early developers include Nexon, NC Soft, and Webzen. Their hits such as NEXON’s “NEXUS: The Kingdom of the Winds” (??? ??), NCSoft’s “Lineage” (???) or Gravity’s “Ragnarok Online” (????? ???) enabled Korea to win an international reputation in the online game sector.
The wave is now extending to mobile, as reflected in its record-high representation (almost 50%) at this year’s GStar. The rapid growth is supported by smartphone penetration and reinforced by the popularity of innovative social platforms such as KakaoTalk, which gave a rise to the record breaking hit of Annipang (8M DAU), a casual mobile game developed by 30 people start up SundayToz.
It was great to catch up with so many Korean partners and get to know amazing mobile game developers that surely will extend their success beyond the Korean borders!