100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2016-2017 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

XLGames Co.

CEO Jake Song

South Korea
Message to young people
If you fail when you are young, it will not hurt you. It won't have any ill effects. I hope you will try to do many things. You can do it again if you fail.

I grew up in an ordinary family. I dreamed of becoming a scientist. When I was a junior high school student, I had the chance to play around with an 8-bit computer for the first time. I was impressed by the power of computers. Tasks that could be performed by 8-bit computers were limited, but I enjoyed playing with games and programming. When I was a senior high school student, I studied hard to pass the exams for entering college, but I did play with computers from time to time. I entered a university for electronic engineering and learned how to write computer programs, then went on to graduate school after that.

I left school after the second year of my doctorate course and found a job, but I was always dreaming about producing video games. I decided to launch a company with one of my classmates at the university. When we were at the university, we used to joke with one another, saying “Why don’t we start a software company just like Bill Gates?”

After developing game software and launching it in the United States, I left NC Soft in 2003 and launched XLGames. To be honest, when I launched XLGames, I wasn't really conscious of it as work. I just preferred hanging out with friends at the office to staying with my family because they sometimes got angry with me.

As I had been making games involving complex programs until then, I wanted to develop smaller, lighter products with a high operating speeds. I had initially gathered friends to a build a lighter game model, but since we all happened to be into cars, we decided to develop a car racing game. This proved to be much more difficult than we thought and we consumed a lot of our time. The final product was not a commercial success, but we were satisfied with the results.

We entered into a publishing contract with a Japanese company called GameOn some time ago. Online games have yet to be massively popular in Japan, but we're hoping to develop a good game that can be a hit in the Japanese market. We are now working on the program X2. I hope that we will be able to continue to release quality games that are better than the existing MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) so that our company will develop into a wonderful business.

Company Profile

XLGames Co.
South Korea
Development of online games and publishing