The 2006 Korea Game Awards was one of those rare occasions when the “backstage forces” of the game industry got the spotlight ― where game developers washed their hair and crawled out of their cubbies to stand on stage alongside celebrity commentators.
Hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the game awards ceremony took place on Monday evening with performances by Korean pop singers including Brown Eyed Girls and Kim Hyun-jeong.
Granado Espada, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (Mmorpg) developed by IMC Games, was selected as the “overall best game of the year,” winning the President’s Award.
The game beat 41 other candidates competing in five different categories ― online, PC and video, mobile, technical, and commercial. Granado Espada also received an award for technical creativity in the visual graphics sector.
The online game Zera, which took Nexon three years to develop, received the Prime Minister’s Award. In the online game division, the first-person shooting game Sudden Attack received the top award, as well as an award for the “most popular” game. Sudden Attack did not receive good marks among the judges, but received extremely favorable votes from reporters and game players, who were able to participate through mobile votes ― both groups’ opinions accounted for 30 percent of the final decision.
The judges, however, pointed out in their comments that they were a bit disappointed in the games this year, saying that developers “made a lot of creative efforts but made no notable progress.”
They noted that they selected Granado Espada because its style was very different from other massive multiplayer online role-playing games, the publishers rushed to begin service for the game, which resulted in operational problems.
“That was why the game was unable to garner a lot of players,” the judges said.
The judges also praised the fact that many games had excellent soundtracks, but expressed regret that those soundtracks were not created by Koreans. “Increasing the budget for soundtracks and the usage of full orchestras in games such as SUN, Granado Espada, and R2 helped enhance the game experience and raise the quality of the game, but most of the music was composed and created by foreigners,” the judges said.
In particular, SUN was acknowledged for its special effects sounds ― especially each of the different sounds that the weapons made.
The awards ceremony was not just for games. Lee Yun-yeol, a professional game player for Pantech’s EX team, also received an award as the best gamer of the year.
by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily