Signaling a growing interest in business opportunities in the interactive virtual world, KRAFTON, one of South Korea’s major game developers, quietly invested 5 billion Korean won (around US$4.2 million) in Naver Z back in July. Naver Z, under internet giant Naver, services the fast-growing Zepeto metaverse platform.
- KRAFTON told local media that its stake in Naver Z is in part of the company’s search for opportunities in the metaverse. Meanwhile, KRAFTON CFO Bae Dong-geun said at its earnings report conference call that the company is reviewing ways to broaden the gaming experience with new trends such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
- KRAFTON, formerly Bluehole, is a South Korean game development company that released a number of highly popular online and mobile games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, TERA and ELYON.
- Naver Z’s Zepeto metaverse has over 240 million users, gaining global popularity from teenagers through collaborations with fashion brands and K-pop idol groups. It recently raised about US$189 million in a series B round, with funding from SoftBank, Mirae Asset, Naver Webtoon, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment and HYBE.
- South Korea’s gaming industry is becoming more involved in blockchain-based NFTs and the metaverse. Major players in the industry such as Kakao Games, Com2uS and Netmarble have already made announcements on their new ventures that involve the booming technology — albeit, South Korea still bans blockchain-based games within the country that may encourage speculative behavior.