Krafton, the creator of popular battle royale game “PUBG: Battlegrounds,” has announced plans to launch a metaverse in 2023. To do so, it is establishing a joint venture with Naver Z, a South Korean tech company best known for the social media app Zepeto, which it bills as the “largest metaverse in Asia.”
So far, the two companies have invested 48 billion Korean Won (roughly $36.8 million) to develop the metaverse, which it is calling “Migaloo.” According to a press release, Migaloo will feature Create-to-Earn dynamics and has the potential to “transform the way content creators are motivated and rewarded.” It will do so, in part, by incentivizing creators and offering transparency in transactions and settlements.
To launch the joint venture, Krafton and Naver Z are establishing a corporate entity in North America. Each will rely on its unique set of skills to develop the metaverse: Krafton will build the sandbox tools and blockchain systems, and Naver Z will handle service planning and partnership acquisition.
While little is known about the Migaloo metaverse, the announcement has already traveled far and wide due to the companies involved. Krafton’s PUBG: Battlegrounds had 289.7 million active users in the past 30 days and consistently ranks among the top battle royale games in the world. Naver Z’s Zepeto has between 15 and 20 million active users, mostly in Asia, with a user base of over 300 million.
Henry Hyung-chul Park, Krafton’s Migaloo project head, said in a statement that “the team has already developed a core service,” as well as a metaverse model. The press release comes a year after Krafton stated it was partnering with Naver Z to create a “user-generated NFT metaverse platform.”
Krafton Doubles Down on Web3
While many game companies have expressed desires to enter Web3, few have done so with as much gusto as Krafton. The South Korean business based in Bundang-gu, Seongnam, was one of the first to see the potential of the next iteration of the internet for mainstream games, and it has since backed up its words with actions. Here are three stories about Krafton in Web3.
First, PUBG Studios, an internal division of Krafton, partnered blockchain-powered gaming platform Banger to integrate NFTs into PUBG: Battlegrounds. The partnership was an “Alpha Test,” which is when a company sees whether a product will work as expected, and included three games: License to Kill, Kill Frenzy, and Ghost Kill.
Next, Brendan Greene, the man behind PUBG: Battlegrounds, announced that his next project would be a metaverse experience called “Artemis.” According to Greene, the game will take place on an Earth-sized virtual world where players will be able to create and monetize experiences. Artemis will also be open source, so that anyone can contribute.
Lastly, Krafton invested $6.6 million in two South Korean companies with a memorandum that they develop non-fungible token-based projects. The investments underscored the game producer’s desire to enter Web3 before most video game companies expressed similar wishes.
For about a year, Krafton has made its Web3 intentions clear and kept pushing despite the pushback from some members of the gaming community. Its new metaverse could prove interesting and, if it succeeds, may inspire other gaming companies to renew their plans for the next iteration of the internet. Here at Rarity Sniper, we’ll keep you informed about any developments in the story.