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Smilegate becomes 5th game firm to join trillion won club

By Apr 14, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Lost Ark, a popular MMORPG game developed by Smilegate
Lost Ark, a popular MMORPG game developed by Smilegate

Smilegate Entertainment Inc. has become the fifth South Korean game company to join the trillion won club, as it posted a revenue of 1.73 trillion won ($1.5 billion) with an operating profit of 364.6 billion won in 2020, up by 14% and 26% from the previous year, respectively, the company announced on Apr. 13.

Currently, Nexon Co., Netmarble Corp., NCSoft Corp. and Krafton Inc. are the other game companies that make up the trillion won club.

Last year marks Smilegate's best performance to date as it was the first time for the company to top an annual revenue of 1 trillion won ($896 million) since its inception in 2002. Its net profit also reached 315.5 billion won, up by 49% from the previous year. 

In particular, the company's performance abroad stood out given that it pulled in 843 billion won from overseas sales, accounting for 83.7% of the total revenue and a 21% growth compared to the year-earlier period. This is owing to the company’s games -- CrossFire, Lost Ark, Epic Seven -- achieving monumental success abroad.

Also, Smilegate’s content intellectual property (IP) business helped drive its strong performance. Last year, the Chinese drama Cheonwolhwaseon based on Smilegate's CrossFire IP became a huge hit, pulling in over 1.8 billion views.

Smilegate plans to carry its momentum by expanding its console market business. Last year, the company set up a console development studio in Barcelona to kick off the development of a new game.

The company has also joined forces with Microsoft to develop a console game, CrossFire X, which is set to launch within the year.

Moving forward, the company plans to broaden its IP business via the newly established joint venture Smilegate Realize to discover new IPs and branch out into various content.

Write to Min-ki Koo at

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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