KOGIA Globalizes Game Korea
KOGIA Globalizes Game Korea
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  • 승인 2007.11.05 15:14
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The computer game industry in Korea has grown into a high value added cultural contents industry, and it is now playing an important role as a growth engine of national economy. On the occasion of the G Star 2007 festival, the Korea IT Times met up with Choi Kyu-nam, President of KOGIA (the Korea Game Industry Agency), and heard about KOGIA's core plans and activities. The game industry has grown into a core cultural contents industry, but unfortunately, the scandal of "Sea Story" last year had a significant negative impact on the game industry. Because of this incident, KOGIA is making every effort to revitalize the depressed and low-spirited domestic game industry. Korean government is also trying to lay down a foundation for a healthy game industry, by completely eradicating gambling games. Choi believes that now is the time to develop our domestic game industry, while showing its economic and cultural value. A few months ago, Korea hosted the second international esports symposium, and through this global event, Korea laid the foundation to take the lead in the international e-sports industry.

KOGIA played a pivotal role in this event. The game industry is supposed to serve as a growth engine for national economy. Therefore, KOGIA is trying to produce a model for the game industry, enhancing Korea's status in international game culture and the game industry as a whole. In an effort to help domestic companies launch into the overseas market, KOGIA has held a lot of export consultation meetings in China, Vietnam, USA, and Japan, thus helping to make business contacts with foreign buyers.

These efforts will continue to be made in Italy and France. In addition, in cooperation with the Silicon Valley Venture Capital of the USA, it is jointly raising funds, thus making channels for constructive partnership. Instead of shortterm visible results, it is trying to gather sound foreign capital in terms of a long-term perspective.

KOGIA to strengthen its game academy to foster manpower

Although it is not easy to get a job in the computer game industry, many companies here are suffering from a lack of manpower. The reason is a scant supply of skilled workers. The expertise needed in the game industry is not staff who can simply write software code or perform graphic design, but those specialists who are very creative, and also good at platform and server technology. In order to solve these problems, KOGIA plans to strengthen its Game Academy, introducing a mentoring system, and providing the game industry with advanced, skilled workers. In order to foster and develop highly advanced manpower, it plans to join hands with famous universities overseas so that students can get qualifications. Also, current international education programs, which are being performed in Carnegie-Mellon University and the Wharton School of the USA, are to be expanded. Experts in a variety of fields, including overseas marketing, will be cultivated.

Efforts to build a positive perception for the game industry

It is very important to build positive perception for the game industry. For this reason, beginning in 2002, KOGIA started to develop a variety of programs and systems. It has developed a game addict diagnosis program, establishing a game counseling center, and opening a game information service, so that they could prevent dysfunctions caused by games and also make games sound and healthy entertainment. In addition, in an effort to publicize the positive effects of games, KOGIA is operating game culture classes, holding a national e-sports meeting for handicapped students, publishing game books, and developing and providing functional games. Using the international game culture conference and a game culture festival, it plans to publicize the social, cultural value of games as well as their high value added from an economic perspective. Another important program is: "Establishment of the Game culture foundation". In cooperation with game-related businesses such as hardware producers, service and communication providers, KOGIA is jointly raising funds. In the near future, by using this fund, KOGIA plans to conduct a nationwide campaign, thus building a positive perception of the game industry. Surprisingly enough, a lot of people including enterprises and organizations are paying deep attention to this program, expressing a positive willingness to participate in it.

Aiming high to be in the world's top 3

Entering the late 1990s, Korea's game industry has started on a full-scale basis. Therefore, compared with advanced countries such as the USA and Japan, Korea has been nearly 10 years late. Nevertheless, in the past 10 years, Korea has shown rapid growth in the game industry. There is not much difference with major companies overseas. The only difference in size is in terms of platforms. Most leading domestic companies have succeeded in launching into the overseas markets using online games, but Korean online game's market share accounts for only 7% of the total world market. Fortunately, however, online games and mobile games, in which domestic companies have a comparative advantage, is steadily growing in the global market. Meanwhile, the government is giving support to the larger game market such as console and arcade games. Under these circumstances, it is not impossible that Korean game industry can break into the world's top 3 gaming nations.

Now is the time that a lot of changes in the platform and contents convergence are taking place. This means that game companies can take this good chance to explore new markets. As Korea has grown to one of the leading members in the global game market by means of its online games, domestic game companies can again seize the opportunity to take off by taking proper measures in response to environmental changes. To challenge the world market, the first thing for KOGIA to do is to activate its global network.

Now KOGIA is preparing a new strategy to launch into the global market. In the case of major markets such as the USA, Japan, and China, main efforts will be made to enhance perception and brand image. But in the case of emerging markets, efforts will be made to build partnership and channel. In addition to an exports increase, KOGIA plans to contribute to the creation of overseas network helping the Korean games to maintain global leadership.

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