Anything can be done with careful planning, flexibility and a dash of luck. Paul Kim is CEO of Xfire, a company dedicated to enhancing the gaming experience by allowing players to interact with each other and with groups of friends directly in-game on multiple chat services, including Yahoo!, AIM and Google Chat. Their goal is to provide gamers with the ultimate social experience.
Paul tells us the next step for Xfire is pivoting the business from the global gaming community to competitive gaming through its fully automated platform, Battleground. May 2013 will see Instant Action on Battleground in Open Beta.
Paul considers becoming the CEO of Xfire as one of the highlights of his career. As CEO, he has been re-positioning the company to make it relevant to today’s gaming generation. This has included leveraging the assets for a viable future and re-establishing the brand on a global scale. He has done this by facing the problems with a nimble team and making maximum use of resources, creating enough progression to attract partners and investors with common goals and initiatives.
Making GoPets Fly
Paul’s career in the game industry has included leading business development for Gazillion Entertainment and for Affinity Media and the ZAM Network. He was also essential to the creation and operation of the GoPets studio in Seoul, Korea. In this, his first venture, he found great satisfaction and excitement as he identified and executed the global Messenger license for GoPets. He also found the greatest challenges of his career with GoPets, in keeping it afloat from month to month as they were trying to fund raise and release a product at the same time. This challenge included licensing GoPets territory by territory to keep the company open and ready for both fund raising discussions and release of the product. But he insists, “Anything can be done with careful planning, flexibility and a dash of luck.”
Asia’s Not New to the Video Game Business
Successful gaming started in Asia. “Asia is critical to the games industry.” according to Paul, “After all, successful gaming started here.” Overall, Asia is the largest exporter of PC online games and has the largest regions of PC online gamers. It is also at the forefront of new business models, including free-to-play, virtual currencies and hybrid models. Paul goes so far as to say, “As a region, Asia has consistently defined and re-defined the PC/Online game business for the past decade; there is no reason to expect that to change.”
Paul sees continuing challenges in the games industry as a whole in keeping up with new technologies and platforms, finding ways to keep and monetize users, and extending the life cycle. He stresses, “In our business, we meet these challenges by emphasizing creativity and being willing to change and modify what we are doing. It is also essential to find the right niche and leverage our assets and capabilities to dominate that niche.”