|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
|Native name||주식회사 네오위즈홀딩스|
|Traded as||KRX: 042420|
|Industry||Online Games, Internet, Social Networking Service|
|Founded||May 28, 1997|
|Founder(s)||Na Sung-kyun (Eric Na)|
|Headquarters||Seoul, South Korea|
|Employees||800 (Including subsidiary studios) (2007)|
NEOWIZ Holdings Corporation (Hangul: 주식회사 네오위즈홀딩스, portmanteau of Neo (Greek for new) and Wizard) is an internet and online game service company in South Korea founded in 1997. In 1998, NEOWIZ released the world’s first automatic internet access software, One Click, which helped users skip different settings for internet access through dial-ups. One Click software brought 3 million new users who were computer novices to the Internet.
NEOWIZ was founded by former Nexon employees led by Eric Sungkyun Na. They launched the first Korean SNS website, SayClub in June 1999. This service grew rapidly to 20 million registered members and 500,000 simultaneous users by 2003. NEOWIZ initiated the concept of online identity by virtual image with personalities so that users could choose their own characters. In 2000, NEOWIZ launched a service called Avatar. After the beta-service, NEOWIZ made Avatar a paid service where users would have to purchase items like cloths and hairdo of their virtual character.
In 2003, NEOWIZ began focusing heavily on online games by launching a casual game portal, Pmang. After going through some mergers and acquisitions the company currently owns various game developing studios such as Thingsoft or Pentavision.
NEOWIZ also has its own online music streaming service called JukeOn. Its service started in November 2003 as SayClub’s supplement music service and became an independent music portal in August 2004. JukeOn offers streaming services, MP3 downloads, M/V, music broadcasting, blogging and music search.
In April 2007, NEOWIZ split into 5 different companies, each dealing with a different field: NEOWIZ Games, NEOWIZ Development Studio, NEOWIZ Internet, NEOWIZ Invest and NEOWIZ INS.
NEOWIZ group has expanded its business area to various areas, including:
Neowiz Games – NEOWIZ Games is mostly in charge of publishing games, all of which can be enjoyed at the NEOWIZ game portal, Pmang. It has over 15 million accounts and 41 games available.
Neowiz Development Studio – Dealing with game development, this subsidiary of the NEOWIZ Company is developing new web-based games, in various fields, such as arcade games, RPG, casual games, etc. The most notable accomplishment is its collaboration and co-development with EA for the creation of EA Sports TM FIFA online, NBA Street and Battle Field.
Neowiz Internet – It pioneered the monetization of avatars and still runs the online community Sayclub with 23 million registered users. It also recently started ‘Neoply’, a service that will help those in the new generation of online industry who aspire to start their own business.
Neowiz Invest – It is in charge of national and overseas investments and of inducing profits from them.
Neowiz INS – It directs the NEOWIZ net café business, which comprises online distribution through net cafes.
- Eric Sung-Kyun Na - CEO and Chairman
- Kwan-Ho Choi - Director
- Jin-Hwan Park - Director
- Sang-Gyu Yoon
- SayClub – Social Networking Service
- SayCast – Internet Radio Service
- Pmang - Online Game Service
- Bugs! - Legal Music Downloading Service
- Bugs! Cast (formerly JukeOn) - Online Audio Platform
- Winner, National Customer Satisfaction Index (2009, 2010, 2011)
- Neowiz Games was one of the Great Places to Work in South Korea according to the Great Place to Work Institute (2010)