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Game industry

Netmarble buys majority stake in US game maker Kung Fu Factory

Feb 22, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Netmarble buys majority stake in US game maker Kung Fu Factory
Netmarble Corp., a South Korean mobile game developer, has acquired a majority stake in Kung Fu Factory, a US independent game company, for an undisclosed sum.

“We expect aggressive investment like this will strengthen Netmarble’s publishing capabilities in North America,” Sim Chul-min, head of Netmarble's US operations, said in a statement released on Feb. 22.

It did not disclose details, including the size of the stake purchased or their business cooperation plans.

Founded in Los Angeles in 2002, Kung Fu Factory is behind the popular WWE Champions mobile game.

Netmarble's US unit is currently developing an NBA Ball Stars game, based on the company's intellectual property of the National Basketball Association. It is planning to launch the new game by the end of March.

Netmarble is also set to showcase a new title, Seven Knights Revolution, based on the existing IP of the company's popular mobile game Seven Knights.

Netmarble is one of South Korea’s top three game developers. It reported a 34% increase to 272 billion won ($245 million) in 2020 operating profit from a year earlier. Its sales climbed by 14% to a record 2.5 trillion won last year.

After the acquisition news, shares closed down 3.05% at 127,000 won, underperforming a 0.90% slip in the broader Kospi market.

This year, Korea’s game industry is expected to expand by 7.4% year on year to 18.3 trillion won in sales, driven by new game launches and rising exports. 

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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