According to a report by the Asia Times Online, Nintendo of Japan has announced plans to establish a local affiliate in South Korea, in an attempt to expand its market presence in the country.
Nintendo’s board of directors has called for a local firm to be set up on July 7th as a wholly owned subsidiary using an initial investment of 25 billion won ($26 million). The subsidiary will be located in capital Seoul to help increase sales for the Nintendo DS and prepare the way for the forthcoming Wii.
The company’s products have previously been sold by local games distributor Daiwon CI, but Korean consumers have complained at a lack of after sales support – usually one of Nintendo’s fortes elsewhere in the world – and a lack of Korean language support.
Although extremely active, the South Korean video game industry is largely dominated by online PC products, with consoles usually occupying a secondary importance - though this is gradually changing, especially with high broadband penetration in the country and next-gen consoles using connectivity extensively.
Thus as a result of its size and increasingly large developer community, all three console manufacturers have shown increasing interest in the market lately, as have many publishers – with Activision announcing a new Seoul office
last week, and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea developing and publishing a number of PSP and PS2 titles exclusively for the South Korean market.