• Business


2 minute read
Mingi Hyun/Seoul

College sweethearts Park Ji Young and Lee Young Il bonded over video games. She liked Warcraft; he was crazy about Masters of Magic. Together they spent hours sharing joysticks in their dorm rooms at Korea University in Seoul in the early 1990s. They married and in 1996 gave birth to Com2uS, South Korea’s most successful maker of video games for mobile phones and one of the largest such firms in the world. The company sells more than 30 games, like finger-wrenching City Racer and Com2uS Bowling, to mobile operators including Vodafone, Orange, AT&T Wireless, China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo.

Park, 28, is Com2uS’s chief executive; Lee, 29, is chief technology officer. It’s unusual in a male-dominated culture to have a female boss, but there’s a practical explanation. When they created Com2uS, they realized that Park, as a woman, wouldn’t have to perform military service.

Today the company has some 60 employees, and it was Park who guided Com2uS to success, shifting from supplying Internet content to producing video games for cell phones. “I wanted to be the first to do something, succeed at it and, ultimately, dominate,” she says. And dominate she does. Revenue reached a target of $4.2 million in the first half, Park says, and she expects sales to rocket up 650% this year. An IPO is planned for 2004.

Meanwhile, the couple seem to have found a formula for harmony. “We’ve recently been playing computer games, just like when we were dating,” says Park. “It has helped soothe things at home.” And they can save their fire for the competition. –By Mingi Hyun/Seoul

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