Interview with Don Lim General Manager of Mobile Phone Game Developer Com2us

Interviews iPhone Com2Us Apple Adventure Action

Capsule Computers recently interviewed Don Lim, General Manager of mobile phone software developer giant COM2US. 

Com2us has been spearheading mobile game industry since its inception in 1998, with its No. 1 market position in Korea, the most advanced market for mobile games. In addition, Com2uS has been providing mobile games to 58 carriers (including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Three, O2, Vodafone and many others) in 39 countries, providing fun games to users throughout the world. Superior contents and game development/publishing capability have been highly recognized by both mobile game industry and financial institutions, constantly winning a large number of awards.

Enjoy the interview with Don.  Capsule Computers is still running the Com2us game giveaway.  If you havnt done so already jump on over to the competition and enter it.  Competition will close at the end of this week.  (Friday 4th September)

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Capsule Computers : – Com2us was first established in 1998.  How many employees were employed at the time ? And how many employees are currently employed now around the world ?

Don Lim : – Com2uS was found by 3 university students including current CEO, Jiyoung Park and Executive VP and Jiyoung’s husband, Youngil Lee.  Jiyoung and Youngil were dating and another classmate, Yujin Hyeon, who were in their senior year at Korea University started the company back then now Com2uS has over 300 employees with overseas offices in US, Japan and China. Com2uS is the first company to develop mobile game in Korea and the first mobile game company to be listed in public stock market (KOSDAQ: 078340) in 2007.

 Capsule Computers : – What do you believe have been your greatest challenges designing games for the US mobile phone market ?

Don Lim : – 

The first challenge on mobile gaming in general is to provide fun gaming experience to the phone users who have been using mobile phone for making phone calls. It required a long learning curve for the users to breake the prejudice that the mobile game are dull and not fun. With each milestone of successful mobile games in Korea, we proved ourselves that mobile games are actually fun.

Although there are a lot of limitations in mobile phone to design a fun game, Com2uS has been developing high-end quality games for mobile phones in Korea, which is one of the most advanced country in the world with the most advanced handsets and network capability. Such rich environment for mobile service raised the bar on Korea users’ expectation on creative and in-depth games and we had to lift those bars with our success.

When we tried to bring our successful games from Korea to US market, the game had to be ported to low-end handsets, which then lost much of the gaming experience. Also US mobile game market was too much driven by the game brand from other game platforms and the big license games based on famous franchise and movies. Former had to We still believe mobile game should be designed for the mobile phone environment and take advantage of the phone’s capability such as network and limited screens and keypads. One of the most successful mobile game in Korea was Mini Game Pack series and it was one-button game in package of 10 mini games. We released the 4th sequel and it is reaching unprecedented 10M download.

Capsule Computers : – Com2us was selected as one of the 11 best developers for the Apple iphone.  What do you believe is the main reason why the Com2us games on the Apple iphone are such a success ?

Don Lim : – Com2us has years of experience  on how to design a fun game in mobile environment. As mentioned above, we are not designing a watered-down version of PC games or video console games, but to design an original game from scratch optimized for mobile environment. Apple iPhone was another great environment to bring our experience of successful mobile games and we could add more creativeness and ideas to iPhone games because it was much more free environment than the mobile phone.

Capsule Computers :- Currently there are a total of six iPhone games available for download from the App store. Which one do you believe is Com2us most successful iphone game and why ?.

Don Lim Currently, Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D is the most successful game because not only it was the top 5 game in the App Store recently, but also it has all the element of great iPhone game such as intuitive touch control, high-end 3D graphics,  instant onine matchup mode and game items to build up the game character and later to adopt in-game purchase business model.

Download Baseball slugger from iTunes now : Click on image below :

Capsule Computers : – Com2us currently has two fantastic Baseball games on the iPhone.

1: Baseball Slugger : Home Run Race 3D

2: 9 Innings : Pro Baseball 2009

What are the major differences between them and for what type of audience are both games marketed at.

Don Lim : – Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D is the first Online Home Run Matchup game to challenge the opponent from all around the world through any available network. It’s targeted for all casual sports fans and even who doesn’t like baseball. Anyone who wants to hit a Home Run could enjoy this game.

9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2009 is a Real Baseball Simulation game targeted for baseball fans who enjoys the gameplay and baseball strategy. With the coach system, you can hire different coaches for different strategy throughout the game, not to mention to enjoy the full 9 Innings of baseball.

Download 9 Innings ProBaseball 2009 from iTunes now : Click on image below :

Capsule Computers : – Role Playing games / MMORPG are very popular all over the world.  Com2us was first to develop Java-based and MMORPG mobile games.  Are there any plans at the moment for a RPG / MMORPG game on the iPhone.

Don Lim : – Com2us has released the first Touch Action RPG last year, Chronicles of Inotia: Legend of Feanor and it’s one of the top RPG game in App Store. We are developing its sequel targeted for Q4 2009 release.

Also, Com2uS is working on the full MMORPG targeted for early next year’s release and this game will be very interesting to all the iPhone developers and users. IMO: World of Magic is a unprecendented full mobile MMORPG for feature phone which was released 3 years ago in Korea. In 2006 BREW conference, the whole industry paid attention to our first mobile RPG with astonishment and excitement. We will bring the success of mobile MMORPG, IMO, to iPhone environment to replicate such success.

Download Chronicles Of Inotia from iTunes now : Click on image below : 

Capsule Computers : – Action Sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, Crackdown etc are very popular styles of genres.  Do you believe that games of that size and magnitude are capable of being developed on mobile phones.  If so would Com2us be the first once again to bring that style of game to the market ?

Don Lim : – Started as a mobile game developer, Com2uS is now repositioning as multi-platform game developer and publisher. We have been focusing on iPhone game and other smartphone game markets. Recent release of PC online golf game, known as Golf Star, in Korea is one of our game portfolio to develop  anything from simple games to more in-depth games. Since the borders between a mobile phones and portable gaming devices are becoming vague, it’s possible that games from different platforms could be developed on phone environment. However, game design must be changed and optimized for such environment. Watered down version with limited functions and gameplay cannot be successful game. The first touch action RPG, Chronicles of Inotia and rhythm action game, World of Tunes are the good examples of how we optimized the game to iPhone touch  UI environment.

Download World Of Tunes from iTunes now : Click on image below :

Capsule Computers : – What do you believe is the future of mobile game technology.  Which company/phone has what it takes to be the leader in this field to provide game developers the tools to create bigger and better games.

Don Lim : – Com2us has been in the forefront of adopting new technology into new games.  Mobile MMORPG and 3D graphic games are good examples that we Developer has to take advantage of the current technology to design a fun game. The one who has  ‘Platform Leadership’ will provide easy development environment for the developers and easy interface for the users. The company who can control the platform could provide the standard development environment  and tool so developers don’t need to worry about the portabilty of the game to different phones. Also they need to create an easy User Interface for the users for intuitive control and accessibility to enjoy the game.

Capsule Computers : –Will Com2us be attending this year’s Tokyo Game Show 2009 in Japan.  And if so where will you be located on the game floor.

Don Lim : – We don’t have plan to set up a booth in Tokyo Game Show but our staff from Tokyo office will attend the show. Also Com2us will be attending Gstar 2009 in Korea.

Capsule Computers : – What can players / consumers expect from Com2us moving forward.  Are there already plans or upcoming games that you are able to let your fan know about ?

Don Lim : – We are planning to release more iPhone games next year as well as other platform games such as Windows Mobile and Android. Check out our Fan Page at www.com2us.com/facebook and currently we are running CBT for our next game, Sniper Vs Sniper: Online.  Also you can follow us at www.Twitter.com/Com2uS for latest news on our games too.

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Capsule Computers would like to thank Don Lim for his time and would like to wish Com2us all the best with their future release games.  Capsule Computers will keep all its readers up to date with all the latest news in whats new at Com2Us.   Also as Don mentioned sign up to Twitter and follow Com2us with the latest updates, along with Facebook.  Finally dont forget to check out the official Com2us website as well.

Thanks for reading
Capsule Computers
www.capsulecomputers.com.au/
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