The year 2022 has ended. On December 28, the Korean Game Association released the “Top 10 News of Korean gaming industry in 2022” selected by the Association’s executives, summarizing a series of major events in the Korean game market.
#1: Nexon Founder Jung-Ju Kim Dies Aged 54
On March 1, 2022, NXC, the shareholding company of Nexon, the largest game company in South Korea, confirmed that Jung Ju Kim, the founder of Nexon, died in Hawaii, the United States, on February 28 at the age of 54. After the incident, South Korean Internet and gaming industry institutions, and even Nexon’s old competitor NCSoft all expressed condolences, which attracted the attention of the former President of South Korea, who paid tribute to Jung Ju Kim’s contributions on Facebook and expressed condolences to his family.
At the beginning of September, Jung Ju Kim’s share inheritance process was completed. His spouse and two children will inherit most of NXC’s shares after paying the inheritance tax of 6 trillion won in installments.
#2: Wemade’s Crypto Token Wemix Delisted
On November 24, the core crypto tokens of Wemade’s blockchain game platform were removed from the market at the request of DAXA, a consulting agency of the Korean Digital Assets Exchange, which was jointly established by five Korean exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinone and Gopax.
The reasons given by DAXA are that Wemix’s circulation published by Wemade is seriously untrue, the information provided to investors is insufficient, the data submitted during the explanation period is incorrect, and the trust is damaged. Although Wemade immediately counterattacked, on December 7, the Korean court chose to support the exchange. At 3 p.m. on December 8, WEMIX was delisted from the Korean Exchange as scheduled.
After receiving the delisting notice, Wemix, which had previously traded at around 2200 won, plummeted by more than 70% to close at 600 won. Then, when the delisting was confirmed on December 7, the price of Wemix had dropped to 200 won.
#3: Amendments to Game Industry Act Unapproved
As one of the important commitments in the game field before the current Prime Minister of South Korea took office, requiring game companies to fully disclose the card drawing probability information so that the public can directly monitor the unfair behavior of game companies has been one of the key topics discussed in the Korean gaming industry in the past year.
On December 20, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism under the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea held a relevant meeting to consider the amendment to the game law, which requires the disclosure of information on game probability items, but it was not passed. The bill was strongly opposed by the House of Representatives of the Democratic Party of the Republic of Korea.
According to Korean media, the Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Commission plans to re discuss the amendment of the Game Law as the top priority in the next bill subpoena.
#4: Kakao Games Sued by Uma Musume Pretty Derby Players
Kakao Games Corp. was sued by South Korean players, who called it “Uma Musume Pretty Derby“. It is a popular mobile game developed in Japan. Hundreds of users demanded to return small transactions in the game due to the company’s negligence in managing South Korean users. Since then, Kakao’s share price has fallen three times in a month, down 12.8%.
#5: G-STAR Game Industry Show Returned at Full Scale
Two years later, the largest game exhibition in South Korea, “G-STAR”, officially returned to the offline stage and opened on November 17 in BEXCO, Busan, South Korea. According to the data of the Korean gaming industry Association, the organizer of G-Star, 987 enterprises from 43 countries will participate in this year’s exhibition in 2022, with the number of exhibition spaces reaching 2947, more than double that of last year.
This year’s G-Star has also attracted more than 180000 spectators. Although not as many as 240000 in 2019, it is also six times as many as the number of G-Stars participating in the war in 2021.
#6: Game Industry’s Influence Ignored by South Korea’s MCST
First of all, in the report to the President of the Republic of Korea on July 21, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea completely ignored the global influence of the Korean gaming industry as an important part of Korean Wave culture, and did not mention anything about the gaming industry and the revitalization of the gaming industry in the goal of building a cultural power. This is obviously different from Yoon Suk yeol’s close attitude towards the gaming industry at the election stage.
Subsequently, at the Congress meeting on July 28, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism cited unpublished game products and totally wrong relevant data when announcing the content of the policy on the revitalization of the gaming industry.
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism made a series of careless and even absurd actions, which caused dissatisfaction in the Korean gaming industry.
#7: Tencent Joins Korea Association of Game Industry
In July 2022, Tencent and MiHoYo formally submitted their applications to the Korean gaming industry Association, hoping to become full members of the association. It is understood that the names of the entities submitted by the two companies in the association are Tencent Korea and Cognosphere Korea respectively.
After the deliberation of the Steering Committee and the Council of the Association, Tencent South Korea, a Korean subsidiary of Tencent, applied for membership of the Council. Tencent officially joined the Korean gaming industry Association and became one of the four directors of the Association.
#8: Neowiz’s Pinocchio’s Lies Enjoys Great Performance
At the Cologne Game Show, which ended on August 28, Pinocchio’s Lies, a soul like game developed by South Korean manufacturer Neowiz Games, became the largest dark horse in the show. It set three awards, including the best action adventure game, the most anticipated PlayStation game, and the best role playing game, with its excellent picture performance and unique world outlook of steampunk black fairy tale style.
The game is highly similar to the “Bloodborne” created by soul like in terms of playing method. It is expected to be launched on Steam, PS4/5, Xbox Series/One platforms in 2023, and will be added to Xbox Game Pass for the first time.
#9: Blue Archive Aged-rated Event
At the beginning of October, anime games such as Blue Archive, FGO and others recently announced that they would raise the age rating of games in South Korea to meet the requirements of regulatory authorities. Nexon, the developer of Blue Archive, even directly announced in the community announcement on October 4 that in the near future, the age rating of games in South Korea will be directly raised to 18 years old or above.
As soon as the news came out, it naturally caused dissatisfaction among South Korean players. Even the South Korean players applied for abolishing the Korean game committee responsible for grading on the website of the “People’s Petition” of the South Korean Congress. As it reached its goal, it also entered the official agenda of the South Korean Congress. The South Korean Congress once confirmed that it was investigating the allegations of misconduct in the committee’s regulatory system.
#10: Controversy over Game Firm’s Youtuber Marketing
In July 2022, a Youtuber who has been sponsored by NCsoft to produce relevant content of the game Lineage W publicly said that some videos of Lineage 2M on his channel that have not been marked with sponsorship or advertising have actually received “economic support” from NCsoft.
After the incident, a large number of Lineage 2M players were immediately dissatisfied. First, the problem of false marketing. The seemingly insightful evaluation of the game that the audience saw was actually sponsored by the game company. For the audience, it was not a fraud. Secondly, the MMO game of “Lineage Like”, as a typical Pay To Win product, has made the anchor sponsored by the game company pretend to be an ordinary player and compete together with ordinary players to stimulate the consumption of ordinary players in the game, which has also become the reason why many people are dissatisfied.