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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 5 of 5

When I was over there, one of the amazing things to me was that I knew that Korean developers weren't really making finished, boxed products for a long time, but I didn't know that there was a perception that among the developers that couldn't -- they didn't know how. It's kind of the opposite here, where people are so used to making a boxed product that they're thinking of this different environment in that same light. It's like the two environments have the opposite problems.


MK: I think people that are just getting into it now don't realize that they need to have a live team. We call it a live team. Basically, after you developed a product, it's released at beta and then it ultimately goes to commercial service.

You need a live team to continue to make more content for that. Some people look at it as, "Hey, let's make it, and then what do we do next? Let's move on to the next project." You can't do that.


What I've heard is, that's why developers there get a much better share of IP and the revenue stream for themselves, because they're continually still developing the game. It's not done, so the publisher can't just give them some money and then finish.


MK: Their incentive lies in keeping that project running.


It's a really different and interesting scenario that's building up around that. I think a lot of people don't really understand it yet. I guess eventually it'll come.


MK: Not just eventually. I think it's going to happen fast. I think it's going to take maybe two more years. EA's making a big push, and once they do it, everybody else is. If you're a public company, investors are going to force you to get into the business.

As soon as they find out that somebody's making money from it, they will ask, "Why aren't you a part of that industry?" Everybody's going to do it, but I don't know how well you will do it if you're forced to do it.


Do you think that Nexon's still going to be at the forefront of it here?


MK: Yeah, I think so. Right now, we've been running online games since 1995. We've been running the microtransactions business since probably the late '90s up to now. So we've got a lot of institutional knowledge.


At the same time, we're bringing our best products out here, but we also have a development studio in Vancouver. That's run by Alex Garden, Steve Rechtschaffner, and Chuck Osieja.

We firmly believe that the big moneymakers in this market are probably going to be made by developers in this market, because of cultural things and et cetera. We're trying to position ourselves by bringing products from Korea, while at the same time making products here.


When do you think you're going to see your first product that comes from North America?


MK: I can't say, but pretty soon.


Cool. In terms of the development process and the Vancouver team, did they learn a lot of the process from the Seoul office?


MK: Yeah. There's a lot of collaboration, and they don't have to reinvent the wheel, so they can use a lot of the server technology and things that we've already created.


It's a really different pipeline style.


MK: It's cool to see them work together, though, because it's two totally different mindsets. I think if you bring the two together, you'll have something pretty freaking awesome. It sounds really corny, but it's like Asians brought the noodles and Westerners brought the tomato sauce, and you've got pasta! (laughs) Everybody loves pasta!

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

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