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‘Google Play Arcade’ to offer interactive mobile gaming in Korea

Google Korea will open a free indoor entertainment space dubbed “Google Play Arcade” at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Friday, with aims to introduce and bring mobile games closer to the wider public.

From taking the stage to become the South Korean champion of “Clash Royal” to physically climbing up the virtual steps on “Infinite Stairs,” visitors to the arcade can experience a wide range of mobile games in new and interactive ways.

A view inside the “Google Play Arcade” which opens Friday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (Google Korea)
A view inside the “Google Play Arcade” which opens Friday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (Google Korea)

“We wanted to offer the public an opportunity to experience diverse genres of mobile games and game developers a chance to directly communicate with and obtain feedback from users,” Min Kyung-hwan, head of Korea apps and games at Google Play, said during a media preview event Thursday.

Pointing to “diversification” as the biggest trend leading mobile games business, Min also raised hopes that local game developers could claim leadership in new genres beyond action and role-playing games -- traditional strongholds for Korean game developers.

Spanning some 8,900 square meters, the “Google Play Arcade” features 32 games developed by 22 game developers, of which about 80 percent are Korean. The space is divided into four zones: game tournament, casual corner, brain battle and action arena.

The game tournament zone features a one-on-one tournament stage for Supercell’s popular mobile game “Clash Royale,” in which a player aims to destroy the opponent’s towers utilizing cards drawn from a deck.

Visitors to the casual corner can play “Minion Rush,” which is projected onto an large screen, and take pictures with the minion characters from the “Despicable Me” animated movie series. Visitors can ride on dinosaurs while playing “Stone Age” and stomp their way up the stairs of “Infinite Stairs.”

A view inside the “Google Play Arcade” which opens Friday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (Google Korea)
A view inside the “Google Play Arcade” which opens Friday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (Google Korea)

The brain battle corner features popular puzzle games like “Farm Heroes Super Saga” and a real-life rendition of “Music & Beat,” which has players tap four buttons in rhythm with the music.

The biggest attraction in the action arena is Netmarble's mobile role-playing game “Lineage II,” which is making an early debut at the Seoul-based arcade ahead of its scheduled official worldwide release later this year.

Alongside the regular attractions, promotional events inviting local celebrities, YouTube content creators, webtoon artists and other high-profile figures will take place on weekends, Google Korea said.

“Google Play Arcade” is located at DDP’s Art Hall near Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station. It will remain open until Aug. 24. For more information, visit g.co/oraksil.

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)
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