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Nexon's Min Kim on the East-West Divide

Posted Oct 08, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Nexon's Min Kim on the East-West Divide

Nexon's Min Kim and Mike Crouch sat down for an interview with The MMOGamer on examining the differences in culture between East vs. Western gamers and some possibilities on how to bridge that divide.

Mr. Kim's comments in this interview are both candid and incredibly insightful. When asked about the differences between Western and Eastern gamers he doesn't necessarily feel there is one, though he does concede that the gaming experience in Korea is definitely more social with Koreans mostly playing in LAN cafes, while in the West most gamers play by themselves at home.

So what is the real reason why Western games don't truly succeed in Korea and Eastern games don't really penetrate here? According to Kim, it's service:

I honestly think that the reason why certain games are successful over there and not successful over here and vice versa, has to do with the service element of the games.

If you look at Lineage over there, Ncsoft is a huge company in Korea and they service the games to an extremely high quality over there, but they probably don’t do that on this side of the ocean.

In the same way, when people take games in the West, and bring them over to Asia, they are going through a publishing relationship, they are not necessarily servicing the games in the best way, and that’s probably where you get a big disconnect is that, a game like World of Warcraft, well, not World of Warcraft, a game like Lineage in Korea, probably doesn’t feel like Lineage in the states.

It might not necessarily be all about how players play, but how you service the game.

Read the full interview over at MMOGamer to find out more about what Mr. Kim has to say on the East vs. West issues, including some pretty illuminating information on the differences in how the Korean gaming market was shaped.

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Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB