|G-Star 2019 is scheduled to take place for four days from Nov. 14, but the annual event is expected to be less appealing this time as the largest game company Nexon will not participate. / Captured from G-Star website|
By Jun Ji-hye
This year's G-Star global game exhibition is facing growing concerns over its success following leading game company Nexon's decision not to attend the exhibition for the first time since the event kicked off in 2005.
Nexon had installed hundreds of booths and given demonstrations of its new games at the event every year, contributing to attracting those enthusiastic about games.
But the company said it decided not to attend this year's event, scheduled for Nov. 14-17 at the BEXCO convention center in Busan, to better focus on developing new games.
The decision was construed as part of the firm's ongoing efforts to reorganize after Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju, who is now CEO of Nexon's holding company NXC, tried and failed to sell control of NXC.
The company is now moving to reorganize its business structure by integrating units in charge of PC online games and mobile games.
"It is regrettable that we will not be able to communicate with users at G-Star this year, but we will do our best to release better games and services," a Nexon official said.
Last year, Nexon installed 300 booths and unveiled 14 new games such as "The Kingdom of the Winds: Yeon" and "Crazy Arcade BnB M" during the event. It also gave visitors opportunities to play "TalesWeaver M" and "Mabinogi Mobile."
Nexon's decision not to attend G-Star 2019 will give a chance to other game companies, who failed to register for the event, to participate, but game industry officials said Nexon's absence is likely to make this year's event less appealing and adversely affect the quality of the event.
"Even if other companies fill up the vacancy and install booths instead of Nexon, the major company's absence will make the event less influential," an official from a game company here, asking not to be named.
G-Star 2019 is facing another unfavorable factor as the ASEAN-Korea summit will be held at BEXCO for two days from Nov. 25.
The government will control visitor access to the Convention Hall of BEXCO two weeks before the summit to strengthen guard, and the controlled period will overlap with the G-Star period.
The Korea Association of Game Industry (K-GAMES), an organizer of G-Star, has utilized the Convention Hall as a venue for various conferences during the event, but will not be able to use the space this time.
"We are now talking with Busan City about alternate plans such as utilizing outside gardens," a K-GAMES official said.