It seems like every day that another gaming company is receiving a 100-million-dollar capital injection from a major tech overlord or private investor.
Korea’s Long, Booming Relationship with Gaming
The amount of investment that is piling into the Korean gaming market is simply astonishing. By 2021, the eSports industry will be worth well over 1.6 billion dollars. When did all of this start happening?
Korea has been a leader in gaming since StarCraft rose in popularity at internet cafes in the late 90s and early 2000s. The early days of PC Bangs laid the groundwork for a revolution in gaming that proceeded in the following years. Now there are multi-millionaires that have made their money exclusively by paying eSports. There are video game competitions that give 25 million dollars to the winners.
Due to the popularity in eSports, an industry which is set to reach 1.6 billion in less than 3 years, investment money is flooding in. Money is not only coming in from big business, but even from more gamer-friendly brands such as the $7-million-dollar fund created by Overwolf and Intel to develop apps and mods for hardcore gamers. Investment collaborations illustrate that money is not just in the games themselves, but in the infrastructure to create gaming communities.
Projects Creating Gaming Community Infrastructure
The following projects are all involved in gaming within the Korean gaming space. They heavily rely on collaboration, which is a large reason why they have drawn funding from the likes of Tencent Holdings and other major investment heavyweights.
BUFF is proud of the fact that the company was built by 5 gamers. The gaming company’s partnerships with brands like Overwolf (referenced in the above partnership with Intel), has allowed their user base to reach over 15 million people. BUFF is dedicated to creating a loyalty program that rewards gamers for playing certain games in the same way that frequent flyer programs reward customers that frequent a specific airline.
Kakao Games is another huge platform that recently received $130 million dollars in funding from the likes of Tencent and Netmarble Games. Kakao has been working with companies like Bluehole and Tencent to launch PlayerUnknown’sBattlegrounds in China. These types of battle royale platforms gain ground quickly and are a large source of attraction for investors.
Creative Labs is a third successful gaming company that launched after their founder graduated from Columbia University back in 2009. They reached popularity after the creation of the Epic Hearts series. In the years after, the company has received a $100 million-dollar cash influx from companies like Tencent Holdings and Line Corporation.
It is no surprise that billion-dollar companies are being born in the gaming industry at a high frequency rate. The eSports industry is a massive industry, and thanks in large part to Korea, people are now able to make livings out of playing eSports. This futuristic endeavor might seem impossible to people of the past. Now companies like BUFFToken and Creative Labs are creating the superhighways on which this industry will ride.