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Korea Rising: Five Crucial Interviews

January 4, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 16 of 21 Next

What is your perception of the console market in Korea right now?

YK: Console? The Sony people and Microsoft people are thinking about, "What is this Korean market?" because they were so successful in the European market, [as well as] the U.S. But in Asia and Korea, not that much. What I'm thinking is that somehow, we need some sort of connection between console and online. Online's fun element is never ending. It's long-lasting. But on console, when you buy certain packaging, if you have one week's enjoyment, that's it. People feel, "Oh, that's enough."

But for online games, even if you play one week or two weeks and then if you feel, "Oh, I'm sick of this," you just quit. So for us, the homework is how we make them never bored. That's our issue. If we somehow make a cool product with consoles, then if they want console fun -- very simple fun -- then we just give it to the console side. But if they want some communication, we put that element into the online side. Both sides, if they can co-work, like in the engine side, then I think the market will be really huge. Otherwise, I think console in Korea will be really tough.

Microsoft does have their Games for Windows Live, so people can play on their PC against people on the 360. It seems like that might be the kind of thing that could...

YK: The one difficult thing for the console market is that people need to buy hardware, which is very expensive. If we could put that function in a screen, in an Internet cafe or a house or wherever, people would see the screen and then [just play.] Boxing, you and I, we can do it. I was really enjoying Nintendo's [Wii] boxing game currently. I said, "Oh my God, if we can make this online in an Internet cafe, it would be really good for us!" Or golf, or whatever they can do. That's maybe the next level of game.

In the current timeframe, do you have any interest in making games for the Wii or stuff like that?

YK: The Nintendo Wii? We are very flexible, so unless they suggest too tough of conditions, we'd really love to do it. Some of our titles really fit for the Nintendo Wii. They really fit. Luckily, yesterday, I met a Nintendo guy from here. He was interested in one of our titles, and next year, we're going to have a meeting. Soon, I can show you another Nintendo version!

It seems like with the success of Audition Online, other companies are trying to create online rhythm games.

YK: Yes, like dancing games.

Do you think the market is going to get more crowded because of your success?

YK: There are already five or six dancing games in the market. On one side, we're very happy, because the market size became very big, and also they believe, "Oh, we can also create another market for dancing or the rhythm game genre."

Another thing is I think they just try too simple of an idea. Audition is already three years old. For the last three years, we've experienced a lot of ups and downs, which means that with Audition, we've put many, many things in it. If they don't make comparative quality to Audition, they will fail, easily. That's my concern.

Also, once in the market, one very huge dancing game is coming out, then our inside team might be nervous, and they will show more passion for the Audition project. My hope is that in the market the dancing genre will become bigger and bigger, because dancing and singing -- these kinds of action are universal activities which never get boring. If we just keep changing the type of music and dancing and those sorts of things, then people will enjoy this game forever.

It seems a lot of people are not really trying to develop their own original ideas.

YK: Yeah. They're copying.

Yeah, there's a lot of that happening.

YK: If I see Audition now, three years before, Audition was totally different. If I see three years before the [current] game... "Oh, it sucks!" or something. It's too simple, or something. But now, we have many types of game modes. We have sports dance, salsa, hip-hop, disco, a lot of '70s and '80s dancing... many types.

If you know, what is the most popular form of dancing on Audition?

YK: Choreography. They want to be backup dancers, or a team. The second one is freestyle. That is, they can create choreography as they want. The choreography mode is... we already put the system in, so once they press certain buttons, everybody does the same dancing. But in freestyle, if I'm a master, I can give you all kinds of recipes. "So you guys, let's do this in order," and they play their own choreography. One good thing about Audition is that once you've played a game, you can record it, so you can see your replay. They're just, "Oh my God, I did it!" or some kind of achievement.

Article Start Previous Page 16 of 21 Next

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