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망한 게임의 개발자들은 어떻게 될까: 게임 인간극장 [Life of a unsuccessful game developer]

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Feb 13, 2019

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망한 게임의 개발자들은 어떻게 될까: 게임 인간극장 [Life of a unsuccessful game developer]
망한 게임의 개발자들은 어떻게 될까: 게임 인간극장 [Life of a unsuccessful game developer] thumb 망한 게임의 개발자들은 어떻게 될까: 게임 인간극장 [Life of a unsuccessful game developer] thumb 망한 게임의 개발자들은 어떻게 될까: 게임 인간극장 [Life of a unsuccessful game developer] thumb

Transcription

  • January this year,
  • There was a guy who was wanted to sell 268 Korean retro games all together.
  • The price was 100k $, around 330$ per title.
  • The seller was a CEO of a game company.
  • I've contacted him myself to hear out the story behind.
  • Screening Humanity A developer who failed for 20 years
  • Jang Se-yong, the CEO of a small gaming company named BITMAGE,
  • got a MSX as a present back in elementary school.
  • What is MSX you say?
  • It's not 'MicoroSoftXbox.'
  • It's a computer made in Japan in 1983.
  • You take out the gaming feature from this PC, make a console, and you get 'Zemmix'.
  • Anyway, with this PC Jang had played titles such as:
  • 'Penguin Adventure', 'Gradius', 'Metal Gear'
  • and have grown into a decent game developer.
  • Say, ain't that all from KONAMI?
  • Of course, They are the best developers in the world FKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFKFK
  • There was a BBS called 'GamewDevClub' back in old Haitel era.
  • Mabinogi's Kim Dong-gun and Lee Eun-suk,
  • White Day's Lee Won-sul, Pangya's Seo Gwan-hee,
  • these 1st-gen game developers hanged out in this BBS back when they were in the university.
  • And the admin of this BBS was Kim Hak-gyu, the creator of Ragnarok.
  • Jang Se-yong, a high school student back then,
  • admired these people who posted smart and talented articles,
  • and had high hopes being one of them.
  • Thus the tragety begun.
  • He served the military as a programmer as an exceptional case agent.
  • Hired by Andamiro, the creator of 'Pump-it-up',
  • he developed a game called 'Merry Sports Day' -No reference available-
  • Everyone else was hyped about the World Cup
  • this 'agent', staying under a fan, plod through developing the game.
  • He was that passionate.
  • But the game failed.
  • After the military service, he wanted to start his own company.
  • But after getting in to a gaming company and glimpsing over the market,
  • this was somewhat like gambling.
  • It is a field where you can hit jackpot, but the chances are too low,
  • and the risk is too high when you don't succeed.
  • So, he leaned over to safety
  • and founded 'BITMAGE',
  • which specialize in game development outsourcing.
  • If you lean to 'safety', it's better to just work for a company, you know...
  • And thus the game, 'Lethal Filial Piety King' was born.
  • 'Lethal'? 'Filial Piety'? What a kind son of a...
  • He survived by outsource developing various games,
  • but the things weren't going great.
  • Jang decided to go for a big adventure.
  • Outsourcing the IP of Korean animated film, 'Iron Kid',
  • and porting it into GBA title.
  • He took the intensive of the title, without any fixed payment.
  • 5$ for each title sold.
  • It looks like nothing, but the main contractor was huge,
  • and they were planing to go global,
  • so there were some chances to hit the jackpot.
  • GBA was a big deal back then.
  • Yes, it was huge,
  • but it was unfamiliar to Korean developers.
  • No tips and no where to ask about.
  • But after months of nose-bleeding crunch,
  • he finally completed a decent game.
  • And how much he earned?
  • 450$
  • Why? Only 100 copies were sold.
  • GBA going out of season, global release being cancelled,
  • and the animation itself was not doing well in Korea.
  • Talk about Murphy's law.
  • He went for safest way till then,
  • and this was his first adventure,
  • the game was decent enough, but it failed.
  • An example of bad things coming in threes.
  • He outsourced the graphics to rush the dev time and for better quality,
  • and the cost was 13k$.
  • This is critical loss for a small company with 3 employees.
  • After listening about Blizzard, Tencent, 3N's multi million costs everyday,
  • you might wonder whether a company can go under trouble with that amount of money.
  • But in fact, that's us ordinary people's real life.
  • Oh, yeah. About that retro games.
  • We'll talk about it so just hang in there.
  • Remember MintenBo?
  • Former president MB said in a meeting:
  • "Kids recently have been playing Nintendo DS a lot."
  • "Why can't we make such thing?"
  • And it went on the news.
  • Well, these people don't know how we peasants live.
  • He might meant by something nice,
  • but it was so ridiculous, thus became a meme among gamers.
  • The incident could have been forgotten,
  • but 3 months later, a portable console named GP2X was released.
  • Nothing to do with MintenBo,
  • but this coincidence made the press go wild.
  • Of course, the government officials wouldn't just let it go.
  • There were a huge fuss, giving out development expenses and such.
  • Jang grabbed this chance,
  • and created "World Bumpercar Battle Rumble".
  • They've got experience,
  • and if more developers joined this current,
  • GP2X might become his chance to succeed.
  • With high hopes, Jang created various games such as: "Deicide3" and "Legend GodBlade".
  • But it failed again.
  • Did the game suck?
  • No need to even think about the game, the console itself went down so fast.
  • It was a rotten rope.
  • I've cut down much of the story,
  • but even Jang says that he is more in to safe path,
  • it doesn't seem that he goes for safe and guaranteed ways.
  • More like a wild survival expert, obsessed with off-road and outdoors.
  • Just take a look at the platforms he tried.
  • 2G Mobile, PC, Online, Smartphones...
  • these are just basic things,
  • he goes over to Arcade, NDS, BGA, GP2X, XboX,
  • even PDA and ipTV as well.
  • Just saying, he might hold the record of a single developer
  • who released the game in most numerous platforms.
  • Let look at the genres.
  • Action, Sports, Billiards, Kids, Racing, Diet, Falling, Jumping,
  • Murder and Loyalty.
  • He is the 'Master of gaming industry' Has experience in everything.
  • Finally, Jang decided to end his platform vagabond.
  • He gathered all his energy, and this would be his game changer.
  • 2015, the year when so-called 'Mass produced RPG' dominated the market,
  • He bulked-up his company of 4 to 15 employees,
  • borrowed 35 developers from the publisher,
  • and went for the biggest challenge of his 16 years of career.
  • It was "Soul Gauge": a mobile MMORPG which challenged itself to take the Japanese and Taiwanese market.
  • His younger brother who was in Nexon have joined in the end phase of development.
  • He quit, just to help out his bro.
  • When I was interviewing Jang through phone, email and text for days,
  • I was expecting a great story at this moment.
  • Of course!
  • With his spectacle story of challenge,
  • the story of failure should be great as well.
  • Like: a puzzling fire breaks out
  • "Stop! You'll die in there!"
  • "No! I should save that external hard drive!"
  • "My whole life is in there! Let me go!"
  • This kind of movie like failure was what i expected,
  • but his answer was simple.
  • "The game was not fun."
  • This was a critical blow for Jang.
  • You bet high, loose more.
  • The one good thing about a small company
  • is that you can get 'Start-up Loans'.
  • As for BITMAGE, the company is in fact small, but it's too to get one of those loans.
  • He kept coming back just like Aatrox,
  • but this time, he is in trouble.
  • Remember that new character who appeared all of a sudden?
  • The brother who was in Nexon.
  • These brothers truly care each other.
  • He inherits his brothers 'dying wish'.
  • He sets up a company and buyouts Jang's employees.
  • To claim the one epic item which his brother couldn't get for 20 years
  • named "Success",
  • he sets up a party to conquer 'from the scrach'.
  • Jang is going solo in BITMAGE,
  • helping his brother's company by making game engines and fine tuning.
  • After the long beating against the wall, they are in front of the boss now.
  • The development is at end-phase.
  • But again, how unlucky they are.
  • There's a problem.
  • Before we go on,
  • If you were to name all the games in the world,
  • how many can you actually name?
  • Normally it would be less than 100, and hard core gamers qould go less than 1000.
  • But how many games are out there?
  • Let's just look at mobile.
  • According to the big data,
  • In all app stores including Google Play,
  • the number of games released is: 790,000.
  • The number of game released each month is more than 20000.
  • More than you think, right?
  • From this 20000 new games,
  • how many of them would reach top 50% of gameplay time?
  • Average: 3.
  • There are bunch of unfamiliar games after top 10,
  • And 50%? There will be more of those.
  • But only 3 games per month in average can at least reach that 'unfamiliar' state.
  • From 20000 games.
  • Only a handful succeed and most of them just fail.
  • That's the cold-hearted reality of entertainment business.
  • But there's something even more cold.
  • Some games don't even get the chance to be released.
  • There are numerous challengers who couldn't even claim the name 'Failed',
  • simply vanishes with the name 'Cancelled'.
  • I have also have received sad resumes of game developers
  • who didn't have a single game released in his 10 year career.
  • Jang's brother's company, just before the release, the money ran out.
  • No where to get the money anymore.
  • Jang's 100k$ retro game collection was this.
  • The last item to sell to get his brother's game developed.
  • This was the desperate struggle to try out the raid boss before ending everything.
  • And to maintain at least some moral sense, he limited the buyer to companies.
  • Some, as well as me have though about this after the news:
  • "Isn't there Nexon's computer museum in Jeju?"
  • "Aren't they collecting a lot of retro games?"
  • "They can buy it! They have the money!"
  • So I've asked them.
  • "Nexon Computer Museum speaking."
  • "Hello, this is G-cyclopedia from YouTube..."
  • "Yes, I know."
  • "We have so much duplicates,"
  • "that's one of the reasons we can't decide just yet."
  • They are reviewing since there are duplicates.
  • Not a really hopeful atmosphere.
  • It's pitiful, but Nexon is not the one to blame at least for this matter.
  • Musem itself is for a good deed,
  • and can't blame them for not doing something more.
  • What was the first success of Kim Chan-wan who have failed for 17 years?
  • It was "PUBG" which updated 7 world records.
  • No one had high expectations, but achieved something that no one can ignore.
  • The red lotus seed blooms after 700 years of silence.
  • We support all nameless developers who are alone in their room,
  • tenaciously knocking on their seed to break it open.
  • And good luck to the Jang brothers.
  • Screening Humanity A story of a developer who failed for 20 years
  • You take the gaming feature from this PC, make a console, and you get 'Zemmix'

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■ 게이머들은 알지 못하는 99%의 망한 게임들. 그 개발자들의 운명
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