A lot rides on success of Netmarble's Cross Worlds
Cross Worlds was one of the most anticipated games of 2021 release. Netmarble has been aggressively marketing it and dropping hints of the new release since last year.
The mobile game is based on "Ni no Kuni," a popular role-playing video game series. Published by Japan's Level-5, Ni no Kuni was known for its art work and music produced by some of the country's best talents: Studio Ghibli, creator of the films "Howl's Moving Castle" and "My Neighbor Totoro," and composer Joe Hisaishi.
The visuals for Cross Worlds feature Ni no Kuni-style art work inspired by Studio Ghibli animations. Joe Hisaishi helped with the original soundtrack for the game.
The storyline and characters for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) are new for the mobile version.
Netmarble Neo developed Cross Worlds. The Netmarble subsidiary is known for some of the company's biggest mobile hits: Lineage 2: Revolution and The King of Fighters Allstar.
"I was fascinated by the game's visuals, music and the potential it had in appealing to a mass public," he said during a press event Wednesday.
"We've seen success with combat-style MMORPG like Lineage. But I wanted to create something that's more about sharing joy and giving a warm sense of community."
Cross Worlds offers a choice of five characters that come with different weapons. Players can form teams and establish "kingdoms" using assets won in battles and traveling through the game's universe. These kingdoms will compete with each other to obtain the status of "capital."
The game will be released in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in June. Launches in other markets are planned for the first half of 2022. Orders started on Wednesday.
Cross Worlds' popularity will play a role in Netmarble Neo's valuation and its initial public offering, which the company is preparing for this year. It would be the first Netmarble subsidiary to be listed on the Korean stock exchange.
"We hired advisory banks for the IPO but the timeline isn't definite yet," said Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sik. "I do think Cross Worlds' success will be a big variable. We're going to set up detailed schedules after looking at its performance during the year's first half."
In a Wednesday report, Meritz Securities forecast that Cross Worlds this year would produce revenues of 191 billion won and daily average revenues of one billion won.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]