8 January 2011

What Will NCsoft’s Pro Baseball Team Bring? - by Simon Lim

      Posted 01/06/11 02:48:00 am  

NCsoft has announced its filing of foundation of the 9th pro-baseball team in Korean pro-baseball league on last December 22. This announcement became big news in Korean gaming field and baseball field, It also buzzed Korean stock market. Both gaming and baseball fields welcome and support NCsoft’s pro-baseball team.

■ Feedback 1 Welcome to Baseball!

Today’s Korean pro-baseball league consists of total 8 teams. It is a pretty small league compared to MLB(the U.S.) and NPB(Japan) which have 30 and 12 teams respectively. So the announcement cannot be better to the pro-baseball field. Who would not love if the field they are working in is growing and getting rich? In the calculating view, it will create more job opportunity such as coaching staff, aspiring pro-baseball player, and so on.

Therefore and understandably, most of managers, committee of KBO, retired players, and so on embrace NCsoft’s filing although they do not know much of what company NCsoft is.

Moreover the league generally does not run with odd number of team because it is hard to schedule the matches. So, there is plausible hope that the new 9th team would help founding 10th team much easily and smoothly.

It could be the first gaming company ever in Korean pro-sports field, but there are many successful cases that gaming or IT companies own the pro-baseball team in the U.S. and Japan such as Seattle Mariners, Softbank Hawks, Rakuten Golden Eagles.

■ Feedback 2 Gamers Like it 

There is no reason the gaming field would dislike it. Because the notion of not only NCsoft but also online game will change as NCsoft owns a pro-baseball team.

Korean pro-baseball has great base and various fans with loyalty. It is the most popular sports in Korea as well. The companies participating in the pro-baseball are major mainstream such as Samsung, SK, Lotte, LG, Hanwha, Kia, Doosan, and so forth. NCsoft is no comparison in terms of company size. In reality, people’s interest was what the heck NCsoft is.

Although we all know NCsoft very much, society does not quite know it as much as we expect them to do. Gaming market has grown incredibly in the past decade and has born such side effect as game addiction or cash trade as well. The problem is that the society has always looked on the dark side and that has worsened its views. Most seniors still consider the game as a children’s toy not as a huge culture industry. It is disappointing stereotype because NCsoft’s Lineage, as the first single culture product in the Korean history, has achieved its accumulated revenue US$900m in 2008.

This is why gaming field greets NCsoft’s going to the pro-baseball. Beyond envy and jealousy, other companies agree NCsoft’s effort, as a leading company, to foster the overall industrial value and change the social understanding on a gaming field.

“We welcome NCsoft’s founding pro-baseball team. It will confidently pull Korean game industry from minor to major in terms of industrial level. We look forward to it to solve the recent negative views on game in Korean society,” said an industry expert.

NCsoft’s official stance is not much different. “We are preparing the team in order to improve the social understanding of game and provide energy to people by creating new online and offline entertainment. It also corresponds to our motto, entertain people in the world,” said NCsoft.

Game marketing connected to baseball league and expanding its gaming portal PlayNC to public from gamers.  I guess these two effects are the core amongst other expectable synergy that could be derived from its adventure. 

NCsoft’s great challenge for all the gamers’ dream day when the game comes as a new cultural entertainment to public is about to start. And I also support NCsoft’s, nope, Korean game industry’s challenge.

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