Vice President of Business Development Harold Kim talks about how Smilegate company “landed” in the West after 20 years of development.
With Lost Ark and Epic Seven, two Smilegate products made their mark in the Western market. Not only that, in the past, the gaming community still knew the Korean game company with the Crossfire series (Raid).
“In the Western market, over the past few years, Smilegate has been slowly entering this market with a mission to become a big company,” Smilegate Business Development Manager Harold Kim said in a chat. celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. “But we are still in the infancy. I think the company will continue to strive for recognition.”
Smilegate is best known for Crossfire, a 15-year-old free-to-play first-person shooter that is phenomenally successful with over a billion users played, a record 8 million concurrent users online, and multiple adaptations. different versions.
“When we first launched the game in 2007 for the Korean market, we didn’t do very well, but then adjusted in time,” Kim said. Smilegate partnered with Tencent and launched Crossfire in China later that year. This is also the most successful market for this product.
Although the game was a resounding success, it garnered only modest sales and player numbers in its home country. “Crossfire in Korea is not a game that is as popular as many other regions,” Vice Chairman Kim admitted. “But that’s what we have to do through the extra investment to keep the product alive.”
Additionally, he contends that Smilegate has struggled to bring the franchise’s plot into the Western localization. “There were some very interesting developments that we mentioned in the Crossfire universe in the story,” Kim said. When we look at the Western market, we want to understand the universe, the market as well as what gamers want to change.”
This year’s Crossfire X gave the game a modern upgrade. The company has already begun taking steps to address both of those issues with titles like this year’s Xbox revamp Crossfire X and the gamer-rated real-time strategy “side story” Crossfire Legion. high.
Then came the global launch of the mobile turn-based RPG Epic Seven in 2018. Not only did the game become Smilegate’s second-biggest IP, it also became the first major title in the West. , with more than half of its revenue coming from the United States. Korea and Japan are also big markets for this game.
That same year, Smilegate launched Lost Ark in South Korea and found the game popular through Twitch, Kim said the new version made the game the most popular on Twitch in the US. This has led to Smilegate teaming up with Twitch’s parent company Amazon to bring Lost Ark to Western markets. The company will continue to develop key products and launch new games in the future.