Krafton, the South Korean mega-publisher that owns PUBG: Battlegrounds and most not too long ago launched The Callisto Protocol (opens in new tab), has revealed a strategy observe about 2023 (opens in new tab) (noticed by Eurogamer (opens in new tab)) that is based mostly on a speak livestreamed to its staff.
The corporate says the important thing objects have been “sustainable growth” and increasing publishing operations globally, which it helpfully summarises as “more games, new publish[ing] strategies.”
“We remain steadfast in our ultimate vision to secure and expand powerful game-based IPs,” mentioned CH Kim, Krafton CEO. “To achieve this, now is the time to concentrate our capabilities in 2023 and emphasize our need to innovate and focus organizational capabilities, strengthen our publishing capabilities and systems, and continue investing in the future.”
The vital bit being video games: Krafton is clearly not pleased with how few video games it has been publishing and the way rapidly, and barely mixes its metaphors in vowing that it’s going to be “nurturing a robust and compelling pipeline of new games.” It should have an inside restructuring in addition to stepping up efforts to work with second events (ie, publishing different corporations’ video games), and is actively in search of exterior builders to put money into.
It is laborious not to see this within the context of 1 latest story, and a wider theme of the previous few years. To start with The Callisto Protocol underperformed Krafton’s moderately extreme projections, by ‘solely’ promoting two million moderately than 5 million (opens in new tab), and confirmed that large bets do not all the time come off. Krafton solely revealed one different game final yr, Moonbreaker (opens in new tab), which is not going to make up that type of shortfall, so it needs a broader slate with extra video games.
The broader theme right here is that Krafton has additionally guess enormously large on the PUBG model and, following its IPO in 2021, made a core a part of its strategy “expanding media and platforms centered on the PUBG IP.” The Callisto Protocol, virtually unbelievably, started as a PUBG game, whereas there’s PUBG Cellular and New State Cellular (initially launched as PUBG: New State), however the easy reality stays that this specific game and setting has by no means appeared an particularly good match for any type of prolonged universe of spinoffs: With the best of respect to PUBG, Lord of the Rings it ain’t.
It looks like the fits at Krafton are starting to come back to the identical realisation. “While PUBG will continue to be a major priority for Krafton, the company’s efforts in 2023 [will be] to develop a deeper catalogue of titles.” That does appear smart, and Krafton’s already obtained non-PUBG stuff on the best way, like an especially expensive-looking game based mostly on in style Korean novel The Chicken That Drinks Tears (opens in new tab).
Extra worryingly, Krafto has drunk the web3 Kool-Support. It should be persevering with to put money into “web3 and deep learning” know-how which it believes will reshape gaming (little doubt noting that PUBG creator Brendan Greene is contemplating utilizing the blockchain (opens in new tab) in his subsequent game). “Growth in these areas cannot be guaranteed without investment,” mentioned Kim, “and it is worth advancing into these technology verticals as they are closely related to game production technology, which is one of Krafton’s core competencies.”
You’d hope that game manufacturing would be a core competency of a game manufacturing firm, however I digress. No-one can doubt the large and ongoing success of PUBG however, past a direct sequel, the game by no means appeared a good match for the type of ambitions Krafton had for it.