Web 2.0 | 2009/04/28 07:35 | Web 2.0 Asia
NC Soft, Korea's leading online games company, appears to have shifted down on its Web 2.0 play through Openmanu business division. (Link in Korean). NC Soft is one of the world's biggest online games company, most famous for its Lineage series. The company recently launched another smash-hit-ready title, AION.
Openmaru is an NC Soft business division that's been dedicated to developing new web applications, generally themed under open source and Web 2.0 spirits. Openmaru was supposed to be the seed for new business for NC Soft, it appeared: The gaming company wanted to use Openmaru as its pioneer to help extend NC's supremacy into the general web business (especially the newly emerging Web 2.0 area), as well as the gaming industry, where it already dominated.
However, sometimes one's biggest enemy is its own success. As NC Soft's games business continued to take off and rake in big monies, internal pressure to focus on its core games business grew on, it's been often said around the industry. As a public company that has to post continuous quarterly growth, it would have been difficult for NC to justify the presence of a pureplay web business unless that new business was showing some healthy sign of potential revenue stream -- which the business unit apparently failed to show.
That said, Openmaru has given us the Korean internet users many good web apps. As I'd written before, their eye-pleasing user interface and their overall approach towards developing and launching new web apps are just top notch.
Overall, NC's decision to downscale its web business to focus more on its core games business seems to be a right decision. However, it will be rather unfortunate to see NC Soft not achieving the same feat achieved by its claimed archrival, Naver. Naver leveraged its games revenue through Hangame division as the fuel for developing game-changing (pun intended :-) web business. Meanwhile, NC Soft will likely remain a games-specialty company, while coming a bit short on also wearing the "great web company" moniker seemingly coveted by the company. Which can be perfectly okay, because NC Soft may be only an online games specialty company, it's arguably world's best online games specialty company.