Korea Rising: Five Crucial Interviews
January 4, 2008 Page 15 of 21
Did you also make the PSP version in order to gain some experience making a full, shelf release product?
YK: Regarding PC games, we already have a lot of experience making finished products in the market.
Well, you made the offline PC game, right?
YK: We started with that, but compared with the online business sector, it's too small. And these days with USB, people can do everything. They can put movies and games and everything inside. If that is 4 gigabytes or something, you can do whatever.
So I guess that's not the answer, but indeed, it seems like... well, there's no quality control or specific console parameters you have to deal with in PC, so that was what I was wondering. But the answer seems to be no.
YK: For now, the European market is dominated by the console game market still. Now, we have a London office, and are operating Audition there alone. We're struggling. Two weeks ago, I had an interview with the BBC, and they're asking, "What is an online game?" or something. And I answered, "These blahblahblah things." One thing difficult for us also is to educate them about what is the real enjoyment of an online game. It's really tough, because unless government policy supports the broadband system as a private company, it's really difficult to achieve this kind of goal.
The reason we became popular here is because the base structure was so good. When you download a certain game's client, it just takes five minutes or something. When you try in the UK, it's four hours or something like that. People get noisy, and they just give up. What I've done while I was in the UK was meeting online PC game and console game distributors in the UK. What they are doing was... he's an ex-Infogrames director, and that's why he has very good knowledge about both online and offline marketing. He agreed that Audition has really good potential, so somehow we'll do some free download from their sites. Then we will make Audition packaging that looks like a DVD case, which will have the client and some special item like clothes, and some special present inside. We'll make it very fancy, so it looks like a console game, but as it is, it's online. We test all things like that for the local market, but we can distribute them, so we can create UK users easily, because they don't need to download from the website.
Is the arcade business in Korea still good enough that you can make a profit off of that?
YK: As far as I know, the arcade market size became really small, compared to years ago. But what we believe is that Audition is something different. It's not gambling, it just [relieves your stress] when you play the game. People have some kind of reminiscence about the DDR thing. It happened five years ago. What they did was they didn't do any update. What we can do is we can do regular updates on the song side, dancing side, and the featuring and outfits. One more good thing is that Audition is now worldwide. We have millions of users. So yesterday and today, I already got some orders from our partner company, and some in Indonesia and in India, and Japan.
For the arcade version?
YK: Yes, arcade versions.
So the arcade machine will be networked?
YK: Now, you play with NPCs, or you can compete with one person versus one person -- two-person multiplayer. But we put a computer inside, so what we can do later is also do some network play. But the arcade is offline, so it's kind of a different fun. You don't play an hour or two hours on the arcade machines -- just five or ten minutes. You just have some fun, and that's it. What we can do is we have scratch cards, so when you have a point, you can use the point in your online site. It's that sort of consolidation.
When you said you could update frequently, can you update remotely, or do you have to install it?
YK: Of course, we need to put some guys in there -- engineers. But it's very simple work with CDs or USB. We can simply do that, like what we did with online updates. It's exactly the same.
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