Our iPhone Dev interview series continues this week, with South Korean Developer, Mr. Kim Young-seek from NextApps. He is the creator of one of Korea’s most successful iPhone games, Booooly!, and a respected figure in the Korean App Developing Community being featured in many newspapers, magazines and TV Programs. If you haven’t heard of him, well, that’s what we’re here for!
1. Please tell me about yourself and your company.
In 2009, I was developing a rhythm action game called Beatrider, and that is when I heard about developing iPhone apps. So in October of 2009 is when I founded NextApps, a smartphone app development company, and we started with 3 employees. That is when I developed the puzzle game, “Booooly!” and I also have developed an appfor Korea’s second largest Telecommunication Company, KT. It was an app called Lunchbox for KT’s Music Service here in Korea. We are a leading company in Smartphone App Industry, and I hope that we will continue to grow.
2. How did you become a developer?
About 20 years ago, in Middle School, is when I started to use an Apple Computer. I fell in love with Apple Computers and games but instead of playing them I wanted to develop them so that’s how I started.
3. You developed a very popular game, Booooly. Could you tell us about it, and how you came about creating it.
I wanted to create a game that everyone could enjoy and that is when I thought about creating a puzzle game. Creating a new puzzle game was a very difficult experience and I struggled over it for a long time, but that is when I thought about the concept of Booooly. So while I was developing it, I thought about what the Player wanted, great animation, high replayability, ease of use and addictive gameplay and designed my game around that foundation.
4. With over 200k apps in the Appstore, how did you promote your app and make it successful?
Because there are so many similar, fun and different games in the Appstore it is really competitive and was very difficult. But I think that the most important thing is to make a great app in the beginning. Secondly, word of mouth is also very important so I went about telling as many people as I could.
5. What kind of projects would you like to do in the future?
I want to continue using SNS and Augmented Reality in the Satellite News Gathering Industry and I am also thinking about doing something education related.
6. Could you tell us about Korean Game Industry?
The online game industry in Korea is one of the biggest in the world. But in other areas, such as Console games and Smartphone games it is still in it’s infant stage but slowly growing. The Korean Market will continue to grow and as it develops more Koreans will become interested in these other markets. I think that this is not too far away and I believe that we should start seeing some great results very shortly.
7. What is happening with the iPhone in Korea?
In Korea, from the beginning of 2000, the Internet has grown at a tremendous pace and has spread into all facets of our society. The Smartphone age has created a similar effect and the iPhone is at the center of it. While there were Smartphone’s before Apple, they didn’t really create a revolution like what we have seen with the iPhone.
(note: iPhone was just released in Korea in December of 2009, in just 6 months, Korea Telecom has sold 700,000 iPhone’s)
8. Could you tell us what is happening with app developers in Korea?
Many Korean developers have been working with companies producing some really innovative things. But with the arrival of the iPhone, many of these developers have been given an opportunity to use their creative minds to develop apps. There have already been Developers who have had difficult experiences and has faced disappointment with their apps but I think that this is still a good chance for them because there hasn’t been an opportunity like this before.
9. You have been doing many seminars and presentations in Korea, could you tell us about that?
Every month I have been doing 1-2 seminars or presentations about the iPhone, Developing and Marketing and have done about 3-4 interviews with the major Broadcasters in Korea (KBS, MBC, SBS) about my experiences developing for the iPhone. They have also used my app as the background for successful stories in developing for the iPhone.
10. Do you think Korean apps can be successful in the US iTunes Market? If you think so, what is the reason?
Korean Developers are really innovative and creative. We have already seen many successful cases in the Korean online game industry. If they make some great apps in conjunction with an appropriate marketing strategy than I hope in the near future, that we should see some more successful cases.
11. Do you have any final words to any developers who want to create a successful app?
Making a great app is the most important yet a basic foundation. It is also important that they should also have an appropriate marketing strategy. Also, I think that it’s important to have a partner. That way you can split the work and I think that is better than doing everything by yourself. I think those are the ways to achieve some good results for your app
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