Japan is in the midst of a PC-gaming renaissance. Massively multiplayer online PC games are increasingly popular in the previously console-centric country, and now the audience is large enough to create a new market: selling ancillary products to MMO game providers.
Software company Technoblood, founded in Korea but now with offices in both Korea and Japan, has announced plans to target this market with an offering for MMO companies that want to leave their antihacking efforts to a specialist.
Technoblood's software is called nProtect GameGuard and will launch in Japan this week.
Originally developed in Korea by security software specialist INCA Internet, it's already in use in games like Lineage II and Sukatto Golf Pangya. When installed on a user's PC, nProtect GameGuard performs a range of antihacking and security measures including blocking auto-mouse and macro programs and blocking access to and manipulation of the game client software.
Technoblood also plans to open a Hacking Report Center this week. This new group will provide outsourced customer service, allowing MMO operators to concentrate on building their games rather than policing them.
It's particularly interesting to note the Korean connection. nProtect GameGuard, like most of Japan's most popular MMOs, comes from their neighbors across the Korea Strait (the two most popular online games in Japan are Ragnarok Online and Sukatto Golf Pangya, both from Korea).
Korea has been a hotbed of MMO development for years, leading to a Darwinian market in which only top-notch products survive. The lack of strong native competition in Japan's PC-nascent gaming market makes expansion there attractive to Korean developers and publishers--a trend toward Korean imports that could get stronger in the future, both for games and for the kind of ancillary software that Technoblood plans to introduce this week.