NCsoft plans European foothold

The Korean company is planning to establish a UK subsidiary to coincide with European releases of its MMOGs.

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Seoul, South Korea-based NCsoft announced today that it has big plans for an expansion into the European gaming market. The publisher of City of Heroes and publisher/developer of Lineage II will be opening a wholly owned subsidiary in London, UK with a 3.2 million pound ($6 million) investment. The opening of NCsoft Europe is timed to occur alongside the European release of the company's two massively multiplayer role-playing games by the end of 2004.

Heading up operations at NCsoft's new European branch will be European game industry veteran Geoffrey Heath. Currently chairman of Sudeki developer Climax, Heath was also associated with the foundation and operation of the European branches of Activision, Origin, and Maxis.

NCsoft is the largest game company in Korea, and the first to make such a substantial investment in the European market, where games from the small Asian nation have never sold particularly well. According to the Korean Ministry of Tourism, only two percent of the country's game exports go to Europe. NCsoft currently has operations in the US, Japan, Taiwan, China, and Thailand. The company expects its European subsidiary to be fully established by 2005.

For more information on NCsoft's views on the game industry, check out GameSpot's Q&A with company president Tack Jin Kim.

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