[Gamasutra rounds up the week's biggest reports on South Korea's booming online games market from This Is Game, the leading English-language site about the country's game industry.]
In our latest round-up of news from South Korea's online games space, we look at Daum's acquisition of Shot Online
maker OnNet, problems for Diablo 3
with the local games rating board, and the launch of a Korean-made DOTA/MOBA.
Online Portal Daum Acquires Shot Online Developer OnNet
Daum Communications purchased the management rights of online game publisher OnNet, buying around 82 percent of the company's shares. The buyout, which is not expected to affect OnNet's U.S. operations or GamesCampus.com, will see its closing details and procedures completed by January 2012.
OnNet is best known for developing and publishing MMORPG and golf simulation Shot Online
(and the upcoming Tour Golf Online
), which is managed overseas by the company's U.S. and European subsidiaries. GamesCampus.com has also published free-to-play titles like Drift City, 9 Dragons,
Along with acquiring OnNet Korea's existing games and development team, online portal Daum's hopes to "create stable sales momentum" through this purchase in the short-term, and "develop a vibrant game business via a cross-platform games portal" in the long term.
WeMade's NED Switches From CryEngine 1 To 3
Online game developer and operator WeMade Entertainment has changed the game engine for its fantasy-based MMORPG NED
currently in development, switching from Crytek's CryEngine 1 to CryEngine 3 -- joining other Korean CryEngine 3-powered titles like Arche Age, Cabal 2,
and Tour Golf Online
WeMade announced that NED
would use CryEngine 1 in 2009, but as development has taken longer than expected and as the company introduces new features (e.g. flying combat, farming, etc.), it has decided that using CryEngine 3 would help better meet players's expectations.
"At the early stages of development, CryEngine 1 was good enough, but now it has became hard to satisfy the heightened expectation of gamers," said a representative from WeMade. "We are looking forward to upgrading the farming system and the characters with the new engine."
Neoact Unveils Korean DOTA/MOBA Chaos Online
Neoact has revealed Chaos Online
-- one of the first Korean-made games in the burgeoning DOTA/MOBA (Defense of the Ancients/Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre made popular by Western titles, League of Legends
and Heroes of Newerth
-- with the recent launch of an open beta.
The DOTA/MOBA genre is picking up in the country, as evidenced by the recent introduction of a Korean server for Riot Games' League of Legends
. The local launch saw more than 300,000 gamers registering for the server in a single day, and over 10,000 concurrent Korean users played League of Legends
Diablo 3's Korean Rating Delayed
Korea's Game Rating Board has postponed its rating of Blizzard Activision's highly anticipated PC title Diablo 3
, as the group has requested additional information and materials from the publisher regarding the game's controversial player-driven, real money transaction-powered economy
Blizzard originally applied or an 18+ rating, and the title was expected to receive a rating by December 16. A spokesperson said the company collecting the requested materials, and commented, "We had a consultation that nothing is wrong legally. Therefore we hope all players around the world experience the same [content]."
[This story was written with permission using material from ThisIsGame Global, the leading English-language site about the South Korean game industry.]