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Domestic Online Games Join Hallyu Frenzy

Posted January. 30, 2008 03:29,   

한국어

"Magumagu," an online baseball game developed by CJ Internet, is enjoying tremendous popularity in Taiwan since baseball has been coined as a national sport.

CJ Internet concluded a contract with the Taiwanese Baseball Federation to provide data on Taiwanese baseball players and applied their performances to the online game characters. The game has been updated with new items, including the Taiwanese league based on players’ seasonal performances. The online game entered the Taiwanese videogame market in last March, and has secured its leading position among the casual online games within six months from its launch.

○ Dominating Chinese and Taiwanese Videogame Markets

Recently, domestic online games are becoming popular in Asia. The casual online games attract gamers with its comic and cute cartoon-like characters and offer quick and easy ways to enjoy baseball games with user-friendly interfaces and simple controllability.

Several years ago, the most popular domestic online games abroad were multi-player online game such as Lineage which features dazzling graphics and grandiose scale. Major targets were limited to advanced countries with good Information Technology (IT) environment.

But, things have changed. Equipped with cute cartoon-like characters and easy ways to control the games, Korean online games have fascinated Asian online gamers in China, Japan, and Taiwan. Seeking more aggressive strategies to satisfy the appetite and preferences of the local consumers have brought more satisfying results.

Kartrider, a major online casual game, which was developed by Nexon, recently said that an estimated 800,000 Chinese gamers simultaneously played the online game. Since its entry to the Chinese market in 2006, the game topped the search lists of baidu, the largest Chinese Internet portal site.

Yedang Online’s popular dance game ‘Audition’ renewed a contract worth 45 million dollars (about 42.7 billion won) with a Chinese distributor. The game is exported to about 30 countries around the world and has about 110 million registered users in China alone. Last year, La Tale, which was developed by Actoz Soft, received “Top 10 Most Popular Games" award from Chinese game industry.

○ Upgraded Versions Overcome Poor IT Environment

As IT infrastructures are recently built in Southeast Asia including Thailand and Vietnam, domestic online game companies are taking advantages of the favorable conditions. NCsoft established a joint venture company called NC True in Thailand, which will be in charge of its distribution. It also plans to introduce Crazy Mon Racing of Windy Soft in this region soon.

The merit of online casual games lies in their easy access to the games regardless of computer capacity and Internet modes. In particular, Korean online games receive a good reputation among the conservative Southeast Asians since the characters are neither sensational nor violent.

Nexon President Kwon Jun-mo said, “We predict that domestic casual game industry will increase its share in the international videogame market as it has made inroads to various overseas markets including Latin America and India.”



imsun@donga.com