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THE INVESTOR
May 28, 2022

Kakao Games to launch slew of new games by end-2018

  • PUBLISHED :October 19, 2018 - 15:24
  • UPDATED :October 19, 2018 - 15:24
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Kakao Games, which recently pushed back its initial public offering plans to next year to prioritize internal growth, is stepping up efforts to successfully launch and service a variety of new games on its home turf of South Korea by year’s end.

The game publishing unit of Kakao is set to launch within this month “Friends Racing,” a casual game featuring Kakao Friends, the flagship characters from the country’s top-used mobile messenger KakaoTalk.

Players can choose among eight Kakao Friends characters and race in 3D with different environs, including jungle, city and ice. The game is currently running in an open beta service before the formal launch later this month.


Kakao Games is also set to release on Thursday mobile multiplayer role-playing game “The War of Genesis: Battle of Antaria,” based on the eponymous video game title from Joycity Corp.

The mobile game was co-developed with local game studio NDREAM and Joycity, and has been garnering high interest from fans of the original. More than 1 million users have already preregistered for the game, according to Kakao Games.

Another prospective mobile game in the works is “Lookism,” a mobile RPG based on a popular webtoon of the same title on the Naver Webtoon platform.

“Lookism,” being developed by local studio YD Online, is the first mobile game created via a partnership between Kakao Games and Naver Webtoon.

Like the storyline of the original webtoon, players can navigate through the various events that occur as the protagonist comes to live in two separate bodies. The game is currently undergoing a closed beta, and will be officially launched by end-2018.

Looking ahead, Kakao Games has a number of other major titles in the works. It has secured exclusive publishing rights to XLGAMES’ “Moonlight Sculptor” and the Korean market publishing rights to Bluehole’s “Ascent: Infinite Realm,” among others.

With renewed momentum from the new lineup, Kakao Games is expected to seek a public offering by as early as next year, according to industry watchers.

Kakao Games had kicked off the IPO process in May with aims to go public on the Kosdaq within 2018. The Korea Exchange approved the preliminary screenings for the IPO in late June as part of its fast-track screening procedures.

However, the game publisher scrapped its IPO plans while citing a delay in supervision by the Korean Institute of Certified Public Accounts, a mandatory process for an IPO, as well as changing business priorities and conditions in the games sector.

Kakao Games, whose value is estimated at 1.5 trillion won ($1.32 billion) by industry analysts, said it would focus on mergers and acquisitions and seek firms with strong intellectual property portfolios to boost its market value before going public.

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)

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