South Korea’s gaming ‘Big 3’ zero in on smartphone users

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SEOUL — South Korea’s top three gaming companies are shifting focus from online games for PCs to mobile games, as smartphones and consoles have become the new battlegrounds.The country’s gaming companies grew with a focus on online games for PCs. South Korea was among the first to introduce nationwide broadband communication networks, enabling high-speed, large-capacity data transmission and resulting in numerous online games being released in the early 2000s. That is a stark contrast with Japan, where gaming companies have developed mainly on Nintendo and Sony’s consoles.Most South Korean PC games have evolved uniquely as they can be played in large numbers and enable complex operations using keyboards. The so-called “3Ns” — Nexon, NCsoft and Netmarble — have led the country’s gaming industry and are now making their PC games available on various devices.Market leader Nexon has partnered with Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings to provide games for the Chinese streaming platform. It is said that the mobile version of Nexon’s popular action role-playing game “Dungeon & Fighter” has drawn preregistration by over 60 million Chinese users ahead of its launch in the country. Another such game, “MapleStory,” and other popular PC game titles will also be made available …

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