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作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/30 9:15:09

South Korea gaming groups struggle to fend off China





South Korea’s computer games industry is facing a crisis as online software makers struggle to compete with fast-growing Chinese rivals in the rapid transition to mobile gaming.



The country’s online game makers have long dominated the global market for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) but have lost their edge as gamers have increasingly embraced playing on their smartphones.



So far, Korean game makers have failed to produce any big hits for mobile platforms, which is a problem for an industry that has long been a source of local pride as well as a favourite national pastime.



South Korea is the world’s second-largest online games market after China. Its PC-based online games account for a fifth of revenue in the global market — but that is down from 28.6 per cent in 2012, according to the Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca).

韩国是仅次于中国的全球第二大网游市场。韩国文化产业振兴院(Korea Creative Content Agency)的数据显示,韩国计算机网络游戏收入占到全球市场的五分之一,但这一比例低于2012年的28.6%。广州游戏翻译公司。


Kocca estimates that sales of Korean games abroad grew about 7 per cent to $3.2bn last year, slowing sharply from the double-digit pace between 2007-12 when South Korean companies including NCSoft and Tokyo-listed Nexon developed the global online game market.



Much of their success came from pioneering the “freemium” business model — which is now being successfully utilised in mobile gaming — featuring games that are free to play but charge for virtual items that give players advantages.



Local game companies have been outsmarted by western and Chinese rivals in the shift to fast-growing mobile games, which are quicker and cheaper to develop.



As Korean developers have slashed investment in online games to try to focus on mobile, their online dominance has been eroded by overseas-made games such as Riot Games’ League of Legends and Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch. Those two US-developed games now command more than half of the South Korean market.

随着韩国游戏开发商削减网游投资,以尝试专注于手游开发,它们在网游市场上的主导地位受到Riot Games的《英雄联盟》(League of Legends)和暴雪娱乐(Blizzard Entertainment)的《守望先锋》(Overwatch)等海外游戏的冲击。目前,这两款美国公司开发的游戏占据了韩国市场逾一半的份额。广州游戏翻译公司。


Korean developers . . . have diverted too much resources to mobile games to spare investment in the development of [new trendy online games],” says Chenyu Cui, games analyst at IHS Markit.

IHS Markit的游戏分析师Chenyu Cui表示:“韩国游戏开发者……在手游上分散了太多的资源,因而匀不出钱来投资开发(新的流行网络游戏)。”


Analysts say South Korean companies have focused too much on graphics-heavy role-playing online battle games that are now losing their appeal among gamers, overshadowed by simpler, more speedily paced offerings: Overwatch is a shooter title, and League of Legends is a strategy game.



Park Young-ho, president of mobile game maker Four Thirty Three, says: “We are no longer the leaders as we enter the mobile era. Our strength in hardcore MMORPGs based on advanced networks has actually become a barrier against our globalisation.”

手游开发商Four Thirty Three的总裁Park Young-ho表示:“随着移动时代的到来,我们不再是领导者。我们在基于先进网络的MMORPG核心游戏上的优势,实际上已经成为阻碍我们全球化的障碍。” 广州游戏翻译公司。


NCSoft, the country’s biggest online game maker, has not produced a big new online title since Blade & Soul in June 2012, while new games such as MapleStory 2 and Sudden Attack 2 from Nexon, Korea’s biggest game company, have failed to gain popularity.

NCSoft是韩国最大的网络游戏开发商。该公司自20126月推出《剑灵》(Blade & Soul)以来再没有开发出新的大型网络游戏。韩国最大游戏公司Nexon虽然推出了《冒险岛2(MapleStory 2)和《突击风暴2(Sudden Attack 2)等新游戏,但这些游戏并未流行起来。


Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS Markit: “The heyday of South Korean games exports due to development and monetisation expertise is now over — China has a mature domestic industry and western games companies now produce very popular freemium PC games.”

IHS Markit游戏研究主管皮尔斯•哈丁-罗尔斯(Piers Harding-Rolls)表示:“在研发和变现能力方面的专长一度让韩国游戏出口蓬勃发展,但如今它的黄金时期已经结束。中国国内的游戏行业已经成熟,而西方游戏公司则能开发出非常受欢迎的‘免费加增值’计算机游戏。”


While Korean mobile game makers have yet to crack the Chinese market, many of their Chinese rivals are doing well in Korea. Mu Origin, a Chinese-developed version of a Korean online game, is one of the top five mobile games in Korea.

韩国手游开发商尚未打开中国市场,它们的许多中国竞争对手却已经在韩国表现不俗。中国根据一款韩国网络游戏开发的《奇迹:起源》(Mu Origin)进入韩国手游排名前五名。广州游戏翻译公司。


Eric Cha, analyst at Credit Suisse, says: “Just five years ago, things like this were unimaginable. The Chinese market used to be dominated by Korean online games, but many of their mobile games are nowadays actually better than Korean games. Speed is important with trendy mobile games. China is better than Korea in terms of time to market.”

瑞信(Credit Suisse)分析师Eric Cha表示:“就在五年前,这样的事情还是无法想象的。中国市场一度被韩国网游主导,而到了今天,中国的许多手游已经比韩国游戏还要好。就打造流行手游来说,速度很重要。中国企业在市场时机把握上比韩国企业做得更好。”


The decline of the local gaming industry has led to sharp downsizing. The number of local game developers fell 30 per cent to 14,000 between 2009 and 2014, according to Korea Economic Research Institute, while midsized lossmaking companies have slashed their workforces.

韩国国内游戏产业走下坡路,导致从业人数锐减。韩国经济研究所(Korea Economic Research Institute)数据显示,从2009年到2014年,韩国国内游戏开发者人数下降30%,至1.4万人,同时不断亏损的中型企业被迫进行裁员。


Profits are shrinking at many of the larger groups while some, including NHN Entertainment and Neowiz Games, fell into a loss last year. In the first half of this year, Nexon’s net profit dropped 37.5 per cent.

韩国许多规模较大的游戏公司的利润也在缩水,NHN EntertainmentNeowiz Games等一些公司去年出现了亏损。今年上半年,Nexon的净利润同比下降了37.5%。广州游戏翻译公司。


Share prices have also come under pressure, spooking some companies that had been considering public listings. Netmarble Games, the country’s biggest mobile game company, gave up the idea of a Nasdaq float and now aims to raise about Won2tn ($1.7bn) later this year or early next via an initial public offering in Korea, where it is better known.

游戏公司的股价也表现不佳,这让一些原本考虑上市的企业止步不前。Netmarble Games是韩国最大的手游公司,它放弃了之前在纳斯达克上市的计划,并打算今年晚些时候或明年初在韩国上市,计划融资约2万亿韩元(约合17亿美元)——该公司在韩国本土的知名度更高一些。


To broaden their customer base abroad, South Korean game makers need to diversify, says Namgoong Hoon, head of Kakao Games. “They should develop games that anyone can play on any platform if they are serious about overseas expansion.”

Kakao Games主管Namgoong Hoon表示,韩国游戏开发商如果想扩大海外客户群就必须多元化。这名主管说:“如果他们在认真考虑向海外扩张,他们就应该开发任何人在任何平台上都可以玩的游戏。” 广州游戏翻译公司。


Yet differentiation is also vital, says Mr Cha at Credit Suisse, referring to the huge popularity of Pokémon Go and noting that South Korean game makers have yet to roll out any major games using augmented or virtual reality.

瑞信分析师Eric Cha在谈到Pokémon Go大受欢迎时表示,然而实现差异化也非常重要,他指出,韩国游戏开发商迄今尚未推出任何使用增强现实或虚拟现实技术的大型游戏。


It is not that difficult technology-wise. The thing is how to integrate such technology with globally well-known content,” he says. “They need something fresh and different that sets their games apart from their competitors’ in order to crack the global market.”

Eric Cha说:“技术层面不是问题。问题的关键在于如何将此类技术与全球知名的内容整合在一起。要征服全球市场,韩国游戏开发商需要一些与众不同的新鲜元素,从而让它们的产品与竞争对手的产生差异。”