2007 is shaping up to be the biggest year for the online gaming industry. Almost all of the major players have already announced their acquisition of various top online game titles. This is definitely a good thing for the pinoy gamer because he will have a choice in determining what he wants to play. Each game offers a different flavor and this will definitely help in bringing the industry as a whole to greater heights. Let’s take a look at the contenders for 2007.
IP-Egames, publisher of Ran Online, started the year with a bang by declaring their purchase of the Philippine license for Granado Espada (GE). GE was created by Hakkyu Kim, the original developer of smash local hit game, Ragnarok Online. The game is also the recipient of Korea’s most prestigious award and best graphics. GE is currently in Closed Beta until March 19, 2007.
Level-up Games, the first online gaming company in the Philippines, is all set to release Perfect World this coming May, 2007. They’re already gearing up for the Closed Beta Testing phase this March, which will last until early April from which they will shift into Open Beta. Using a Free-to-play business model, Perfect World is one of the most awarded games in China. As a follow-up to Perfect World, Level-up has also announced their intent to launch Ragnarok 2: Gate of the World, late this year.
NCSoft, one of the leading game developers in Korea, also signed a deal with local publisher AMDG for the South East Asian license for Lineage II. Rumored to be worth $5.5 Million dollars, this deal reinforces AMDG’s position as a serious contender after being a successful distributor for Guild Wars. Lineage II is one of the most popular games in the world, and it already has a cult following in various countries.
Other gaming publishers are also bringing in more famous titles. Mobius has recently announced that they are also going to be a payment gateway for the sci-fi hit game, Eve Online.
Hopefully this will accelerate the maturity of the market and this can even signal the arrival of bigger games like World of WarCraft or even Everquest. At this point the potential for the industry is only limited by the imagination of the marketers of the local gaming companies.
About the PTB Guest Blogger:
Carlo “Wauks” Ople currently works as the Brand Manager for Ragnarok Online for Level-up Games. He maintains a blog which aims to give readers a glimpse of how life is working for an online gaming company.