NCsoft has already successfully established itself in North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. With the upcoming venture into Europe, NCsoft takes one step closer to constructing a global network for online game services.
The capacity of the online game market in Europe is expected to reach about $3 billion US this year, and in 2005, it is expected to exceed $5 billion US.
NCsoft Europe will be headed by Geoffrey Heath. Heath has a history of building businesses in Europe. As well as being instrumental in helping Activision establish a foothold as the UK's first third-party publisher for the Atari 2600, he has also advised other big US companies such as Origin and Maxis. Heath also established Mindscape International and was a key member of the team that managed the sale of the Mindscape Group to Pearson. Heath is also Chairman of Climax Group, a leading games developer.
"NCsoft is a business that has captured the imagination of gamers across Asian and US markets. Europe is the next step for the company as it grows a global online games network," said Heath.
Currently, American made online games are dominating the game industry in Europe. Since the exports of Korean game companies have been heavily concentrated in Asian market such as China, Korean made games have to date not made significant strides in Europe (The market share of Korean games exported to different regions are as follows: China 52.4%, Taiwan 16.6%, Southeast Asia 6.5%, Japan 6%, North America 5.7%, Europe 2%. Source: Ministry of Culture & Tourism 2004 Game Economic White Paper).
NCsoft is planning to service Lineage II, and City of Heroes in Europe by the end of 2004. After that, the company will continue to service new games with the objective of establishing itself as a leading online game company in the European region by 2005.