South Korea-based entertainment giant HYBE is expanding into the gaming industry by acquiring a stake in Flint, maker of the popular game Dragon Blaze, the parent company of BTS’s BIGHIT MUSIC.
The news was received by many media outlets, including The Korea Times in reference to a press conference held as part of the G-STAR game show at the BEXCO convention center in Busan on Saturday (November 19).
The financial terms of the deal, including the size of the stake, were not disclosed.
The investment comes as HYBE bets on the gaming business, pushing into the metaverse and visual entertainment. HYBE has a division called HYBE IM (Interactive Media), which conducts “preemptive technology research” in games, the metaverse, artificial intelligence, and more.
The Korea Times notes that HYBE bought a stake in Superb, a music game developer, in 2019.
HYBE said it will add a game development and distribution division in addition to its existing role as a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management and concert production firm, and music publisher.
“We’re going to innovate in the gaming business just like we did in the music business.”
Bang Si-hyuk, HYBE
HYBE Chairman Bang Si-hyuk said, “A game is a very attractive form of content that compactly incorporates all the factors of entertainment.” Korea Herald adding, “We’re going to innovate in the game business just like we did in the music business.”
“Through the gaming business, HYBE will be able to offer its customers a newer, more fun and more diverse time,” the executive added.
According to company executives, the games to be developed under HYBE’s new gaming division will not necessarily use artists’ IP.
“Although Hybe’s artist IPs are important features (of the company), we will try to showcase games that do not use them,” HYBE IM CEO Jeong Woo-young was quoted as saying by the Korea Herald.
Meanwhile, HYBE CEO Park Ji-won also expressed optimism about the company’s new venture, saying, “The successful service of a self-developed game and HYBE’s entry into the publishing business shows that HYBE is comprehensive. entertainment corporation enters gaming business.”
Park hinted that HYBE’s game division will be integrated with the company’s other projects, saying the company is currently developing a new game based on artists and music, and reiterated the company’s plan to launch two new games with local game developer Macovill in 2023.
HYBE first announced in September that two Macovill games were planned in partnership with HYBE IM and the developer. Games include Project OZ (a fantasy collection RPG) and Project B (a strategy simulation RPG). MMO Culturewill share the same vision with a long-term IP goal.
The company has not yet announced whether it will use blockchain technology in its games Korea Herald.
“We have established an internal group to discuss such (blockchain) issues, but we are still at the level of addressing more fundamental concerns as the market situation is unfavorable,” Park said.
The plan marks HYBE’s latest foray into the gaming industry after previously launching two games under its HYBE IM division: “Rhythm HYBE” and “BTS Island: In SEOM.”
BTS Island has amassed 6.8 million registered users to date, and BTS members are said to be involved in the development of the game.
The news also comes as Park recently reassured investors that the company has other revenue and growth drivers after its biggest earner, BTS, took a career break to begin mandatory military service in their home country.
HYBE’s plans include expanding into at least four new markets in 2023, including Japan and the United States, where it plans to focus on cultivating artists as K-pop artists are created.
Today’s news marks a future collaboration between K-Pop and the gaming industry.
South Korean game publisher Com2uS recently bought 4.2% of K-pop company SM Entertainment for an undisclosed sum. The investment will support the game publisher’s metaverse efforts as the entertainment agency that represents Super JUNIOR, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, KANGTA, BoA, TVXQ!, NCT and aespa has a broad intellectual property portfolio.Music business in the world