Envisioning a Bright Future for Gaming on Public Entertainment TV! We … 2020-10-30

Smilegate Marketing Membership provides college students who are passionate about Smilegate and its IP business with opportunities to participate in PR/Marketing content. The program provides marketing experience, mentoring from staff members, professional lectures on the industry, activity funds, and an internship opportunity to those with excellent performance. 


KBS “We Can Game”, a supported production by WCG, successfully completed its first broadcast on the 9th. “We Can Game” is a new type of game entertainment program by KBS, featuring legendary soccer players Ahn Jung-hwan and Lee Eul-yong preparing for the WCG competition in part 1. Part 2 features former baseball player Hong Sung-heun and rapper Din Din enjoying games with their families. The program shows diverse generations enjoying gaming and e-sports in this Untact era. WCG, a beloved global e-sports festival launched in 2000, successfully completed its preliminary round to select players to compete in the “WCG 2020 CONNECTED Grand Final”, to be held next month. 

| e-sports at the stature of traditional sports

We Can Game part 1 shows the infinite potential of e-sports through the “e-soccer” game. Korean soccer legends Ahn Jung-hwan and Lee Eul-yong train to participate in the World e-sports competition (WCG) by playing FIFA Online 4. Viewers enjoyed as they watched the two players playing as themselves become frustrated playing the game. Additionally, Lee Eul-yong communicating with his two sons in the game showed that e-sports can be a part of play culture. The raised stature of e-sports has many people curious about the public entertainment TV program. 

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<Ahn Jun-hwan and Lee Eul-yong practicing (left), WCG e-sports competition application form (right) (Source: KBS2 “We Can Game”)>

After COVID-19, numerous professional sports leagues were suspended for a while. e-sports was the only league that operated normally at this time when almost all sports athletes could only focus on training (e-sports refers to events where participants compete through game content). The reason that the stature of e-sports became comparable to that of traditional sports is because it expanded worldwide through smartphones and online streaming, making it a valuable marketing tool in the sports market during COVID-19. When you look at LCK’s SKT T1, a domestic league for the popular game League of Legends, multinational company sponsorships such as BMW, NIKE, TWITCH, LOGITECH, and SAMSUNG can be seen. Smilegate’s flagship e-sports competition “CFS Invitational Egypt 2019” for CROSSFIRE was also sponsored by Egypt’s biggest telecommunication company, Telecom Egypt (WE). In this way, e-sports is rising in stature regarding marketing in replacement of traditional sports.

| Games as a tool to bridge the gap between different generations

We Can Game part 2, “Real Family Arcade”, shows former baseball player Hong Sung-heun and rapper Din Din going on a game adventure with their families. The recent episode of Hong Sung-heun’s family shows that games can be a tool to bridge the gap between generations. They had time to build teamwork, communicate, and understand each other through games like Tales Runner, Cart Rider, and Anipang. It was also interesting to see their rooms decorated like PC rooms. 

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<Hong Sung-heun’s wife and son playing Anipang 4 (top), Hong Sung-heun and his wife (bottom) (Source: KBS2 “We Can Game”)>

Previously, games have been portrayed as having a negative impact in the media. To break this bias, part 2 "Real Family Arcade" shows families working toward a common goal. This process allows games to be established as a family activity and bridging factor. Games are a means of making relationships deeper and stronger. The joy from cooperative gameplay can be translated offline to integrate different generations. 

| 2020 Online Family Arcade (Online Family Arcade psychological test)

We prepared the “Online Family Arcade psychological test” to recommend games that fit your family. Try answering the questions and follow the arrows to see what game fits your family.

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Type A – Epic SevenA mobile turn-based RPG game with exciting speed, strategy, excellent illustrations, and spectacular skill effects. Recommended for people who have no resistance to subculture.

Type B – AnipangA mobile puzzle game where families can compete. Its cute graphics and easy difficulty make it enjoyable for the whole family. You can also express love for your family by sending hearts.

Type C – Tales RunnerA racing game that has been serviced since 2005. It is a game with a long history and recommended for bringing generations together.

Type D – Lost ArkA MMORPG game featuring a huge world, hack and slash style battles, and plentiful content. It has spectacular graphics and high difficulty, making it perfect for those who like action games.


| Our games have changed

The spread of PCs and the Internet along with PC rooms in the 1990s quickly made games the center of play culture. However, society portrayed games negatively as students had to study and compete in our society in order to be successful. The "game=addiction” concept was established in most homes and considered games as a point of conflict. However, games never stopped developing. Under the name "e-sports", numerous professional leagues were created and professional gamers appeared. Global game festivals like WCG, which started in 2000, and several professional leagues kicked off with Starcraft in Korea. The market grew quickly as corporations sponsored these events and leagues. However, games were still only enjoyed by enthusiasts who visited PC rooms frequently. 

The introduction of smartphones and online streaming created another boom for gaming. Anyone could play games on their smartphone anytime, anywhere. This marked a new era for games. People could now enjoy creators' content and e-sports through platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and AfreecaTV.

“We Can Game” is significant because it is featured on KBS public broadcast. Games are now a part of play culture and a tool for communication for families. COVID-19 has further accelerated the growth of games. Games are now considered popular culture along with music, movies, and sports.

Gaming is both culture and an industry. According to the Ministry of Culture, content industry exports in 2018 amounted to about 10.5 trillion won, with games accounting for 68 percent, which is 11.5 times the amount from music. Games like CROSSFIRE and Battleground are a part of K-culture. Games create employment which positively affects the national economy. Game IPs such as CROSSFIRE have expanded into movies, dramas, and even theme parks. Such expansions can serve as stepping stones to lead the high-value content market. In these ways, games have changed and hold many more opportunities in the future.

Author: 5th Smilegate Marketing Membership Journalists

* This content is contributed by Smilegate Marketing Membership participants, which may differ in the direction of editing from the Smilegate Newsroom.




WCG is a global e-sports festival which aims to help resolve conflicts through joy and create a better world. WCG hopes to become a festival for everyone to enjoy through diverse content and be known as a global festival of harmony. WCG was held every year since 2000 to 2013 and successfully hosted the global e-sports festival WCG 2019 Xi'an in China. This year, WCG 2020 CONNECTED will host an evolved e-sports festival by providing Korean and Chinese commentary simultaneously, strengthening online communication with its real-time viewers. 

*WCG website: http://www.wcg.com

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