- Jeju Life
- Industry Trends
Dungeon&Fighter, the representative game of Neople
Online games have become a part of our daily life more than we think. So many of the terms we use so commonly in life, like aggro, racial trait, and pro, have their roots in an online game. This implies that many people enjoy online games and that the games' cultural and economic influence has become dramatic.
Online games developer Neople, established in 2001, and now entering its 21st year, is a first-generation game developer in Korea. It has launched and serviced beloved games both at home and abroad, such as Dungeon& Fighter and Cyphers. Dungeon&Fighter has reached 60,000 global sign-ups, promoting the reputation of Korean games.
"Dungeon&Fighter has been loved so much by our players. They can choose from 16 characteristic classes, level them up to have more charming features through up to 5 class upgrades, and adventure across the vast world. Also, the impactful hit effects and fancy action scenes, which are the biggest characteristics of an action game as well as the world designed with pixel images, let players feel a retro mood."
Kim Yoon-Hee, the general manager at DNF Contents Dev. Department, explained the reputation of Dungeon&Fighter, beloved in the global market including Korea, China, and Japan, regardless of the unique position of the game being 2D in the era of 3D games.
Kim Yoon-Hee, the general manager at DNF Contents Dev.
It was in June 2014 that Neople announced the relocation of their headquarters to Jeju. Most of the personnel moved to Jeju for about six months, and about 1,500 people newly settled in Jeju, including newcomers and their families.
"Game development is not confined to the environment. You just need people, computers and a network. So the most important thing is to create an environment that can spur members' creativity. Neople thought Jeju was the right place for this. Moreover, the Jeju local government's efforts to attract business have played an important role."
“In the early days of a company's relocation,
building consensus through active communication and a variety of support programs is critical.
In the long run, it is necessary to support the workplace and overall lifestyle changes,
If you set aside vague fear and look into what Jeju has to offer,
you can easily find the strengths of the island as a base of living,
not just as a tourist site.”
The belief that the natural environment and culture of Jeju will be a great stimulant for the development of games has proved correct over time. But, of course, some people have had complaints about unfamiliar surroundings like basic amenities and transportation during the initial phase of relocation.
This is why Neople began to focus on welfare. It built a residence for employees to resolve housing issues, provides financial support for yearly rent, and offers a good childcare environment better than the mainland by setting up a kindergarten right next to the company to ease employees' burden of taking care of their children. Neople also manages different systems, such as operating a shuttle bus, giving flight points, and providing complimentary meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Indeed, it imposed a heavy burden on the company, but its relocation to Jeju is seen as a positive decision.
Neople Kindergarten that relieves childcare stress of the employees
Neople’s various in-house clubs
"In the early days of a company's relocation, building consensus through active communication and a variety of support programs is critical. In the long run, it is necessary to support the workplace and overall lifestyle changes," said Kim Yoon-Hee. "If you set aside vague fear and look into what Jeju has to offer, you can easily find the strengths of the island as a base of living, not just as a tourist site."
Not everything could be happy. They lacked knowledge of life in Jeju. Websites of the Jeju-do Office and local governments provided all sorts of information for people from cities who chose to farm and fish on the island, but there was not much information for IT companies like Neople.
In addition, there were tasks of employing people and cultivating talented people from the island. The most important factor in developing games is people. Talented members with magnificent ideas enrich games, which can attract more users. Therefore, Neople has endeavoured to hire more talented members in each area. Neople Academy, jointly managed with Jeju, is the representative case.
Neople Academy runs for 6 months
Neople Academy selects around 20 people per term and offers on-site training at Neople HQ for 6 months. The biggest advantage of this program is that the company can hire people with experience, particularly those that have completed getting used to Jeju life when it is difficult to hire people on the island through large-scale open recruitment.
Six months may not be a short period, but individuals who have received hands-on training in the academy may have more in-depth work experience. "If we can work more closely with Jeju, we believe we will be able to hire more talented members," said Kim Yoon-Hee with a strong voice.
It's been 7 years since Neople relocated its headquarters to Jeju. It has been playing a significant role in carrying out various programs for co-existence, linking with the region, as well as in-house welfare, as the representative company of Jeju.
Kim Yoon-Hee, who was the father of a child when Neople relocated to Jeju, became a father of three. He commented on his life in Jeju that his return from work every day is followed by the joyful laughter of his children who welcome him.
"10 years ago, when I was writing about how my life would be in 10 years, I wrote that I would be having a precious family and working hard with my teammates. And it has come true. My biggest hope has become a reality. Now I hope to have the same life ten years later. At the same time, I will continue to focus on satisfying our players with the Dungeon&Fighter."