NHN balances the best of gaming's old and new
NHN balances the best of gaming's old and new
  • Jeon Hae-sun
  • 승인 2008.12.26 12:48
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There is an old saying, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." It is hard to appreciate how special something is until after you've lost it. Even with so many games being available these days, gamers tend to pick a few and stick with them for a long time. Tetris is that kind of game. As a steadily loved console game, Tetris has had a faithful following since it was born in 1985. Tetris is still loved by many and some gamers even consider it to be the cleverest game of all time. As online games have become popular, Tetris has changed its form from a console game to an online game to adjust to changes in the gaming climate. On one fateful day, online Tetris suddenly disappeared from the Internet. The company that held the rights to Tetris didn't renew its contract and the service expired. Many Tetris fanatics then moved on from their old favorite to new games. Despite the disappearance, there were still many people who longed for online Tetris. Even though there are other ways to enjoy Tetris as a mobile or console game, many gamers missed the unique amusement of online Tetris.


At last, gamers can again play Tetris on the Internet thanks to the efforts of NHN, who recently made an agreement with TTC to provide online Tetris. Many users are overjoyed at the thought of having their beloved game back. NHN will celebrate this new beginning at GStar 2008. Visitors to GStar 2008 can enjoy Hangame Tetris firsthand and participate in the game battle event. Also, they can enjoy the soundtrack provided by singers Shin Hye-sung (a member of idol group, Shin-hwa), Taru, and Yozoh. By enjoying both, visitors to GStar will be able to catch two pigeons with one bean. Tetris will be back better than ever. In the new Hangame Tetris, NHN has adopted diverse functions such as Tspin, Super Rotation System (SRS), back to back and six next boxes. SRS is an official game rule that TTC has adopted, it allows gamers more flexibility in their control. In the last version of online Tetris, none of these moves were possible.


When gamers play Hangame Tetris, they will notice that the new version of their old favorite is different in many ways. There are now single and multi modes of game play. NHN also considered Korean gamers' love of speed and designed the game to be quicker and more challenging. Specifically, gamers can anticipate the location of the Tetrimino (Tetris block) by using the 'Ghost function.' At GStar 2008, visitors can experience an unknown masterpiece, Continent of the Ninth(C9). C9 is a full 3D action MMORPG game with life-like 3D graphics. It features abundant RPG contents, diverse craftsmen and guild house systems. Gamers can grasp the mental state and habits of their match players and share know-how with teammates. In addition to its excellent graphics, the producers of C9 have focused on the game play in an attempt to maximize enjoyment. Gamers will enjoy its trap system, destruction system, and some doors which open only after gamers carry out a certain mission. The general producer says, "We all know that a fun movie doesn't have to have fantastic special effects and it is the same for online games. If the game isn't fun, the graphics are nothing but a pretty picture."

As a global game leader, NHN has never lost sight of the big picture. NHN has always kept its eyes on the world abroad and has stepped up its efforts to expand to new regions. NHN has already moved on to Japan, America and China. As a big player in the online game industry, NHN is expanding its market share in those countries. NHN Japan is a separate local affiliate of NHN, which operates the most popular online game portal in Japan, as well as a mobile game community site. It established innovative business models by providing services tailored to Japanese cultural specifics. Now Hangame Japan has grown into Japan's leading online game portal with 27.8 million subscribers and 145 thousand peak concurrent users, providing around 170 online games from various genres such as action, racing, RPG, FPS, and MMORPG. On the other hand, NHN USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of NHN Corporation and serves as the flagship vehicle for NHN Corporation's online game and game community initiatives in the United States and other English-speaking countries.

NHN USA has launched ijji.com, the first online multi-player game portal in the U.S. It boasts a portfolio of over 50 games, ranging from web board games to console-quality online games. Since it opened in July 2006, ijji.com has gotten over 6.55 million subscribers and 26,000 peak concurrent users as of August 2008. Looking forward, ijji.com will strain to improve its locally specific service, and continuously introduce a variety of games designed to suit the tastes of U.S. gamers. The Chinese market also features a strong presence for NHN. In June 2004, NHN entered into a strategic partnership with Sea Rainbow Holdings Corporation, a publicly listed investment holdings company and pioneer in the Chinese online gaming space. They now jointly operate the Ourgame business. These days Ourgame has around 240 games, including various web board games, casual games such as 'Mafia Game' and RPGs like the 'SGC Online' series and 'Stars Garden'. Following the successful publication of the popular Korean MMORPG 'R2', Ourgame will strengthen its lineup by introducing a new fighting genre with 'The World of JingWu'. Even with all this progress, NHN still has a long way to go to become the best online game publisher in the world. By reinventing beloved classics like Tetris and bringing promising new games to the table, they are sure to find a place in the heart of gamers all over the globe.

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