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Korea Rising: Five Crucial Interviews

January 4, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 20 of 21 Next

I don't know if you can answer this question, but in terms of development cost versus number of purchases, what does it take for a mobile game to be considered a success for you?

JP: How many downloads?

Yeah. In terms of getting back your development cost, and being more profitable on top of that. What does it take for a title to be considered successful? Does it have to be 100,000, or 50,000?

JP: Nowadays, our game development cost is going higher and higher, in fact. Now people will only pick what they want to buy. Over half of people buy games because of other peoples' recommendations, so they are really focused on buying games. We need to do more on the culture side, and giving them new experiences. They make us spend a higher cost to develop. Right now, we put that 300,000 downloads -- that means about $600,000 -- then we put this game as successful in a year. But even after a year, if we see it's a good game, it keeps selling. So in a year, if a game makes over 300,000 downloads, then we think it's successful.

That makes sense. In terms of getting word of mouth, or people saying which games they like, have you looked at Nokia's N-Gage platform at all? What do you think about that? It's got user reviews and stuff.

JP: On their website?

No, actually on their handset. They have a front end where you can see the games and look at user reviews, where people say, "Yeah, I really liked this game, and here's why." And also it's got Achievements inside the games. I was just wondering what you thought about it, if you've seen it.

JP: I haven't seen that yet, but I feel that making word-of-mouth... if it's only possible in some handsets, it's really hard to make word-of-mouth. They can make an N-Gage community, but I'd like to talk about the game with my friend sitting beside me. So it's really important for mobile games. I know that discussing with my friend or people in my class, discussing about the game itself make word-of-mouth. So Nokia should sell more.

We talked about this a little bit, but do you think developers or publishers will ever be leading the market in the U.S. the way they are in Korea, Japan, or even Europe? Even in Europe, you see ads on TV for mobile games. Here, you never see that. It's easier to find out how to get that game. You can text to something, and get the game. But the carriers have a lot more control over everything, and you have to go through them in many situations. Do you think that will change here? Do you have any idea?

JP: I'd like to ask you about it! But now it's growing in the U.S. It's really an appealing platform. Now everyone has handsets, and everyone can connect to the Internet and download games, even though right now they can't find what they want to download. But it's really easy to download. It's really a cool platform. As it is, it will grow, but at some point, it will stop growing. Then, people in the market will find out the ways. They need to enhance the infrastructure, or they need to find out more creative content. People always prepare for the hard times, but the market will change, I believe, sometime. I saw that the U.S. market has really good potential, and if people believe that is the new way, they will go. I believe in some points about the U.S. market. They have a high possibility and potential to decide something and then go with it. I believe that it will go the right way.

I hope so. In terms of ease of download, it seems like Japan is the easiest. I don't know if you have this in Korea, but there and the UK, they have barcodes, and you can take a photo of it. Does that happen in Korea as well?

JP: In Korea, it's a different way. We have a link system. It's numbering. So if we put 777 and then press the Internet key, then it will go to the website of our service. It's like a picture, but we chose to put the number in. It's like a URL. 777 is our site. We only need to advertise our number, "Come to join by pressing 777."

I see. That seems good in some ways, and then in other ways... one thing that I saw that I thought was kind of amazing was that I saw a magazine of mobile games. It had reviews of the mobile games you can look through, and it has a barcode at the end of each one. It's like, "Oh, that looks good. Take!" It's so easy. If something like that happened here, I think people would play games.

JP: Yeah, in every ad, at the end of it, we put, "777, and then download this game."

Article Start Previous Page 20 of 21 Next

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