Korean game companies diversify genres beyond MMORPGs

2023.09.07 13:49:01 | 2023.09.07 14:12:36

“LIES OF P.” [Courtesy of Neowiz]이미지 확대

“LIES OF P.” [Courtesy of Neowiz]



South Korean game companies are shifting away from the conventional model of mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and exploring genre diversification in September.

According to industry sources on Thursday, leading game companies including Netmarble, Nexon, NCSOFT, Webzen, and Com2uS Holdings have confirmed their release schedules for new games set to debut in September.

September is when the companies have traditionally announced new games.

Netmarble recently launched the idle role-playing game (RPG) titled “Seven Knights Idle Adventure.” Based on the company’s intellectual property (IP) Seven Knights, the game offers easy controls and a unique feature where characters continue to grow even when the player is not actively engaged.

Idle games have typically been the domain of smaller and newer game companies. But with titles such as “AFK Arena” and “Pixel Heroes” seeing market success on a global scale, larger game companies like Netmarble are now venturing into this genre. “Seven Knights Idle Adventure” quickly rose to the top of the popularity charts on South Korea’s Apple App Store and was third in revenue rankings shortly after its launch.

Another major game company, Webzen, is set to release “Ragnador,” an RPG for subculture collection developed by the Japanese game company Grams, on Thursday. “Ragnador,” which gained popularity after its initial release in the Japanese market in 2021, marks Webzen’s first publishing game in 2023. The game features a unique storyline where the protagonist, siding with creatures from the supernatural world, defends their universe against invading humans. Webzen, which has traditionally focused on MMORPGs like “MU” and “R2,” is now emphasizing genre diversification with titles like “Project W,” a subculture mobile RPG, and “REMORSE: INFESTED KINGDOM,” a strategy RPG.

Com2uS Holdings will launch its new mobile game “Heir of Light: Eclipse” on September 13. The title, which previously debuted in the Canadian and Indonesian markets and received positive feedback, is a collection RPG with high-quality 2D illustrations. It offers gameplay that is simpler compared to its 3D predecessor, “Heir of Light,” while still maintaining a high level of strategic depth.

Neowiz will release “LIES OF P,” a PC and console action game that reimagines the classic fairytale of Pinocchio, in global markets on September 19. It garnered attention from North American and European gamers by winning three awards at the 2022 Gamescom held in Germany. This also marks a rare occasion for South Korea’s game industry, which has predominantly focused on PC online and mobile games, to venture into the console platform.

NCSOFT, best known for its “Lineage” series, will release the mobile puzzle game “PUZZUP AMITOI” on September 26. This game revolves around the character AMITOI, set to appear in the upcoming December release “Throne and Liberty.” It adds a strategic and distinctive twist to the popular match-3 puzzle game genre by incorporating directional blocks controlled by arrow keys.

By Pulse

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