Always nice to see mainstream media coverage of video game industry notables, esp. outside the U.S., and there's a nice Korea Herald profile of Phantagram's Sang-youn Lee just posted which does exactly that.

The surprisingly honest piece explains what happened to Phantagram after the first Kingdom Under Fire title came out - which was pretty messy: "Through venture capital and corporate investments, the company's management was taken over by CJ, one of the country's conglomerates. The takeover did not bear fruit; instead, the company was in disarray. Then, Kim Taek-jin, CEO of NCsoft, stepped in and bought the company, but Lee revealed of that deal: "I was so naive. Kim just wanted us to help make Lineage III. He offered very good compensations including stocks to me, but I felt I was cheated. So I gave up the NCsoft stocks worth tens of billions of won and left out."

It also reveals how Phantagram came back from the dead: "When Lee walked out of NCsoft in late 2003 and tried to rebuild Phantagram which was in tatters, he had a place to depend on - Blueside. When NCsoft took over the company, there were around 200 Phantagram employees, but many of Lee's core developers quit when the company was merged into NCsoft and formed a new company, Blueside... Now, Phantagram draws up a broad blueprint for game development and directs the entire process. Blueside takes care of actual development through former Phantagram engineers. Such efficient cooperative work system has helped develop [Xbox 360 title Ninety-Nine Nights] in a short period of time, Lee said." A very neat history of the man and the company.