NCSoft hopes to shoot ahead with new mobile games next year
[THE INVESTOR] Korean game publisher NCSoft unveiled five mobile games on Nov. 8 that are expected to become its growth engines next year.
The newly unveiled massive multiplayer online role-playing games include “Lineage2M,” “Aion2,” “Blade & Soul 2,” “Blade & Soul M,” and “Blade & Soul S” -- based on stories and characters featured in the original versions, “Lineage,” “Aion” and “Blade & Soul.”
“Lineage,” originally a PC game first released in 1998, got huge success in the domestic and global markets, and is said to be responsible for making NCSoft one of the largest game companies in Korea today. Its variants, including “Lineage 2 Revolution,” have been released since then, and the mobile version was launched in June last year as part of the firm’s push for mobile games.
“We tried to make outstanding and unique mobile games instead of just rolling out copycats to join the mainstream when we first jumped into the mobile segment with ‘Lineage M’ last year,” said NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin at a press conference.
NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin
Kim oversaw the development projects of the games as the creative head.
“We tried to inject new ideas and imagination into the new games that we could not incorporate in previous versions,” he added.
The five new titles are scheduled to be released in the first half of next year.
With “Lineage2M,” users can experience unprecedented visual effects while being given more freedom in terms of selecting armor items, weapons and characters’ skill sets, the company said.
Some features of “Aion2” include large-scale battles, unlimited options for weapons, and no differentiation between Elyos and Asmodians, the two main races of the game.
“The first version of ‘Aion,’ launched as a PC game 10 years ago, may have been disappointing for some as technologies and content we had promised to users were not fully incorporated due to technical limitations,” said General Manager Lee Tae-ha, adding that the new version features advanced graphic effects and player-versus-player combat systems, among others.
Each of the “Blade & Soul” sequels will have unique characteristics, and players will feel like they are all entirely new games, the company explained.
The Pangyo-headquartered firm also said that its projects to develop new PC and console games are currently underway while working closely with partners, such as Samsung Electronics and Microsoft, to introduce new types of games.
“Samsung is one of our important partners, and we will soon start a joint marketing scheme for games that can be played on its upcoming foldable smartphone,” an NCSoft executive said.
Referring to the meeting on Nov. 7 between CEO Kim and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who visited Seoul to attend an artificial intelligence conference, the official noted that that they discussed a “broad range of issues on future partnerships, such as artificial intelligence, cloud and console games.”
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)