Netmarble sets up metaverse company to develop VR idols

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : August 31, 2021, 14:32 Updated : March 3, 2022, 19:57

[Courtesy of Netmarble]

SEOUL -- South Korea's leading game publisher Netmarble has established a metaverse company to develop a management solution for virtual idols and game-related content for users grounded by a COVID-19 pandemic. The metaverse is a digital world, generated by the convergence of physical reality and virtual spaces where users can have hands-on experiences through avatars.

Netmarble said that it has established a VR content development wing named Metaverse Entertainment to produce VR content including games and services. Metaverse Entertainment will be controlled by Netmarble F&C, which has created role-playing games (RPG) games such as "The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross" and "Blade & Soul Revolution."

"We will roll out various platforms and content one at a time so that we can grow into a global metaverse entertainment company," Netmarble F&C co-CEO Seo Woo-won said in a statement on August 31. He hopes to create a new metaverse-based world by developing virtual idols linked to games. In entertainment, virtual band or virtual idol members are not depicted as corporeal musicians, but as animated characters or virtual avatars.

In South Korea, the metaverse is being widely used in various fields including entertainment and video game industries to maximize firsthand experience using super-fast 5G wireless data communication networks. Naver's avatar platform Zepeto has secured more than 200 million users, enabling them to create their 3D avatars using face recognition. 

Nexon GT, a domestic game publisher, has allowed users to purchase in-game characters based on real-life celebrities such as IU and Seolhyun in its first-person shooter game called "Sudden Attack." In November 2020, SM Entertainment, an entertainment powerhouse in South Korea, showcased its VR technology by launching aespa, a four-member girl band. Each member has her own avatar to communicate with fans.

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