With the rise of microtransactions and MapleStory
, South Korean gaming has been growing in respect and relevance in the west.
There's a lot to learn from this rich, constantly evolving market, which grew up along lines so different from the U.S., Japan and Europe that it's difficult to compare -- and compete with.
To that end, Gamasutra has compiled five complete interviews
with a variety of members of top companies in the market, conducted principally at the annual Gstar trade show, to offer their perspective on the industry in 2007 and going forward.
Sang Woon Yoon, development strategy manager of global studios at Webzen, says the company's vision currently focuses on large-scale blockbuster titles, and to that end, the company has been developing a first-person shooter-slash-MMO game using Unreal Engine 3.
Unfortunately, Yoon explains, the staff at Webzen began with some difficulties. "At the beginning, they had a really tough time to understand the engine itself. Also, we were not just making an FPS game from Unreal 3. We were making an MMO/online game. As you know, the Unreal Engine is not for MMOG, right?"
He continues, "At the beginning we had a tough time. Right now Huxley
just had a [closed beta], and we're preparing for our second CBT at this moment. The understanding came a lot better than before. We get better."
When asked if Webzen was receiving support from Epic in Korean, Yoon noted that the fact that it's all in English might be somewhat of a difficult factor.
"They try to understand English," he said. "It's probably way better than things that are in Korean. Most of our information comes from forums. However, a lot of people don't really speak Korean."
For many more insights into this vibrant and unique territory for gaming, the full transcripts of these interviews
are now available on Gamasutra.