|SEOUL, South Korea and TOKYO – April 21, 2008 – WEBZEN Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN), a leading global online entertainment company, today announced that Soul of the Ultimate Nation, the epic fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has entered commercial service in Japan through a partnership with publisher GameOn.
Soul of the Ultimate Nation¡¯s commercial launch in Japan marks the fourth such release for the MMORPG, following similar launches in Korea, Taiwan and China. Open beta testing for Soul of the Ultimate Nation in Japan began on March 24 and recorded more than 10 thousand concurrent players after just two weeks in beta service. Leading into the live launch, WEBZEN and GameOn collaborated on server stabilization and final stages of localizing and updating content for the local market.
Soul of the Ultimate Nation incorporates a micropayment model popular to many Asian online games. GameOn will also be releasing Soul of the Ultimate Nation DVDs in retail, with special bonus features such as the game client and DVD-only special in-game items and micropayment points.
WEBZEN¡¯s Soul of the Ultimate Nation revenues in Taiwan and China have eclipsed earnings from Korea, the first market to see the game¡¯s commercial release. The MMORPG¡¯s momentum and success in Japan has prompted WEBZEN to look into that market for future product releases and explore the opportunities for Soul of the Ultimate Nation¡¯s entry into additional territories.
¡°Soul of the Ultimate Nation has seen a number of great upgrades and content updates since its release in Korea, and we are really proud that it is so widely enjoyed by players in China, Taiwan and Japan,¡± said Nam-Ju Kim, chief executive officer, WEBZEN Inc. ¡°We look forward to Soul of the Ultimate Nation¡¯s continued success in the global market contributing to WEBZEN¡¯s increased fiscal performance to reinforce our reputation as a leading global online entertainment company. Based on our success in Japan with games like Soul of the Ultimate Nation, we are confident that our pipeline of new services for that market will be well received.¡±