According to a recent exclusive report by Korean media Hankyung, HYBE is actively promoting its plan to turn around its game development business.
Sources in the Korean investment banking industry have reported that, on April 12, HYBE established a unit – a new company – in the US in an effort to “diversify its investment portfolio” into new areas including games, virtual universes (metaverse) and non-fungible tokens (unique cryptocurrency).
In the future, this startup, likely to be called “HYBE IM” after the current in-house games-related business group, will handle all game development and publishing.
The company is seeking partnerships with major game developers such as Krafton, Netmarble and NCSoft. HYBE may consider joint ventures with these companies in the US.
“The decision to base its future key businesses in the US shows that HYBE is establishing key strategies for future content businesses in the market,” said industry sources. global market” – according to journalist Jun Ho Cha through Hankyung.
Previously, in 2019, HYBE acquired Superb Corporation – the Korean video game developer behind the rhythm game Pianista: The Legendary Virtuoso.
Since the acquisition, HYBE has released several games including BTS World and Rhythm Hive.
While none of the games have been a hit with the gaming audience yet, the successful launch of games produced by HYBE marked the humble beginning of the company’s ascent as a major player. developer-publisher in the game industry.
Experts from both business and investment banking backgrounds find HYBE’s pursuit of “a new business model” difficult to spot.
Since October 2020, since being listed on the Korean Stock Exchange, HYBE has called itself “the world’s best entertainment lifestyle platform company based on music”.
And as a “platform operator”, HYBE is pushing beyond mere “artist management”.
“The decision to base its future key businesses in the US shows that HYBE is establishing key strategies for future content businesses in the market,” said industry sources. global market” – journalist Jun Ho Cha via Hankyung.
In addition, according to Hankyung and other Korean media, this push – or the launch of HYBE IM as an American corporation – is not only to “go global” but also to create generate revenue “stop relying on BTS”.
With HYBE’s total sales of 127 billion won (about 103 million USD) in 2021, BIGHIT MUSIC contributed a large part of 66% with 190 billion won (about 155 million USD).
Investment banking experts believe that HYBE “aims to create sustainable sources of profit” that is not entirely dependent on BIGHIT MUSIC curated artists.
“HYBE aims to create sustainable sources of profit by establishing a platform to continuously communicate with fans instead of just developing artists and selling their albums” – journalist Jun Ho Cha via Hankyung .
While business and investment banking professionals are optimistic about HYBE IM, there is potential “to be a joint venture that generates incomparably stable returns”.
Especially if games that make full use of IPs like music and characters belong to BIGHIT MUSIC artists, the Koreans are skeptical about the shift in focus on game development.
Some pointed out a “conflict of interest” in “wanting to be less dependent on the artist” but “need to make full use of the artist’s name, character and song to sell the game”.
Meanwhile, HYBE announced BTS Island: In the SEOM with the first teaser released at BTS’ Permission To Dance On Stage concert in Las Vegas.
BTS members have the “opportunity to work directly” on the game by “developing the characters, providing creative input on the story and art, and even adding some of their personal interests to the games.” puzzle of the game”.