According to the Korea Internet Digital Entertainment Association (K-iDEA), the number of visitors to the Korean game show G-Star reached 161,908, up 6 percent from the same period last year. The B2B exhibition sector drew 1,902 visitors, up 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Nexon Korea continued to draw attention with dozens of new games. Korea’s largest game company showcased 35 new games, including 28 titles for mobile devices. This is a record for a game company to present at G-Star. Besides its much-hyped blockbuster mobile titles such as “Dungeon & Fighter: Spirit” and “Dark Avenger 3,” Nexon also unveiled new types of mobile games not commonly seen in Korea. “Lode Runner 1” by Nexon’s development subsidiary Devcat Studio, is a remake of the namesake classic puzzle game. “After the End,” made by another Nexon subsidiary Neople, is a puzzle game that features a slow style of play.
Netmarble Games, the largest mobile game company here, exhibited only three titles ― “Lineage 2: Revolution,” “Penta Storm,” and “Star Wars: Force Arena.” In particular, visitors crowded demonstration zones for “Lineage 2: Revolution” and “Penta Storm.” The visitors paid intense attention to “Penta Storm,” which provides a competitive multiplayer gaming experience much like that of “League of Legends,” which one of the world’s most popular computer online games.
“Star Wars: Force Arena” has drawn much attention from foreign visitors, proving the strong influence of intellectual property. “Considering the great popularity of Star Wars series, the new mobile game is likely to be a hit in North America and Europe,” an industry source said.
Kakao participated in the B2C sector for the first time with its casual puzzle game “Friends Popcorn.” Separately, the provider of Korea’s largest mobile instant messenger service Kakao Talk unveiled its plan to launch an integrated game portal service that allows users to play mobile games on personal computers. The computer game portal service, tentatively named “Byul,” is expected to blur the lines further between mobile and computer online game platforms.
“Next year, we will present the expansion of a new game platform that will break the boundaries of mobiles and personal computers,” said Kakao game business head Namkoong Whon.
As well as the new portal service, Kakao said it would upgrade its mobile game publishing service through Kakao Talk in a way that its partner game companies retained subscribers while attracting new users. With this upgrade will be able to directly access mobile games through Kakao Talk.
Since Namkoong joining Kakao last year, Kakao’s game business has rapidly recovered profitability. The company posted 78.5 billion won in game business sales in the third quarter, up 52.7 percent year-on-year.