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Understanding Free-To-Play: Nexon's Min Kim Speaks Out
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Understanding Free-To-Play: Nexon's Min Kim Speaks Out

April 11, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next


In terms of whether Mabinogi comes out here...


MK: So is that driven there or [here]? I'd say it's a little bit of both. I'd say it's us picking the timing, and them asking us whether we think the title's going to work here or not. It's a little bit of both.


Okay. I've been really interested to see how the relationship is with Microsoft Korea and the Korean game developers there. I know that in Japan, it's not public, but Microsoft has given companies money to develop for them. I don't know if that kind of thing is happening over there too.


MK: I can't say, but I'm sure they probably are or will. It makes sense. They just need to build out that content there to get that Korean audience to adopt it.


Yeah. I recently saw that my friend Spencer was in Seoul, and he was watching TV and he saw an Xbox 360 TV station, talking about the 360 and trying to push the competitive gaming edge. It's interesting to see how they're rolling out there.


MK: I don't know if they have it, but at the COEX [World Trade Center Seoul], they had this huge 360 experience center. It was pretty cool.


When was that?


MK: That was probably at least three years ago, maybe up to even now. I'm not sure they still have it. But for a lot of Korean players, the console was something they could never get their hands on. Like I told you before, there was no way you could bring that into your house several years back. Now, people are doing it.


When I went there, all I saw was advertisements for the DS. What was funny was that I couldn't figure out where to buy it. There isn't a huge game retail thing there.


MK: That doesn't exist at all.


There's some in the Yongsan Electronics Market, but it's really small and a lot of it's underground and sketchy.


MK: I went to the COEX and they had a DS experience center that they built up there. I was pretty impressed with that.


Have you had a lot of people coming to Nexon with questions about how to build out their business here?


MK: In terms of free-to-play microtransactions and stuff?


Yeah, because you guys really pioneered it.


MK: Yeah, we've got quite a bit of people coming in and saying, "How do we do this or that?"


I've just been curious about that, because it seems like some people don't really believe in what you're doing yet, but a lot of people are realizing that they need to get into it.


MK: Right. There's a few, but at the same time, I don't think... I don't want to discount people, but I don't think they're doing all the right research, because I see all the misconceptions that people have about what our business is. If they're going to ask the right questions, we could probably tell them.


Or if they would just go in and experience our games. A lot of people talk about it like, "Hey, this can't work," or "It doesn't have the right balance," and then when I ask them questions like, "Have you played it or seen it?" they're like, "No, but it's like this!" and I'm like... (laughs)


Is that the biggest mistake that you think people are making? What are some other examples of misconceptions that people have?


MK: Literally, a lot of people think it's a product, and that it's going to turn into a cash cow, so you make a product that you finish and then you open it up and start selling some items in it and you get a continued steady revenue stream.


That's not what it's about. You've got to constantly feed in content and keep players engaged. It's about social experiences. Again, it's a service and not a product. There's just various things that they don't get.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

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