K-pop, Mandopop and other Asian pop

Mobile game BTS World to be released within the year, allowing players to nurture a member of K-pop act

BTS World, featuring 10,000 photos and 100 video clips of the Korean superstars, is expected to reverse declining sales of the South Korean publisher Netmarble Games

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 8:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 8:32pm

By Jun Ji-hye

South Korean game publisher Netmarble Games is expected to make a rebound in sales globally thanks to K-pop sensation BTS. The new game, BTS World, is expected to be released within the year.

The game will incorporate more than 100 video clips and 10,000 photos of the massive K-pop outfit. Players help nurture a member of BTS in the game, and soundtrack will be composed of the band’s hits.

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The iconic seven-member boy band, also known as Bangtan Boys, was named “top social artist” for the second year in a row at last month’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 21, beating out Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Shawn Mendes.

The boy band also debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 with their new album, Love Yourself: Tear, late last month, the first Korean group to do so.

The boy group's unprecedented splash in the tough US market is meaningful in that the members have become influential figures across the world. Netmarble are expected to benefit greatly from this.

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Netmarble underperformed during the first quarter and released no new games. The firm posted sales of 507.5 billion won (US$475 million) with an operating profit of 74.2 billion won. Sales and operating profit decreased by 26.2 per cent and 62.9 per cent, respectively, year-on-year.

“There is a great possibility that BTS' global popularity will lead to the game becoming a hit,” says Lee Chang-young, an analyst from Yuanta Securities Korea.

Hi Investment & Securities analyst Kim Min-jeong says expectations are high for the success of BTS World.

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“As the game exclusively offers more than 100 video clips and 10,000 photos as well as songs, Netmarble is expected to see high sales in various areas around the world,” said Kim.

Netmarble has also appeared to become a beneficiary in the stock market amid growing popularity of BTS as the firm invested 201.4 billion won in Big Hit Entertainment, the agency behind the K-pop sensation, in April. This is equal to 445,882 shares, or a 25.71 per cent stake of the agency, making the game company its second-largest shareholder.

At the time, a Netmarble official said: “cooperation with rapidly growing Big Hit Entertainment and utilisation of K-pop will contribute to the advance of Netmarble Games into the global game market.”

Read the full story at the Korea Times