G-Star 2014 has arrived and people are buzzing with excitement, gathering from all over the world to attend the world’s fourth-largest game conference located at Bexco in Busan, South Korea.
This year was the 10th anniversary of the annual games conference and people were clearly excited as there was a new record of attendees set. Another record was broken as last year, there were 1,235 total booths and this year, the number of booths shot up to 1,397.*
G-Star started in 2004 and stands for Game Show and Trade All-Round. The biggest game companies in Korea make their presence known with lavish booths and exciting events. A few of the biggest names in attendance include Nexon, NCSoft, Smile Gate, Sega, Intel and Konami. Xsolla was in attendance with a booth in the B2B section and we went around snapping pictures and learning the latest news to report.
Nexon really went big this year with 4-5 amazing stands, probably in anticipation of their new titles: Maple Story 2 (2D RPG), Sudden Attack 2 (FPS), Ghost in the Shell Online (3D Anime), and Peria Chronicles (RPG). With the success of previous titles such as Maple Story and Sudden Attack, it will be interesting to see how and what they change in the sequels other than improving graphics.
Another company making headlines at the moment is NCSoft, a Korean game company which introduced Lineage Eternal. Much to everyones surprise and enjoyment, NCSoft stated that the projected release of Lineage Eternal is set for 2015 and not 2016 as previously remarked. If you were lucky enough to attend G-Star, you may have the opportunity to test the alpha of Lineage Eternal as they have it ready to be played at the event for the first 100 people.
Smile Gate is well known for their hit title, CrossFire, which boasts an astounding 50 million active users and have generated $4.5 billion in revenue since 2007. Their new title, Lost Ark, was introduced as another RPG in the works and has been in development for the past 3 years. At G-Star, the lines to take a crack at Lost Ark were even longer than the lines for Lineage Eternal.
This 20 minute trailer of Lost Ark shown at G-Star shows new classes, the combat system, beautiful graphics, and leaves the viewer wanting just a bit more.
Busan’s Take on Games
The mayor of Busan stated prior to G-Star, “The game industry has boomed in Busan and it plays a significant role in leading the Korean economy. “In order for the success of G-Star 2014, I will spare no effort and support.” – Suh Byung-soo, Mayor of Busan*.
“I oppose the various government regulations on online games that will hinder the development of the game industry. Busan City will spare no administrative effort to actively support the development of cultural business as a friend of the game industry.”
A Final Word
It’s great to see someone such as the mayor of Busan commenting on the influence and traction G-Star exemplifies for the Korean gaming industry and the importance gaming in general has on the Korean economy.