Plans to increase foreign buyers by 1,000 every year
GStar aims at attracting 10,000 foreign publishers by 2010 by increasing the number of foreign buyers by 1,000 every year, Hong Ki-wha, chairman of the GStar organizing committee, said.
At the same time, GStar plans to increase the export consultation amount to US$300 million in 2010 from US$200 million attained in the GStar 2005, he said. Noting that existing game shows brought about high expenses and low efficiency owing to excessive competition of PC packages and console games, Hong said that the GStar committee will push for actual business output in the game exhibition industry by building new themes in the online game field, which started to grow recently.
| The following are excerpts from an interview with Hong Ki-wha, chairman of the GStar organizing committee and president of KOTRA -- Ed.
Q: What is the focal point and differentiated content of GStar 2006 compared with the previous year's game show
A: The 1st GStar held last year was an exhibition that we could look for the vision and possibility of the global game show. Meanwhile, the GStar 2006 will offer an important chance to firm up its position as a global game show.
It is also important for us to develop the GStar 2006 as an exhibition that all visitors can feel and experience the game-related industries, including online game, video, mobile and arcade. To organize an upgraded game exhibition in terms of both quality and quantity, we also expanded the exhibition space by 60 percent from the previous year by leasing the whole KINTEX boasting of the 53,541 square meters of space.
Q: Would you comment on the growth direction that the GStar has been actively pushing ahead
A: Through the hosting of the second GStar exhibition this year with 226 companies from 30 countries in attendance, we plan to build new theme of Korea's game show, centering on online games. Considering the gradually declining trend of the global game exhibition industry, we plan to foster the GStar as an international game show creating actual business effects.
Q: What do you think is the main subject of the domestic game industry for international cooperation
A: As the game industry is the entertainment one, only those companies that can show creative and artisan spirit are able to make a success in the industry.
In the future, the networking-based online game industry is expected to grow at a fast face. As a result, Korea's online game makers should play a leading role in the world's online game industry.
He also said that the committee will expand various events supporting business, including export consultation meetings and conferences during the GStar 2006 period. The most important thing to make GStar 2006 a globallevel game show is to attract world-famous foreign companies through active overseas marketing, Hong said. In an interview with Korea IT Times Hong, who is also president of KOTRA, said: "The committee is going all-out to attract the world's top-tier game companies and invite global buyers to the GStar 2006, which will be held at Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) in Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province on November 9-12."
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) and the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) jointly support the international game show, organized by the GStar organizing committee.
Over 150 domestic and foreign game companies will introduce their new products and technologies at 2,000 booths at KINTEX during the GStar 2006 period. Meanwhile, about 160,000 people including government officials, executives, staff and experts in the game industry are expected to visit the exhibition to be held on a 53,541 square meter lot.
"The GStar 2005, which was held at the KINTEX on Nov. 10-13 last year, focused on maximizing exhibition effects by gathering various kinds of existing game shows to one place. However, the GStar 2006 is aimed at bolstering its international competitiveness through global marketing and growing up to one of the world's top three game shows," he explained.
Asked about the future marketing direction for the GStar 2006, Hong remarked that Korea's hosting of the show is a very good decision to strengthen the international competitiveness of the domestic game industry.
Noting that the GStar 2006 is the world's biggest game show, he continued: "It indicates that Korea's online game industry has been growing up at a rapid pace and expanding its great influence over the global game market."
The KINTEX can accommodate about 2,000 booths on a 54,700 square meters of land, much bigger than the 30,000 square meters of space for Tokyo's TGS and 50,000 square meters of E3 in Los Angeles.
On the committee's marketing strategy to attract keen interest from world-famous game companies, the committee chairman said: "I think business to business is aimed at establishing close networks between companies. We will exert best efforts to establish a large-scale exhibition hall armed with state-of-the-art facilities where foreign buyers can attain exact information and engage in business consultations with domestic game makers in an amicable climate."
"In a nutshell, we will prepare for a marketplace in Korea through which the GStar can secure its firm position as the world's top-level game show," he continued, adding that the organizing committee will make an in-depth analysis of applicants to the GStar 2006 and map out a proper PR strategy.
On the polarization of the domestic game industry, Hong explained: "Not only large game makers such as Nexon but also small and financially weak game companies are required to participate in the GStar 2006 in order to beef up their international competitiveness. It is the only way for the nation's game industry to bolster the driving force and advance into profitable overseas markets.
"To help small and medium-sized game companies introduce their products more effectively to foreign buyers, we plan to provide them with a center place of the exhibition hall, while allotting the edge of the hall to large game companies," he explained.
Hong also stressed the importance of matchmaking overseas buyers and domestic game companies with high international competitiveness.
"Related to this, the GStar organizing committee will actively arrange for matchmaking between overseas buyers and domestic game companies and implement various methods to help the GStar enter the ranks of the world's big three game shows," said Hong.
"We will also exert best efforts to let GStar greatly contribute to enhancing competitiveness of the nation by providing ITrelated companies with advanced technology and know-how," he continued.
Recognizing the importance of overseas advancement by such culture industries as games and broadcasting, KOTRA has been strengthening its assistance for overseas marketing of cultural industry since 2005.
Related to this, KOTRA has held export consultation meetings every year coordinated with such world-famous game exhibitions as E3, TGS and China Joy.
KOTRA also plans to hold export road shows to explore new game markets in Southeast Asia under the close cooperation with relevant institutions.
At the same time, the committee will make best efforts to develop GStar into a symbolic exhibition activating two-way communication between game makers and users.
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