Globalization is one of the session tracks here at ION 08, as befitting an industry seeking the holy grail of a truly global marketplace for online games. Tuesday's keynote was delivered by Won II Suh of Neowiz, a Korean online games company with 20 titles currently supported or in development by 1000 employees across 8 regions around the world. Mr. Suh described the current landscape of online gaming in Asia and the state of East-West partnerships happening at an increasing rate around the world (Activision and Blizzard, Neowiz and EA, THQ and Shanda to name a few).
Crossover from West to East already has some success stories (NBA Street, e.g.) while the East to West crossover is still fairly nascent. Suh spoke to a fundamental paradigm shift in the way games are made and played in both markets as part of the reason so much of this crossover is happening now. He stressed the importance of prioritizing human and cultural connections as predicates to success for Western companies hoping to break into Eastern markets, indicating that even if the business and financial plans make sense, companies are still prone to fail if they misunderstand or gloss over the critical steps of establishing real human relations and corporate culture due diligence when aspiring to do business in Asia.
All of the slides from the keynote are available in our gallery.