North Korean Game Developer Defends Business to CNN

September 29, 2010 -

Last month we did a story regarding a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. distributing North-Korean developed mobile games, which were sourced through the Nosotek Joint Venture Company. A new CNN report offers a little bit more insight into doing business in a country run by “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-il.

Nosotek is headed by German business man Volker Eloesser and its specialty is utilizing North Korean talent in order to create software, games and animation for foreign clients. Eloesser started Nosotek about three years ago, as he searched for something more “interesting and challenging.” He stated that it was “fairly easy” to find English-speaking workers and claimed that labor costs in North Korea are about half of what similar labor would cost in China.

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China’s Shanda Buys Korean Developer, Links up with CNTV

September 9, 2010 -

Chinese online game operator and developer Shanda Games is apparently enjoying the fruits of operating in a near recession proof industry, as it has snatched up a Korean developer and entered into an alliance with China Network Television (CNTV).

Shanda announced its intention to gobble up Eyedentity Games for around $95 million U.S. Eyedentity was described as “a private developer of online games with over 100 game developers.” Its latest game, Dragon’s Nest, was released around the world and  billed as being “one of the most successful new online games in China this year.”

Shanda said that the deal would strengthen its international presence.

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Korea Game Rating Board Targeting Indie Developers

September 7, 2010 -

Korea’s Game Rating Board (GRB) is making life difficult for independent Korean game makers, strictly enforcing a law that virtually all games published in the country must be rated.

Posting to Reddit, a Korean game fan indicated that GRB recently swooped down upon a website for users of RPG Maker, a free tool that can be used to create role-playing games. While the games created and shared on the site were apparently not for sale, the GRB demanded that all the games shared on the site must be rated. The forum’s moderators, according to the Reddit user, deleted all the games on their website in light of paying the fees.

Fox Publishing North Korean-Developed Mobile Games

September 7, 2010 -

A unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has published a pair of North Korean-developed mobile games, causing some pundits to wonder about the legality of such dealings.

As detailed by Bloomberg, North Korea’s General Federation of Science and Technology developed the games: a 2007 bowling game named Big Lebowski Bowling and another based on the Men in Black movies. Both games were sourced through the Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which is billed as the “first western IT venture” in North Korea, and offers to provide invoices through “a Hong Kong or Chinese company.”

SC2 Sales Great, But Not as Good as Expected

August 5, 2010 -

StarCraft II sold over 1.5 million copies during the first 48 hours after release, according to reports from Activision Blizzard earlier this week. Yet despite these record-breaking numbers, analysts are noting that sales aren't quite living up to expectations.

According to investment group Lazard Capital's analyst Colin Sebastian, "[T]his number is light of some forecasts, [but] we view this as largely a U.S./Europe number, with the majority of users in Korea still not reflected in the count." Sebastian notes that distribution models in Korea are often different than in the West, where users typically purchase a game outright, at or near launch. As a result, U.S. and European sales tend to be "front-loaded" towards heavy sales at launch that trail off fairly quickly.

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Korean Regulation Hinders Smartphone Game Development

July 12, 2010 -

When many gamers think of the South Korean gaming scene, the first images that jump to mind are of highly competitive real-time strategy games like Starcraft, or action-oriented MMORPGs like Aion or Lineage II. 

WOW Players Get StarCraft II for Free - in South Korea

June 28, 2010 -

If you're a World of Warcraft subscriber you will get StarCraft II for free.. if you live in South Korea. Blizzard's promising RTS sequel is the greatest thing since sliced bread in the region, so the company has decided that WOW faithful deserve a reward. According to an IGN report Blizzard announced the news at a recent StarCraft II event in Seoul, South Korea to the delight of fans. The deal allegedly lasts as long as a player’s World of Warcraft account is active.

Lead producer Chris Sigaty said during the event that the move was "a way of giving something back to such a supportive and skilled community of players."

While this is a kind gesture on Blizzard's part, it is also a very clever way of further driving subscriptions for World of Warcraft. It would be fair to say that the StarCraft franchise enjoys ridiculous levels of popularity in the region, with shows dedicated to the game, multi-million dollar competitions televised on TV and Internet Cafes in the country driven by consumers who want to play.

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New Build of SCII Reportedly Granted 12+ Rating in Korea

May 21, 2010 -

A modified version of Blizzard’s StarCraft II has apparently made its way through Korea’s Games Rating Board (GRB) and earned a rating for gamers aged 12 and up.

This follows an earlier version of the game being branded with an adults only, or over 18, rating last month. 1UP, via a Team Liquid forum translation, indicates that Blizzard changed the color of in-game blood to black, removed vulgar language and exorcised smoking references in the game in order to achieve the lower age rating.

Blizzard may also consider releasing a separate version of StarCraft II that is aimed for adults only.

The game earned a “T” (Teen) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

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StarCraft II Earns Adult-Rating in Korea

April 20, 2010 -

The forthcoming entry from the most popular game in Korea has received an adults-only rating from that country’s Games Rating Board (GRB).

Blizzard’s StarCraft II was designated for gamers 18 and over, and follows test, or release candidates, for the game previously earning ratings for the over 15 year old gaming crowd. The Korea Times speculated that the decision might have something to do with a push by the government to “improve gaming behavior and curb compulsive gaming and addictions,” versus the game’s actual content contributing to the rating.

In a statement, the GRB said, “Considering that the RC (release candidate) version of the game is closer to what will be sold on the shelves compared to the beta versions, we looked more carefully at the content.”

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Korea to Impose Gaming Black-Out Periods

April 12, 2010 -

In a bid to limit the screen time of its young gamers, Korea has unveiled some drastic initiatives.
 
Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will try to block certain online games after midnight, reports the Korea Herald. Midnight, however, appears to be a generic term, as gamers will be able to choose their specific six-hour long gaming black-out period: 12AM – 6AM, 1AM - 7AM or 2AM - 8 AM. Under the plan, online access to massively multiplayer games would automatically shut off at the appointed time.

A secondary aspect of the policy would have the Internet speeds of young gamers throttled down if users remain online for a “lengthy” period of time. The slowdown policy is said to be in current testing on four online games, with plans to spread the procedure to 19 games in total in the second half of 2010.

The Ministry will also target young gamers who use the registration numbers of their parents in order to circumnavigate such restrictions.

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MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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