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Old 10-13-2009, 12:43 AM   #1
Yellow Glove Drifter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 31

Default "[W]hen the market is ready" says Min Kim

Kart Rider is officially in limbo...

The important part about Kart Rider from the story linked:

Not everthing has been rosy for Nexon in North America. The company put its game Kart Rider into beta in the U.S., but elected not to launch the game after that period. Kim says that it wasn't because the beta went poorly. "People feel like the beta failed and that's why we didn't launch it, but it's more complicated than that. The U.S. didn't really have the market yet," says Kim, for a truly casual online game.

"We went on a silent path with Kart Rider," says Kim. "I think one of our mistakes was the perception [created by the decision to] not talk about it. People assumed Kart Rider was not successful; that was not the case at all. The numbers were looking really good. What we saw... was that the market was pretty small."

Years of audience evolution in Korea, with casual web games, and MMO games in parallel had created a sizable audience ready for Kart Rider, but North America's audience was too small, says Kim. "Korea had evolved through years of building a more casual market. [In North America] Kart Rider would have been the first game to meet the audience, and we felt that it would have been a waste of what Kart Rider was." Kim said that the launch will come "when the market is ready."

Nexon also founded a studio called Humanature in Vancouver, but shut it down this year. The studio's Klei co-produced game, Sugar Rush, was shaping up, says Kim, but the 2009 "economic shift of the market last year scared the crap out of us." However, Kim believes in the viability of domestic development in North America.
There are a couple of stories that mention Kart Rider on Google News today, but they say about the same thing. Kart Rider has been shelved. The release date is unknown. We have our answer.
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