South Korea’s Largest Mobile Gaming Company Makes Metaverse Play

Netmarble said it will develop its first metaverse game following the establishment of a development arm in August

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Source: Blockworks

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key takeaways

  • Mobile-gaming giant Netmarble wants to develop a metaverse sequal to its existing board game “Everybody’s Marble”
  • The move is part of the company’s push into the nascent virtual medium as it plans to add blockchain capabilities to some of its existing titles

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 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. Play-to-earn games are currently banned in South Korea, and, as such, Netmarble’s 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-hyuk, 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 ($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 it derives 70% of its revenue.

“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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