NCSoft (South Korea-based online, video, and mobile game development company) is investing $5 million towards a new game studio in Vancouver, Canada, as part of an ambitious plan to expand in the West.
NCSoft is investing $5 million into This Game Studio which was created by old veterans of Exploding Barrel Games and its parent company, Kabam. The reason for this is that NCSoft hasn’t been active in exploring potential investments like other Asian companies such as Nexon or Tencent and they also haven’t gone into mobile games although they have had success with certain PC games like Lineage and Guild Wars. That all is about to change.
Michael Chang, senior vice president of corporate development at NCSoft West, said in an interview that This Game Studio will have veteran founders who’ve had great success in making great games. Some of these games include Marvel: Contest of Champions (downloaded over 30 million times) and Fast and Furious: Legacy which was successful in its own right. Currently, they are actively hiring and only have around 8 to 10 employees. Co-founder Chris Ko (former general manager for North America at Kabam) said their goal is to eventually acquire 30 employees by the end of the year and that the reason why they decided go from a large game studio to working in a small studio environment is so that they could more intimately be invovled in the making of the games and in their eyes that is much more enjoyable than just helping to run a large studio.
While we see some great developers with great games that have been in the top 25 for as much as three years, we do not see anyone holding a permanent monopoly on the top 25,” Chang said. “Not Supercell, not Machine Zone, not King, not EA. There still remains the opportunity for a new generation of mobile game studios to come to the forefront.
Michael Chang, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, NCSoft West
Ko said his team believes the market’s success has been limited to strategy, casual puzzle, casino, and simulation games and there will be a further expansion these genres of games that achieve success. He said that the rest of the gaming world has much more genres, and there’s no reason why mobile shouldn’t be different in that respect. By focusing on new and different genres, NCSoft and This Game Studio hope to reach other areas of mobile games and not get stuck in the typical genres that have so far been out.