The PUBG battle royale game franchise has almost a billion downloads across across platforms, and its publisher is now focusing on Solana.
Traditional video game companies are starting to look at the Web3 gaming arena, experimenting with NFT assets and cryptocurrency-based economies. Another well-known gaming company with a hugely successful series is now planning to create blockchain-based games, this time on Solana.
Today, South Korean game publisher Krafton, Inc. announced a long-term partnership with Solana Labs, with the two companies planning to collaborate on developing and marketing blockchain and NFT-based games on the Solana network. The companies also want to look into co-investment options.
PUBG: Battlegrounds (formerly PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds) is a prominent battle royale shooter franchise that spans numerous platforms, and Krafton is the company behind it. The series' mobile iOS and Android editions have surpassed one billion downloads, with more than 75 million downloads for the PC and console entries combined.
Up to 100 people can join a single online map in PUBG games and compete to be the last person or squad standing. The original PC game was released in 2017 and predates Epic Games' blockbuster Fortnite battle royale game.
The free-to-play PUBG Mobile has expanded its global audience, with mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower reporting in November 2021 that in-game purchases had produced more than $7 billion in revenue to far. New State Mobile, a futuristic-themed PUBG mobile game, was just released by the company.
Krafton hasn't said if it'll move PUBG or another title to Web3 or create fresh IP for Solana's NFT-driven blockchain games. While PUBG is the publisher's most well-known IP, it also owns and produces brands including Subnautica and Tera, as well as mobile titles like Golf King and Bowling King.
"As we strive toward developing our Web 3.0 ecosystem, Krafton will continue to look for ways to collaborate closely with blockchain firms like Solana Labs," said Hyungchul Park, Krafton's Lead of Web 3.0 Roundtable. "Krafton will gain the information it needs to accelerate its investment in and output of blockchain-based experiences as a result of this collaboration."
Other Web3 efforts announced by Krafton in February included $2.5 million in stock investments in online auction platform Seoul Auction Blue and $4.1 million in its XBYBLUE subsidiary. Krafton will collaborate on NFT-related initiatives with Seoul Auction Blue and XBYBLUE.
Krafton also announced a partnership with Naver Z to develop a "NFT and metaverse platform." An NFT is a one-of-a-kind sort of token that may be used to prove ownership of digital assets like video game goods. According to TechCrunch, the South Korean company manages Zepeto, an online metaverse-like social and gaming experience with 20 million monthly users.
Last August, Krafton announced a $3.8 billion IPO in South Korea, which Bloomberg called the country's largest in almost a decade, but it was largely regarded as falling short of expectations. Krafton has a market capitalization of 13.9 trillion South Korean won ($11.4 billion) as of this writing.
Ubisoft and Square Enix are two more major conventional game publishers that have entered the NFT field, while well-known game designers like Will Wright and Peter Molyneux are also working on NFT-powered games. The Ethereum-based Axie Infinity, the most profitable crypto game to date, has produced more than $4 billion in NFT trading activity.