‘Gameforge AG’ is a game publisher in Germany, and it’s an enterprise that services various Korean game titles in the Western market. With most games being PC MMORPG, many popular games have been serviced to the West via Gameforge. ‘Aion’, ‘Tera’ and ‘KUF2’ are just some of the many games that Gameforge is servicing.
On the first day of G-Star 2019, at the B2B Exhibition hall, we were able to find AG’s booth, met with Patrick Streppel, Head of Business-Asia, and talked about the reason for visiting G-Star, and what to gain from the event.
It’s very nice to meet you. Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello. My name is Patrick Streppel, and I’m the Head of Business-Asia at Gameforge.
Although Gameforge AG has experience servicing games in Korea, the younger generation of gamers aren’t too familiar with Gameforge. Can you give us a brief introduction of your company?
Gameforge AG is a publishing company that services game in the European and the North American Market. We buy different games from all around the world to service them, and we also have many Korean titles. Prime examples of such games are ‘Aion’, ‘Tera’, and ‘SoulWorker’.
Did you visit G-Star this year to find new games?
Although that’s our primary reason of visit, we’re also trying to create new distribution channels as well.
Is there a game that caught your eye on the first day of G-Star?
Our main focus is always on PC MMORPG. Unfortunately, the current Korean market is primarily focused on mobile games. Even if we ported the games to PC, it would cost way too much, so realistically, it’s impossible. So far, there hasn’t been a game that particularly intrigued us.
When Gameforge AG looks for a new game, what are the most important points that the company looks for?
Honestly, if we can tell how well a game will do, it’s impossible to tell. We have a couple key points that we look for in a game. First, we look for whether or not the game system and the in-game content synergizes well and if it has long-term potential. If the flow of the game suddenly comes to a halt, we believe that it’s not a great game.
Second, we look for games that aren’t only about PVP. Many love PVP, but not everyone does. The gamers in the West tends to enjoy solo or co-op.
And finally, we look for games with complicated systems and depth. Our target audience is not on the casual side, and we know the value of depth in a game.
In the past, Gameforge AG has been quite successful in the Web game market. Are there plans of developing and servicing Web games again?
It’s true that we’ve been successful with Web games. While our current main focus is on PC MMORPGs, Web games still exist on our channel. We’re going to be launching a new Web game called ‘Ultimate Pilot’, and although the Korean language isn’t supported, we’re looking to service the game in the global market.
Since you’ve dealt with European and North American gamers for a long time, you must also be knowledgeable in their preferences. What’s the biggest differences between them and gamers in other regions?
Compared to the gamers in Asia, there’s a lot less Western gamers that prefer PVP. Also, when it comes to P2W, the West is even more sensitive than the Asian gamers.
You’ve mentioned that it’s unfortunate how the Korean market is really focused on mobile games. What do you think about the dominance of mobile games on a worldwide scale?
Although we haven’t ruled out mobile games completely, our main focus is on PC and console games. The mobile game market is very competitive. Not in the games themselves, but in the market. Mobile game developers compete by spending so much resources on marketing, yet looking for success in a limited platform. However, the PC Online market is a lot more stable, with various methods of service. To be honest, we really wish Korea would develop more PC games (laughter).
In my personal opinion, there are many games that fail to meet the criteria of what really makes a game, a ‘game’. Simply put, they reduce costs in all other aspects for a positive business effect. We’ve serviced PC games for many years, and we’ve found many who those found love, and those who enjoyed over generations.
However, for mobile games, things like the memories behind the game and the level of perfection isn't talked about. It gets people talking about the level of CPI, MOU… people only end up talking about data. In that sense, I hope many developers look into PC games as well.
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