Where did Maplestory get its name from

KBS WORLD

South Korea's annual trade volume exceeded $ 700 billion this year. This will likely move South Korea to 11th place in the world. Last year the trade volume was around 600 billion dollars, this year a volume of around 710 billion dollars is expected, which will be generated by the end of the year from 360 billion dollars from the export and 350 billion dollars from the import business. Where does the energy come from that make such success numbers possible in such difficult times? In addition, Dr. Shin Seung-kwan from South Korea's International Trade Association:

“The aggregate figures for October this year show a little more than $ 300 billion in exports and around $ 290 billion in imports. Together, the trading volume of this year calculated up to October amounts to approx. 590 billion dollars. If everything goes like this by the end of the year, the total annual trade figures can be extrapolated to $ 370 billion in exports and $ 350 billion in imports. That would add up to a total of $ 720 billion. In 1964 the annual export volume was just $ 100 million, and in 1971 it was $ 1 billion. Today, South Korea's export trade volume has grown so high that we can export $ 1 billion in just one day. "

When the Republic of Korea was established in 1948, we were somewhere around the hundredth place in the global ranking in terms of trade volume. But just six decades later, South Korea is about to cross the $ 700 billion mark. There are only ten states that trade more than $ 700 billion - the US, Germany, Japan, and China, to name a few. Except for China, which has a population of around 1.3 billion people, all of these states have per capita incomes of more than $ 30,000. If one draws back logically, that means that South Korea will also be able to achieve a per capita income of $ 30,000. These results and prospects are a remarkable finding when you consider that South Korea is a very small country, the territory of which is only 0.07% of the total sovereign territories in the world. What is the secret of this success?

“South Korea has had to grapple with numerous problems this year. The exchange rate fell sharply and oil prices have risen sharply. In addition, China and other developing countries have narrowed their economic gap with South Korea, while Japan, the United States, Germany and other industrialized countries have increased their gap. The situation has developed to such an extent that South Korea has already been referred to as a “sandwich nation”. In this respect, it is very significant that the balance sheets read so well this year. South Korea's success can be attributed to the improved brand strength of South Korean goods and relentless efforts to enter new markets. For example, South Korea's strongest sectors, such as the automotive and shipbuilding industries, have worked hard to upgrade products and brand images. That helped a lot to boost exports. Furthermore, we have focused on markets in developing countries that have high economic growth rates. "

This year the won-dollar exchange rate has fallen to as low as 900.7 won per dollar. This is the lowest switching rate since October 31, 1997. This has had a very negative impact on export profitability, not to mention the problems for manufacturing companies associated with high oil prices. Times were tough, but South Korean companies continued to produce high quality products and find their way into developing markets. As a result, South Korean exporters were able to sell goods worth $ 15.6 billion - 35% more than last year - in the so-called PoST-VM market, which means Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Vietnam and Malaysia. South Korea's exports to OPEC countries have also increased by 50%. China is still South Korea's largest export market. But Dr. Shin Seung-kwan warns of excessive dependence on China.

“Despite the rosy figures, there are some problems to complain about. First, South Korea is too dependent on China. Exports to China account for no less than 22% of South Korea's total export volume. Another problem is that while South Korea's trade balance is positive, most of it comes from doing business with China. For example, the balance of trade shows a surplus of $ 14 billion by October, but if the surplus of $ 15.5 billion that we have in trade with China were gone, we would be in a deficit of $ 1.5 billion. There is also the problem that we have excessive trade deficits with Japan. We expect the worst ever trade balance with Japan this year, which will be around $ 300 billion. South Korea's exports to the USA and Japan are stagnating, which will mean a smaller market share in the states. "

South Korea has had terrific trading results this year, but not all prospects are bright. On the one hand, South Korea has to deal with the problems that it is too dependent on the Chinese market, that it has trade deficits with Japan and that profits are falling because the South Korean won is appreciating. Korea needs to take countermeasures because it has far-reaching plans for the future, to reach $ 1 trillion in annual trade by 2010. This begs the question of whether Korea can achieve such an ambitious goal in just three years.

“If South Korea maintains the double-digit growth rates in trade, let's say 10 or 11%, then we can definitely exceed the 1 trillion mark by 2010. Obviously, it won't be easy because South Korea's trade has focused more on quantity than quality. That is why we need a new strategy from now on, one that is more quality-oriented. In this respect, there should be more investment in research and development and small companies that specialize in partial materials should be promoted. This will take some time, but the component materials need our attention because that could be the solution to reducing South Korea's trade deficits with Japan. Another possible measure would be to implement free trade agreements with the EU, China and other states in order to enable free trade. "

There are only five countries that have made $ 1 trillion in trade: the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. It took these superpowers around five years to go from $ 700 billion in trade to $ 1 trillion in trade. South Korea intends to do this in just three years. This may sound like an overstatement, but if businesses, government and people work together as they have done before, it doesn't have to remain a dream.

Nexon is South Korea's top computer game development company. Since Nexon launched the world's first online graphic game, Nation of the Wind, in 1996, the company has produced a wide variety of fun and exciting games. The game "Kart Rider" was a national success and the game "B´n´B" set a record of 700,000 players playing online at the same time. But the latest hit is the game "Maple Story", with which Nexon now also wants to reach the international gaming community. Recently, Nexon launched the service for the game in Hong Kong. We spoke to Mr. Ryu In-seon, who is responsible for Nexon's international services.

“The service for the game Maple Story started in Hong Kong on November 1st with the beta version. Now the regular version is on the market. Maple Story was very successful in South Korea, which encouraged us to try it in the international market as well. We have now already started service in Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. We started our English service in October 2005 in the USA and Canada. On April 12th we started our services in 49 European countries. To date, 76 million users in 58 states have enjoyed our Maple Story game. "

Maple Story has cast a spell over the Hong Kong gaming community, so the Yahoo! Hong Kong “Maple Story is the most searched word. The game is practically a worldwide entertainment offering. People are particularly enthusiastic in Taiwan. No less than six million people, or 26% of the population of Taiwan, play Maple Story. Last March, the US weekly Business Week published an article about the game. It described how Maple Story started a new trend in the game market. With Maple Story, Nexus has proven that online games have immense potential for success in the global marketplace. This begs the question of what is behind this success.

“Basically, Maple Story is very easy to play. When we first launched Maple Story in western states, users were surprised that such a high quality game could be played for free. Until then, you always had to pay to play. We also provide the market with constant updates and characteristics tailored to each country. For example, we brought in components for the Chinese market that have to do with the Chinese classics. That was very well received by our Chinese players. "



Maple Story is a very easy game to play and you don't have to study long manuals. All you have to do is choose a character from the game world, for example a chief or an archer. And then you can set out to hunt monsters. You can choose cute, non-violent characters and the basic version of the game is free. Players only have to pay for higher versions. Maple Story has also massively expanded its online multiplayer player base by giving them various settings and timelines. For these reasons, Maple Story long outlived many other games after it launched in April 2003. The game's popularity has expanded beyond the pure game horizon. Now you can buy the figures as dolls in shops, books appear and animated films are also produced.

“With Maple Story we are pursuing the concept of“ one source, many uses ”. The animated version of Maple Story is broadcast on six Japanese television and cable channels. In North America, we launched a Maple Story card game in early November. Maple Story is more than a game. We're trying to produce different types of content, all based on Maple Story, because we want to become a pop culture icon that can appeal to even more people. "



Nexon has turned the game Maple Story into a whole series of other projects, all of which are developing very successfully. There are no fewer than around 700 different types of Maple Story related products on the market. The Maple Story comic books, released in 2004, have sold 8.5 million copies to date. The Maple Story TV series ranks eighth in Japan. Maple Story has actually become a pop culture icon. But Nexon is not resting on its laurels, but is already working on other projects.

“We presented a number of other games at G-Star 2007, the largest game exhibition in South Korea. These include Crazy Shooting Bubble Fighters, Trash Busters, Mabinogi, Husky Express, Xbox360 Mabinogi and Counterstrike Online. For Counterstrike Online we have already signed a contract with China's Gamania, and negotiations for the rest of the games are ongoing. "

If you would like to find out more about the game development company Nexon, you can do so at the Internet address: www.nexon.com.

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