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A History of Korean Gaming

Table of Contents

Part 1

Part 2

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윈디얼 Windeal / 데니암 Deniam

Founded:

March 1989

Status:

taken over by Amuseworld (1998)

Key People:


Chairman
정광현 Jung Kwanghyun:
President

Chief of development

Website:

www.deniam.co.kr (offline)


에이엠테크 AM Tech / 어뮤즈월드 Amuse World

Founded:

January 14, 1998

Status:

defunct (around 2007)

Key People:


Chairman (1998-2002)

CEO (1998-2002)
No Chiseok:
CEO (from November 2002)
Jung Kwanghyun:
CEO (from around 2005)

Website:

www.amuseworld.co.kr (offline)


Deniam's history starts in the dark ages of Korean arcade games. It is generally accepted that Kim Jeongryul, who was to become a pivotal figure for the arcade industry during the 1990s, started a company named "Windeal" (the actual English spelling for the Korean 윈디얼 is not known, it might as well have been Windial, Windy R or something similarly sounding) in March 19891. A R&D department was formed in June 1990, in 1992 an assembly line for PCBs. In its early years the company mostly distributed European bootleg machines, but supposedly also produced their own and exported them to the same shady European companies.

In May 1994, the company was renamed to Deniam, but it didn't really establish itself in Korea until team Sonnori member Seo Kwanhee was hired and he took the whole team with him to develop their second game, Darkside Story, inside Deniam.2 Later, Deniam also imported and even localized a number of Sega ST-V games.

Deniam was finally taken over by AM Tech in 1998 (renamed to Amuse World Pia in December 1999 and finally to Amuse World in July 2000), a company in which Kim Jeongryul also had his hands in and which was run by mostly the same people, so it can be described as a de facto successor to Deniam. In 2002 Kim Jeongryul left to concentrate on another of his companies: Gravity3.

For the rest of its existence, Amuse World kept producing countless sequels to the EZ2DJ series of rhythm games, until Konami filed and won a lawsuit against the company for plagiarizing their Beatmania series in 2007. The loss cost Amuse World 11,700,000,000 Won (More than twelve million US$) and apparently put an end not only to the EZ2DJ series, but also the company itself4.

EZ2DJ should live on in spirit, though, as developer Retro Games licensed the music from AmuseWorld to create the online sequel EZ2On in 20085. The game was discontinued by the end of the next year, though.


Games

Windeal(?) games - Arcade (1990s)

Not much is known about these old titles. Five arcade titles are supposed to have been developed in pre-Deniam times and exported to Europe. Named are Splash, Sliver, Dr. Tomy and Frog6.

Splash! might or might not mean the game released by Gaelco in 1992, the release of Sliver by Hollow seems a bit late to match with the Windeal title. The only definitely identified title is Dr. Tomy, which appeared in Europe through the bootleg company Playmark. It is an adult clone of Dr. Mario where players get to undress their all-female patients while wiping out the viruses. New elements like giant viruses that jump into the tube and shuffle everything and a time limit don't do as much to make the game more exciting as the semi-nude images do.

There's only one issue with Dr. Tomy: All its credits consist of latino-sounding names that also grace many other Playmark titles. Given how shady both companies used to be, though, it is hard to determine who lied. Another title published by Playmark in Europe and Windeal in Korea is the tennis game Super Slam, a bootleg of Namco's Super World Court, which might or might not be the 5th Windeal game.

Dr. Tomy (Arcade)



Darkside Story (다크사이드스토리) - IBM PC (September 1995)

Developed by Sonnori in Deniam, this game is introduced at the Sonnori profile.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam (Sonnori)

Publisher:

SKC

Genre:

Beat-'em-Up

Theme:

Cotemporary: Urban




GoGo 퀴즈노래 Stop (GoGo Quiz Norae Stop) - Arcade (October 1995)

GoGo Quiz Norae Stop (Arcade)

A music quiz for one or two players.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Deniam

Genre:

Quiz


GoGo Quiz Norae Stop (Arcade)


Logic Pro (로직 프로) / Croquis (크로키) - Arcade (July 1996)

The cutesy variant of Picross was Deniam's first international success under the new company name. In Europe it was known as Croquis.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Deniam

Genre:

Puzzle




Karian Cross (카리안 크로스) - Arcade (April 1997)

English Flyer

Puzzle game similar to Puyo Puyo.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Deniam

Genre:

Puzzle


Karian Cross (Arcade)



복오리 (Bogori) - Arcade (May 1997)

Bogori (Arcade)

This is one of the strangest concepts ever - a lottery simulation. With the money won in the game, the player can buy virtual goods. The goal? Get filthy rich!

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Deniam

Genre:

Simulation


Bogori (Arcade)



Propose (프로포즈) - Arcade (June 1997)

Advertisement

Action puzzle game; open up the field to get a glimpse at mildly sexy anime art.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Deniam

Genre:

Puzzle


Propose (Arcade)

Propose (Arcade)



Logic Pro 2 (로직 프로 2) / Logic Pro Adventure - Arcade (July 1997), PlayStation (March 1, 2001)

The sequel to Logic Pro was ported to the PlayStation and released by Aqua Rouge exclusively in Japan.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

Aqua Rouge

Genre:

Puzzle


Logic Pro 2 (Arcade)

Logic Pro 2 (Arcade)



한국프로야구98 (Hanguk Pro Yagu 98) - Arcade (1998)

A baseball simulation developed by Deniam, but published only after the company was absorbed by Amuse World.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Deniam

Publisher:

AmuseWorld

Genre:

Sports




이지투디제이 (EZ2DJ) series - Arcade (1999-2007)

Even before Family Production's Dance Dance Diet had made its way through the publishing chain, the young publisher and distributor of coin-op machines AM Tech (soon to be known as Amuseworld) bought out the company. What once used to be one of the most versatile developers of the country was thus effectively transformed into a rhythm game update production line.

Just as obvious a clone of Beatmania as Dance Dance Diet was of DDR, EZ2DJ proved much more successful, for a while becoming the DJ game equivalent of what Andamiro's Pump It Up was in the dancing game sector, until the unfortunate lawsuit that ended it.

The team that was made up mostly of former Family Production and Deniam staff was involved in the series up until the 4th Trax update.

Quick Info:

Developer:

AmuseWorld

Publisher:

AmuseWorld

Genre:

Music


EZ2DJ (Arcade)

EZ2DJ (Arcade)



References
1. Enzoy/Neojzs: Korean Developed Game List; there are conflicting reports about the date; a report on Kim Jeongryul in Jugan Dong-A 5/22/2003, page 50-51 states the company was founded in 1985.
2. Multiwriter Blog 3/21/2008
3. Jugan Dong-A 5/22/2003, page 50-51
4. Mini Today News 7/8/2007
5. Gameshot 12/5/2007
6. AmuseWorld 5/1996, page 58


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