Gamers pack Korean developers’ booths
By Cho Mu-hyun
COLOGNE, Germany — At one of the biggest games trade shows in the World, the booths of Korean game developers and exhibitors Nexon and NCsoft bustled.
On the opening day of the four-day Gamescom 2012, taking place at the Koelnmesse exhibition center for the fourth consecutive year, the two firms had booths in Hall 8 next to the northern entrance where online games for personal computers were displayed.
Gamers from all over the world gathered and packed the eleven halls, especially the four designated as the “entertainment area” (Halls 6, 7, 8 and 9) where exhibitors have the chance to show off their latest titles.
Video screens large and small showed dazzling game related media and people stood in long lines, waiting to try the products.
Organizers are expecting between 600,000 and 700,000 visitors this year.
Nexon’s rectangular booth is surrounded by an iron fence, designed to resemble an army barracks, in line with its two military- themed titles showcased at the event, Shadow Company and Navy Field 2.
According to Doobic Studio CEO Im Jun-hyuk, the booth was designed by the set designers of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” It is divided into two sections, one for each game.
Models dressed in khaki uniforms circle the area for Shadow Company, while inside over 24 computers wired together had visitors trying out the first person shooter.
In the area for Navy Field 2, representatives dressed in navy uniforms greeted guests who stood in long queues waiting for a chance to play the demo versions and gave out brochures.
NCsoft’s booth for Guild Wars 2 was festooned in red and white, the colors of the game’s logo. Silhouettes of pink, formed by digital lights, covered the whole booth.
There were no opportunities to play the game as the firm didn’t feel the need considering it has recently finished its open beta testing and it is expected to be released on August 28.
However, people wearing shirts with Guild Wars 2’s official logo were visible everywhere in Hall 8.
“I think the game is going to be the best MMOG (massively multiplayer game) ever,” said Steffen Pottmeyer from Munster, who drove two hours from his home town and waited an equal amount in line at the southern entrance for Gamescom. “Me and my friends already preordered the game and we can’t way to play.”
“We’ve played Guild Wars too, and we are big fans of NCsoft and ArenaNet.” Bob from Belgium who designs keyboard interfaces for touch-pad devices, expressed the general anticipation of NCsoft’s title in Europe.“It looks awesome. It is one of the biggest games of the year.”
According to Mark O’Brien, cofounder of ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 was developed over 5 years and currently has 270 developers working on it. “One of the most important things about Guild Wars 2 is that it is a cooperating world. We wanted to make the game truly social.” Bob also said that MMOG titles, like Guild Wars 2, break down barriers of culture, race and geography between people.
“MMOG is catching on in Europe, as well as a free-to-play business model (gamers start off without subscription fees but pay for additional items or services) being adopted widely by other businesses. They realize that it is catching on, more than previous subscription-based pay systems.”