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This Week In Korean Online Gaming News: From Hangame To League of Legends

Gamasutra rounds up the week's biggest reports on South Korea's booming online games market from local news site This Is Game, including Hangame's CEO resigning, League of Legends's Korean launch, and m
In our latest round-up of news from South Korea's online games space, we look at the resignation of Hangame's deputy CEO, an anti-famine game from NCsoft and the UN World Food Program, and the Korean launch for League of Legends. Hangame's Deputy CEO Resigns Wook Jeong, who has served as the deput CEO for South Korean online gaming portal Hangame, will resign from the NHN Corporation subsidiary at the end of December, two years after taking up the position and six years after joining the company. An NHN official said Jeong was leaving for personal reasons. The company has restructured as a result, forming divisions dedicated to categories like smartphones, RPGs, non-RPGs, etc. Directors for each of the departments report to NHN CEO Sang Hun Kim. Under Jeong's guidance, the firm published and operated titles like TERA, Kingdon Under Fire 2, and Winning Eleven Online. He also helped expand Hangame's mobile business by establishing Orange Crew, a team dedicated to creating smartphone games. NCsoft, UN World Food Program Release Anti-Famine Game Working with the United Nations World Food Program, online game developer and publisher NCsoft has put out a serious game called FreeRice, which is designed to raise awareness of worldwide struggles with famine, while also help those affected. In the online game, players can answer questions in different categories (e.g. mathematics, chemistry, literature, English vocabulary). For each correct answer, sponsor companies like LG Electronics will donate 10 grains of rice to people in countries coping with famine. "We hope to not only raise the awareness of the famine issue but also provide high quality education to participating gamers," says NCsoft director JaeSung Lee. "NCsoft will continue to develop serious games in order to provide aid for the weak in many other areas." 300,000 Register For League of Legends's Korean Launch In A Day Over 300,000 gamers registered for League of Legends in a single day when its Korean server launched on December 12. Riot Games originally launched the client-based, free-to-play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) title in North America in October 2009. The game was estimated to have hosted more than 10,000 concurrent users from Korea throughout the day. Riot Games has previously said that it's recorded around 12,000 concurrent Korean users playing League of Legends's North American servers. With the Korean server's launch, League of Legends introduced Ahri, a new game character based on a Korean myth -- a first for the game. She has naturally become very popular with Korean players, and many have reportedly purchased the character. [This story was written with permission using material from ThisIsGame Global, the leading English-language site about the South Korean game industry.]

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