Korean game publishers to show off blockchain technology at GDC next week

2023. 3. 17. 11:00
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“Maple Story” [Photo provided by Nexon]
South Korea’s major game publishers are expected to seek partnerships with global tech companies in the area of blockchain at the five-day 2023 Game Developers Conference (GDC) that will kick off Monday in San Francisco, U.S.

According to multiple sources from the information technology (IT) industry on Thursday, Korean game companies including Nexon Korea Corp., Wemade Co. and Com2uS Corp. will attend the GDC 2023, the world’s largest event for game developers held annually, and give presentations on the blockchain technology and establishment of related ecosystem.

This year marks the 37th anniversary of the GDC. The conference does not set a theme but opens various sessions for game developers to share knowledge and industry direction.

Global tech companies including Google LLC, Microsoft Corp., and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as Korean game publishers will attend the event that will offer 700 programs.

On March 21, Hwang Sun-young, production director at Nexon, will give a presentation under the title “MapleStory Universe: Perfecting the Core MMORPG Experience with Blockchain.”

Nexon is building “Maple Story Universe,” a blockchain gaming ecosystem based on its core intellectual property (IP) of “Maple Story.” It is a virtual world that creates various tangible and intangible values using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The main idea is to ensure digital ownership and free trade of NFTs created within the game.

Nexon also aims to release “Maple Story N,” a game that incorporates blockchain technology.

From Wemade, Henry Chang, its chief executive officer, will present changes in the blockchain technology under the title, “The Future of Gaming: Inter-game Play and Beyond.”

Wemade has seen a rise in the number of concurrent users of its global blockchain game version of “MirM,” drawing more than 200,000 people in less than two months since its launch at the end of January.

“MIR4” [Photo provided by Wemade]
The company has integrated “MIR4” and MirM and established an “inter-game economy” where tokens obtained from each game can be reinvested or traded in other games. This year, the company plans to release more games using IP of its big hit “Anipang” on its blockchain game platform “Wemix Play,” where about 20 games are being operated at present.

Com2uS, in the meantime, will seek cooperation in the blockchain business with Google at the upcoming GDC.

Kyu Lee, president of Com2uS USA, will give a presentation on “How KR-Based Global Gaming Company Takes Leadership on Web3 Era through Blockchain Platform and Games on Google Cloud” in a session organized by Google. “We expect to discuss ways for cooperation with Google using the blockchain mainnet XPLA,” said an unnamed official from Com2uS.

Com2us CEO Song Jae-joon will be also attending the event. He will serve as a global chief investment officer (GCIO) after his term as CEO ends this month and promote overseas investment projects in blockchain and metaverse sectors, including games.

In July, Com2uS plans to showcase a blockchain-based version of its game “Summoners War: Chronicles,” which was released on March 9. Com2uS aims to raise 100 billion won ($76.2 million) in sales from Chronicles this year.

Netmarble Corp. will introduce “Meta World: My City,” a blockchain-based game that will be released in the first half of this year. It is a sequel to “Let’s Get Rich,” which has 200 million users worldwide and implements a metaverse space based on real cadastral maps. Meta World: My City will be released in the blockchain ecosystem MBX operated by Netmarble‘s blockchain subsidiary MARBLEX.

“It will allow gamers to own various buildings and character cards and obtain game tokens,” said an unnamed official from Netmarble.

Neowiz Corp. will also showcase its blockchain business platform Intella X at the event. Neowiz set up a corporation dedicated to Intella X in Singapore in April last year and is engaged in the development of services such as a decentralized exchange (DEX), an NFT exchange and mobile wallet. The company will introduce a blockchain game using the IP of shooting game “Alliance of Valiant Arms” and “Cats and Soup.”

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