Korean game companies eye rebound with subculture game releases

A model cosplaying as a game character in Netmarble's upcoming game Demis Re:Born at the G-STAR game show held at Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan, Nov. 16, 2023. Courtesy of Netmarble

NCSOFT, Netmarble, NHN, Com2uS and other Korean companies are set to release new subculture genre games this year to make up for their recent slumps, the companies said Friday. Subculture games, which feature Japanese anime-style characters, were once perceived as games enjoyed by a minority group, but now have become a mainstream genre attracting many gamers. The industry view is that the Korean game industry, seeking new growth opportunities, is focusing on the subculture game genre. Contrary to the general definition of subculture as a smaller culture within a large culture, subculture games refer to games that make users collect various characters in the game. Until now, Korean game companies have made many massively multiplayer online role-playing games, but users who are tired of these games are increasingly playing subculture games. NHN recently signed a publishing contract with Ring Games and the company’s game Stella Fantasy. Through the agreement, NHN holds the rights to service for Stella Fantasy in all countries except China.

Ring Games is a game company founded by the main developers of the previous mobile role-playing game King’s Raid. The company’s Stella Fantasy is a multi-platform role-playing game that can be played on mobile and PC and revolves around an adventurer exploring a new world with many companions. “NHN has taken on the subculture game genre through Stella Fantasy,” Kim Sang-ho, head of NHN’s game business, said. “We are confident in a successful global launch and service as NHN’s numerous publishing experiences and game service know-how are added to the unique gameplay of Stella Fantasy.” NCSOFT plans to release a new game, Project BSS, which adds subculture elements to the global market in the first half of this year .Utilizing intellectual property of its popular game Blade & Soul, users can play with over 60 heroes in distinctive anime-style graphics in Project BSS, the company said. To appeal to users more, NCSOFT said each character will have an interesting lore and rich personality. Netmarble will also launch a new subculture game, Demis Re :Born, which uses its own intellectual property, Grand Cross, later this year. Netmarble held a demonstration of Demis Re:Born at the G-STAR game show last year, revealing attractive, high-quality graphic characters and in-game exploration to fans. Com2uS plans to release a new subculture game, Starseed: Asnia Trigger, in the Korean market in the first half of this year. The company signed a global publishing contract with JoyCity for the 카지노 subculture game in November last year and is stepping up preparations for global service, including Korea.

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