KRAFTON, the developer of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, is teaming up with NAVER Z Corp., the creator of the metaverse ZEPETO, for a joint metaverse platform project titled Migaloo.
The two Korean companies have been working on the project since February last year to launch the web3-based Migaloo this year. A joint venture will be established in North America, with the name of the company to be announced at a later date.
The total investment for the joint venture is KRW 48 billion ($36.4 million), with KRAFTON set to acquire 85 percent of the share (KRW 40.8 billion or $30.97 million) and NAVER Z will obtain 15 percent of the share (KRW 7.2 billion or $5.5 million).
This collaboration aims to merge KRAFTON’s expertise in developing and operating global games, one of which is the highly successful PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, with NAVER Z’s experience in developing and operating ZEPETO.
KRAFTON takes care of the program development — including sandbox tools and blockchain systems, while NAVER Z handles service planning and partnership acquisition.
“We’re confident we can build a high-quality UGC-driven open metaverse that stands apart from other services and vitalizes the global creator economy through NFT technologies,” said Hyung Chul Park, Lead of the Web3 team at KRAFTON.
Migaloo to implement C2E (Create-to-Earn) system
The C2E (Create-to-Earn) system allows content creators to produce various works in the metaverse space where users can purchase and own these works. All transactions will occur based on NFT and blockchain technology and will be recorded on the blockchain for improved transparency in transactions and settlements.
“We will grow Migaloo as a new metaverse platform where creators can realize new values in an NFT-based ecosystem based on their own creations,” CEO NAVER Z Chang-Wook Kim said.
No further details about the platform are available yet, but KRAFTON will announce more information about the partnership soon.
KRAFTON is a South Korean video game company based in Bundang-gu, Seongnam, under its parent company, Bluehole.
Since its establishment in 2018, the company has produced and owned the rights to several video games, such as PUBG: Battlegrounds, TERA, New State Mobile and Moonbreaker.
The partnership with NAVER Z comes after the game studio announced equity investments in Seoul Auction Blu for $2.5 million and XBYBLUE for $4.1 million, embracing the world of NFT and metaverse technologies.
Following the partnership announcement with NAVER Z, KRAFTON also signed a deal with blockchain company Solana Labs to develop, operate, design and market Solana’s “blockchain and NFT-based games and services” in March last year.
With a neighboring home base to KRAFTON in Seongnam, NAVER Z is a subsidiary of Naver Corporation. Founded in 2018, the company is the developer of ZEPETO, a virtual social platform that uses face recognition, AR, and 3D technology to generate personalized 3D avatars.
In 2022, the company partnered with Thai telecom giant True to establish a global metaverse hub for creators. At the time, ZEPETO has over 500,000 users in Thailand alone and over 20 million monthly active users globally. More than five billion contents were created on the platform, and three billion items were sold through collaborations with hundreds of global companies and celebrities.
One of its most recent and successful partnerships is with Lisa, a member of the South Korean girl group BLACKPINK. The platform hosted a virtual event where her fans could take a selfie with her avatar. As of August 2022, over 13 million Blackpink-related items were sold through ZEPETO, and the group’s collaboration music video with the company garnered over 130 million views on YouTube.