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Mobile wars to escalate in gaming world

Enhanced connectivity in Korea leads to less latency, mobile game competition

With the anticipated launch of 5G network services, South Korea’s major game companies are bracing for a full-on mobile war with new lineups.

The upcoming games can be enjoyed at full capacity on 5G networks with less latency and maximized gaming experience with faster connectivity, according to developers.

The major firms in the spotlight are Nexon, the biggest Korean game company on sale, as well as Netmarble, the second-biggest company that seeks to acquire the former.

NCSoft, which owns the massively successful game “Lineage,” and WeMade which published “Legend of Mir” and saw its profits soar last year after winning a copyright lawsuit against a Chinese firm, are also bracing for market competition.

Nexon's "Traha"
Choi Sung-wook, chief of Nexon’s mobile business, introduces “Traha” at the media showcase held Thursday. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Choi Sung-wook, chief of Nexon’s mobile business, introduces “Traha” at the media showcase held Thursday. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Developed by Moai Games and published by Nexon, “Traha” is currently the most talked-about new game since the media showcase on Valentine’s Day. It is scheduled to be officially launched here on April 18.

“Traha” is a mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing game that is geared to provide top quality 3D graphics. It should be played in the 5G environment for best performance, and users are recommended to use mobile devices such as iPhone 6, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6 Plus or higher models.

Despite the high standards in the gaming environment, “Traha” is being enthusiastically received. Over 1 million people signed up for preorders within two days.

Netmarble's "BTS World"
Promotional image for “BTS World” (Netmarble)
Promotional image for “BTS World” (Netmarble)

Netmarble will launch four mobile games in the second half, of which the most talked-about title is “BTS World” featuring the popular K-pop group as game characters.

Developed by Take One and published by Netmarble, “BTS World” is still shrouded in mystery.

As per the available information, the mobile game will be “cinematic life simulation” genre that has more than 10,000 exclusive photos of BTS and over 100 video clips introducing the boy band.

In 2018, Netmarble ranked fifth in the global mobile game rankings in terms of revenue on App Store and Google Play. It was the only Korean game company to make the list.

The firm’s launch of “BTS World” is anticipated to bring in the boy band’s massive number of global fans to the mobile game industry.

NCSoft's "Lineage 2M"

Promotional image for “Lineage 2M” (NCSoft)
Promotional image for “Lineage 2M” (NCSoft)

NCSoft’s “Lineage 2M” will be the next big thing that will tow the company’s profits.

In a recent conference call announcing the last year’s earnings, NCSoft said the company is in the process of polishing new games, but the exact timeframe is yet to be finalized, although it has promised a grand launch this year.

The new mobile game using the timeless intellectual property of the “Lineage” game will be a “full 3D seamless open world” where users will enjoy large-scale battles.

Meanwhile, NCSoft’s “Lineage M” forayed in to the Japan market on Monday. The second foreign market after launch in Taiwan in December 2017.

WeMade's "Mir" games

Image captured from “The Legend of Mir 2” (WeMade)
Image captured from “The Legend of Mir 2” (WeMade)

WeMade made headlines in 2018 after winning an  IP lawsuit  against China’s 37Games’ “Legend of Dominance Tour” that infringed the copyright of “The Legend of Mir2.”

This year, WeMade plans to launch new mobile games using “The Legend of Mir” IPs such as the upcoming mobile game “Mir 4,” “Mir M” and “Mir W.”

WeMade‘s “Icarus M,” a mobile game launched in July 2018, will first be released in Japan on Thursday, and is readying for further overseas expansion to Taiwan, Southeast Asian countries and China. The MMORPG game is known among game players as the “Mamamoo game,” after the K-pop group’s promotional video for the game.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (