The Korea Herald

ssg
피터빈트

Hybe announces foray into game biz

From game development to publishing, Hybe's comprehensive game biz is on the horizon

By Lee Seung-ku

Published : Nov. 20, 2022 - 12:48

    • Link copied

Hybe chairman Bang Si-hyuk speaks Saturday to reporters at a press conference held on the sidelines of gaming exhibition G-Star, in BEXCO, Busan. (Yonhap) Hybe chairman Bang Si-hyuk speaks Saturday to reporters at a press conference held on the sidelines of gaming exhibition G-Star, in BEXCO, Busan. (Yonhap)

Hybe, the multi-label K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, is set to accelerate its game business by investing in local game developer Flint.

Hybe Chairman Bang Si-hyuk said Saturday, during a press conference held on the sidelines of South Korea’s largest annual gaming exhibition G-Star, that the company’s game-to-metaverse subsidiary Hybe IM will service Flint’s newly launched mobile game Dragon Blaze 2: Knights of Veda.

Hybe had signed an investment agreement earlier with Flint in which it acquired an undisclosed amount of the game developer's shares.

“Gaming is a very attractive form of content which compactly holds all of the factors of entertainment,” said Bang. “Through the game business, Hybe will be able to provide its customers with a newer, more fun and more diverse pass-time.”

“Hybe’s game business will evolve in Hybe’s own unique way, fusing with its other projects, and strengthening the value of the entertainment business,” he added. “We will achieve innovation in the game business, just as we have in the music biz.”

Bang said he saw great potential in South Korea’s game market, but was aware of the challenges the company would face in tackling the global audience.

“The successful servicing of a self-developed game, and the fact that Hybe has forayed into the publishing business, shows that Hybe, as a comprehensive entertainment corporation, is kicking off its gaming business,” Hybe Chief Executive Officer Park Ji-won said.

From left: Hybe Chairman Bang Si-hyuk, Flint CEO Kim Young-mo, Hybe IM CEO Jeong Woo-yong, Hybe CEO Park Ji-won pose for a picture on Saturday after speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Busan. (Yonhap) From left: Hybe Chairman Bang Si-hyuk, Flint CEO Kim Young-mo, Hybe IM CEO Jeong Woo-yong, Hybe CEO Park Ji-won pose for a picture on Saturday after speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Busan. (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, Hybe also gave a sneak peek of its future game-launch plans.

“Although Hybe’s artist IPs are important properties (of the company), we will try to showcase games that do not use them,” said Hybe IM CEO Jeong Woo-yong. “We are currently developing one new game that is based on artists and music, and we are planning to launch two new Macovill games next year.” Hybe IM had signed in September to publish local game developer Macovill’s games.

Concerning the use of blockchain technology in its games, Bang and Park said there were no concrete plans at the moment.

“We have set up an internal group to discuss such (blockchain) issues, but we are still on the level of tackling more fundamental concerns, as the market situation is unfavorable,” Park said.

Hybe IM was established in March amid Hybe’s efforts to diversify its business area. It has released two casual games since, called “Rhythm Hybe,” and “BTS Island: In the SEOM.”

BTS members participated in the development of the latter, which recorded 6.8 million registered users.