South Korea’s Largest Mobile-Gaming Company Makes Metaverse Play
South Korea’s largest mobile game developer, Netmarble, is planning to release games for the metaverse following the creation of its new development unit last year.
The gaming giant said it was developing a sequel to its monopoly-styled board game titled “Everybody’s Marble: Metaworld” under its subsidiary Netmarble F&C, according to a report by the Korea Herald last week. The new game is part of the company’s broader pivot into the virtual world.
Metaverse Entertainment — Netmarble’s metaverse development arm — was set up in August of last year as part of the company’s push to explore opportunities within the new virtual medium.
Netmarble’s metaverse game will feature all the trimmings of what game enthusiasts have come to expect from a title based on the virtual world including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital avatars as well as the capability to buy and sell virtual land plots.
The international version is expected to be set up under a “play-to-earn” model allowing users to earn virtual currency for real money, per the report. Pay-to-earn games are currently banned in South Korea and as such its domestic version will only feature NFTs.
“We plan to develop metaverse games that allow users, either individuals or companies, to gain virtual assets that can be exchanged for real assets such as currency through blockchain technology,” said Netmarble Chairman Bang Jun-hyuck as cited in the report.
Bang also added that Netmarble plans to follow up on Metaverse Entertainment’s original idea of introducing consumers to its Metahuman virtual female idols later this year.
Netmarble is South Korea’s largest mobile-gaming company by total revenue and clocked around KRW 607 billion (USD$506.2 million) for Q3, 2021. The company has produced iconic mobile game titles including MARVEL Future Revolution and Lineage 2: Revolution with downloads reaching into the hundreds of millions.
The company also plans to leverage its overseas dominance where 70% of its revenue is derived from.
“With the new CEO of Netmarble global business, Lee Seung-won, the company plans to target the Western market, in particular, by attending to the needs of local users and acquiring local game studios,” Bang said.
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