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).

5 comments

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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Poll

Poll: Is it censorship when a private retailer decides not to sell a particular video game?:

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Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikThe feed is at superpac.libsyn.com05/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenSlightly Mad Studio comments on Wii U version of Project Cars: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/05/exclusive_slightly_mad_studio_head_ian_bell_sets_the_record_straight_on_project_cars_wii_u05/27/2015 - 11:54am
E. Zachary KnightGamasutra has a really interesting interview with the Hatred developers. http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertPalka/20150526/244229/Real_talk_with_Destructive_Creations_Hatred_interview.php05/27/2015 - 10:11am
WonderkarpLove Gamerevolutions Summary of Splatoon "It's like Double Dare found love with a roll of sushi and made a beautiful, action-packed Wii U game."05/27/2015 - 9:41am
E. Zachary KnightExtra Credits promotes SJW PC crap by discussing Rust's decision to include race but not give players a choice. ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1zfdUTqBY05/27/2015 - 9:20am
ZippyDSMleeIt would be haliarous if soemone started complaining about it in some form or another.05/27/2015 - 8:58am
E. Zachary KnightMore SJW PC crap being shoved down the throats of game designers and gamers ;) http://gamasutra.com/view/news/244376/Bloodstaineds_female_lead_Miriam_reflects_the_games_audience.php05/27/2015 - 8:43am
 

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