CEO Kwon Young-sig bets on convergence of MMORPG and Battle Royale genres for global market
Netmarble plans to launch MMORPG-Battle Royale hybrid mobile game A3: Still Alive in March. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
A3: Still Alive’s launch in Korea in March will be developer Netmarble’s latest attempt at challenging the game market, CEO Kwon Young-sig said at a press event Wednesday.
Since becoming the majority stakeholder of home appliance subscription firm Woongjin Coway in December, Netmarble has been receiving investor feedback that it must show better performance on its core business area of games.
“A3: Still Alive is Netmarble’s fresh try at the game market. It is a completely new genre that converges a massively multiplayer role-playing game, which is popular in Korea, and Battle Royale game, which is popular overseas,” said Kwon.
“With this game we wish to ambitiously open up the new year,” he said, speaking in front of reporters in person for the first time since the end-2018 Blade and Soul Revolution press event.
Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sig (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
The global launch of A3: Still Alive will happen at a further-away date. Netmarble officials refrained from sharing an exact timeline or location for the launch, but said localization of the game is currently ongoing in China and elsewhere, in a one-build system.
Joining Kwon in the presentation was publisher Idea Games CEO Kwon Min-kwan.
Idea Games’ Kwon had been the lead developer for Project A3, a computer game that launched 17 years ago using the A3 intellectual property.
The launch of A3: Still Alive, which has taken three years to produce with the collective efforts of over 120 people, holds special meaning for him, Kwon said.
“The best way to describe A3: Still Alive would be ‘extreme competition,’” Kwon explained.
The game has some usual MMORPG characters: berserker, archer, paladin, sorcerer, assassin. It moves to a parallel universe-like apocalyptic setting with a 30-person Battle Royale where 10 teams of three players compete until one remains.
Performance in the Battle Royale world reflects growth boosts in the MMORPG world.
Each player gets three “Soul Linkers,” artificial intelligence-powered elements of the game that aid in combat against monsters.
“This is the collaboration between Netmarble’s publishing know-how and Idea Games’ steadfast resolution in the A3 IP (intellectual property),” Kwon said.
Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sig (second from left) and Idea Games CEO Kwon Min-kwan (third from left) (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Netmarble has a number of new game launches dotted throughout 2020.
Magic: Mana Strike is the first set to launch, both in Korea and globally, by end-January; A3: Still Alive is set for release in March in Korea; Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross and Koongya Catch Mind will launch globally in the first quarter; Seven Knights 2 aims to launch in Korea in the second quarter; Stone Age mobile aims to launch both in Korea and globally within the first half of this year; and Seven Knights Revolution and Ni No Kuni aims to launch in Korea in the second half of 2020.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com