Krafton Pearl Abyss (Korean: 크래프톤펄어비스 - Keulaepeuton Peol-Eobiseu) is a South Korean video game corporation, based in Gwacheon, South Korea, mostly owned by Vuori. They are a world-leading publisher and developer of mobile, casual and strategy titles as well as MMORPGs.

Krafton Pearl Abyss also holds an annual convention under the name NCCon, which has been open to the public since its foundation as PDXCon in 2017.

They have development studios around the world, with their mobile division NC Plarium residing in Israel, their publishing division En Masse residing in Venice Beach, and Keywords Studios residing in Dublin.

Their portfolio includes games and franchises such as Black Desert Online, Sniper Elite, World of Tanks/World of War, War Thunder, Raid: Shadow Legends, Clash of Clans, Eve Online and Guild Wars 2; and the portfolio is a huge part of their successes in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. They are also helping build the eSports scene within Africa.

Their rivals include Daybreak Game Company, Crescent Industries/Eclipse Game Studios and MGM Interactive. KPA owns most of THQ, Atari, Acclaim and Majesco's former franchises that aren't owned by Atari SA.

History

First logo, used in 2020.

Krafton Pearl Abyss was formed in June 3, 2020, out of a merger between South Korean video game publishers WeMade EntertainmentKrafton Game Union, NCSoft and Pearl Abyss, American video game developer Machine Zone, Belarusian video game publisher Wargaming.net, Swedish game publisher Paradox Interactive and Russian video game publishers Nival and Gaijin Entertainment, under Styhon Games & Interactive Ventures. With these, Styhon Games also integrated Gameforge and newly-acquired studios FunPlus, IGG (I Got Games), Rebellion Developments, BlitWorks, Demiurge Studios, Platinum Games, Nixxes Software, Phoenix Labs, Hardsuit Labs, Abstraction Games, Grinding Gear Games and Klei Entertainment.

During the Vivendi-Vuori merger, KPA received Gameloft studios in Vietnam, Indonesia and Ukraine, during OWL Ventures's acquisition of Gameloft. In return, KPA sold PUBG Corporation, Jam City's Burbank studio, and their golf assets (which include Golf Digest and the PGA Tour international media licensing rights).

For an additional 1% stake in the company, Vuori and Tencent negotiated merging most of Tencent Games's overseas operations to bypass sanctions on Tencent by both the United States and India.  They sold off Riot Games and Tencent's stake in Epic Games to The Eclipse Group later in 2020.

Their 50% stake in ownership of Kakao eventually resulted in Kakao's merger into Krafton Pearl Abyss, with its former shareholders gaining B stock in Vuori afterwards. This also made way for Kakao Games's merger into KPA and its then-upcoming service NC Core, and Vuori acquired Kakao's 4% stake in the company.

They acquired PDXCon from their then-sister company Paradox Interactive on November 30, 2020. They arranged to hold one more PDXCon in 2021, before rebranding to NCCon.

As Styhon Battersea (Styhon Entertainment's parent company) and Vivendi started merger into Vuori, while SoftBank Group became part of OWL Ventures, KPA officially merged with Styhon Games to become the gaming division of Vuori.

In September 2020, Krafton Pearl Abyss had its first project cancellation with Eox, which was set to launch a multimedia franchise. The fate of Eox Party and the Eox TV show are left in limbo. The project was soon picked back up by Studio Watson Games.

In October 2020, Krafton Pearl Abyss acquired 70% of Netmarble, turning it into a private partnership between KPA (70%), Bang Joon-hyuk (25%) and the National Pension Service (5%). That same month, through The Eclipse Group's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, KPA received the Demonware studios and technology. Oliver Watson acquired the rest of CJ Group through his company Illustrious that month as well, inheriting its 6% stake, with the food division going to The Eclipse Group.

During Vuori/Illustrious's acquisition of the Egmont Group, also in October, Nordisk Games was split into three: Star Stable and the KoGaMa platform were sold to KPA (who acquired Raw Fury from them earlier), while Flashbulb and Multiverse ApS (developers of KoGaMa) were sold to The Eclipse Group, and the Nordisk Games label (with Nordisk Film) stayed with Illustrious. The KoGaMa platform's development was soon moved into NC Plarium.

In November, Krafton Pearl Abyss arranged a deal with MGM Interactive to acquire its units Saber Interactive, MGM Interactive Publishing, THQ Nordic, Deep Silver and 2K Games. That month as well, KPA finished the acquisition of Leyou, which started in August under Tencent Games, until its overseas operations were merged into KPA.

The same month, Krafton Pearl Abyss announced that they're just finishing up on acquisitions of Niantic, CreaturesBandai Namco HoldingsFacepunch Studios and CD Projekt Red. During this, Vuori sold 12% each in the company to both OWL Ventures (who already inherited the 6% stake from CJ Group) and The Eclipse Group. The acquisitions are set to complete on December 31, 2020. As part of the deal, Eclipse also acquired Supercell - including the Helsinki studio and the IPs. The other studios remained in NC Plarium.

In December 2020, KPA entered board games publishing by establishing a board games division within NC En Masse. It will also absorb Rebellion Unplugged and White Wolf Publishing to form board games divisions within NC UK and the newly established NC Nordic.

Before January 1, 2021, Gung-Ho, Sumo, PPH and Zynga shareholders sold and absorbed Gung-Ho Online Entertainment, Sumo Digital, Pole To Win and Zynga respectively into KPA, with Illustrious receiving 3% stake on the venture (through Hoot Telecom/SoftBank, who owned a stake in Gung-Ho) and the shareholders getting minor stakes in KPA's parent company Vuori.

In December 2020, KPA acquired a 20% stake in CJ E&M, buying out shares owned by minor investors, mostly foreign investors, soon resulting on its acquisition of CJ ENM (including the rest of the CJ E&M group, as well as CJ O Shopping) on January 3, 2021. It was integrated into NC Entertainment, with CJ Group acquiring around a half from Tencent's 13% share. At the same time, CJ CGV was sold to Oliver Watson (of OWL Ventures).

On January 2, 2021, Krafton Pearl Abyss acquired Keywords Studios, from which some studios became the basis for Pearl Abyss's new studio Redshirt; Bohemia Interactive, which became part of Paradox; and Asmodee, which became the basis for NC En Masse's board games division.

In February 2021, KPA acquired all IPs owned by Throwback Entertainment, Liquid Media Group, Bam! Entertainment, Crave Games, XS Games, Equity Games Productions AG, Evolved Games, Empire Interactive/Zoo Digital Publishing/indiePub and Arush Entertainment/HIP Interactive, as well as most of Acclaim Entertainment's IPs not owned by the first two companies. They also acquired all patents and IPs previously owned by Yoostar Entertainment Group.

After the launch of NC Core, KPA intends to retire the En Masse brand from the video game industry, in order to clear up confusion as well as have En Masse become a label solely dedicated to board games.

Company

Corporate governance





Marketing

Krafton Pearl Abyss is one of the few gaming companies to stand out, when it comes to press conferences and game announcements. NCSoft's first conference at NCCon (then-called PDXCon) was taken to a new direction, similar to Devolver Digital's "Big Fancy Press Conferences", though it is much more controlled in terms of graphic violence and gore. The presenter of NC's press conferences in NCCon is KPA's CEO, Cho Mee-Kyong. 

Problems during formation

During its formation, which was finished around December 31, 2020, their revenue, after paying for development staffs, services used for moving locations, server maintenance and setups, was exactly $0. After the formation, they became profitable again.

Cross-studio events

After the formation of Krafton Pearl Abyss, they started holding an annual company-wide multi-sport event in Seoul, nicknamed "Kraftolympics" which was streamed on their Twitch channel KraftonPearl. Team California, consisting of employees from NC En Masse, Rumble Games, Jam City and the NC Plarium studios from Palo Alto, San Mateo, Oxnard and San Diego, won the most medals during the first Kraftolympics.

Linux support

Krafton Pearl Abyss has dedicated itself to, amongst other things, developing Linux versions for all of its current and upcoming games.

Strategic partnerships

  • During its formation, Kakao Games arranged a deal with KPA to distribute most of the latter's PC games within South Korea; some Krafton Pearl Abyss games will still be published through NC Korea. However, after January 2021, Kakao Games was fully absorbed into KPA.
  • Since the formation, KPA and their sister company Styhon Web Services have worked closely together, as SWS reserved some servers in their locations exclusively to KPA's titles under a special agreement.
  • Krafton Pearl Abyss acquired a minority stake in KT Corporation in April 1, 2021, starting a working relationship between the two companies which would see free memberships for NC Krafton titles bundled as part of deals offered by KT's carrier services.
  • NC Asia Pacific co-distributes titles with Tencent Games inside Mainland China; in exchange, NC Plarium sometimes releases titles by Tencent's in-house studios (Lightspeed & Quantum Studio Group, Northern Lights Studio Group, Tencent Boston, MoreFun Studio Group and NExT Studios) internationally.
  • NC Entertainment and iQiyi announced a partnership, which would see two KPA properties get adapted into webseries.
  • KPA and WayForward Technologies currently run a partnership, which would see KPA be responsible for marketing and supporting WayForward's titles, with the option to buy the studio after 2 ½ years.
  • KPA also entered a partnership with Nightdive Studios recently.
  • Since 2021, Virtuos (A Pearl Abyss Studio) and NC Aspyr both work closely with DigiPen's international campus in Singapore on a program to foster local talent for video game development, a la Ubisoft Singapore.
  • KPA licensed some IPs from Interplay Productions for more games to be released in the mid-2020s.
  • Athlon Games is a publishing partner of LCG Entertainment, in turn owned by Oliver Watson.

Studios

The company is divided into three internal divisions: North Division (located in Stockholm), West Division (located in Anyang) and East Division (located in Seongnam), with their publishing division NC En Masse, their sports management division KPA Sports and work-for-hire division Keywords Studios being the fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

NC En Masse

NC En Masse's logo since 2020

NC En Masse is an American video game and board game publisher founded and owned by Krafton Pearl Abyss. They are headquartered in Venice Beach, California, with satellite offices in Austin, and Seattle. They release and maintains all Rebellion and Krafton Pearl Abyss titles in North America, mainly the United States.

NC En Masse was formed, when, during the merger of Krafton Pearl Abyss, the following were merged into one: En Masse Entertainment, NC West, Pearl Abyss America, Gravity Interactive, Zynga ATX, GungHo Online Entertainment America, Aspyr Publishing, WeMade Entertainment USA and PUBG Global Publishing. The new company retained the offices, except for the Manhattan Beach (Pearl Abyss), El Segundo (GungHo) and Santa Monica (PUBG) offices, as the staff from those offices were moved into the new headquarters in Venice Beach.

They also work to help independent designer/developers be financially and creatively successful in a highly challenging video game and board game markets. Their services include a full suite of publishing support, including brand marketing, community, social, public relations, creative, production, legal, distribution and other general business support; with studios such as Redshirt providing the help needed. As of 2020, they plan on changing the strategy to get more game developers to develop games for NC Core.

NC En Masse also serves as a holding company for KPA's international distribution operations, such as NC Southeast Asia (which currently runs Garena and Playpark), NC Germany (Gameforge), NC UK and NC Japan. While the non-US video game related operations owned by En Masse is branded as just NC, the board game publishing operations bear the En Masse name.

Offices and locations

  • NC En Masse Amusement Games LLC - Baltimore and Chicago; a publisher focused on indie titles, formed out of a merger between Versus Evil, Gun Media and Limited Run Games, the latter two of which saw the move of equipment and employees into a new studio; is a spiritual successor to Midway Amusement Games LLC
  • NC En Masse Las Vegas LLC - their office and network operation/secure data center in Las Vegas, Nevada; merger between Jam City Las Vegas and Machine Zone's Las Vegas studio
  • NC En Masse CS LLC - a customer services office in Aliso Veijo, California; merger between Gravity Interactive and NC West's Aliso Veijo office
  • Piko Interactive - San Antonio; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Toyetico - brand for toys and collectibles
    • Piko Studios - an experimental game development company focused on games developed for "retro" consoles such as Sega Genesis and Neo Geo, with studios located in Sheffield, Southampton and Toronto; merger between Big Evil Corporation, Bitmap Bureau Ltd and Songbird Productions
  • NC En Masse Board Games LLC - Roseville, Minnesota and Hunt Valley, Maryland; merger between Asmodee North America, Z-Man Games and Alliance Game Distributors; also distributes board games from other publishers
    • Fantasy Flight Games - Roseville, Minnesota
    • Plaid Hat Games - Addison, Texas
    • Catan Studio - Charlottesville, Virginia
    • Atomic Mass Games - Seattle, Washington
  • NC Asia Pacific - formerly PUBG Corporation's Shanghai office
    • NC Southeast Asia - Singapore, also publishes in Singapore and Malaysia; born out of a merger between SEA Group, Pearl Abyss SEA, Garena, GungHo Online Entertainment Asia Pacific Pte.Ltd., IGG (I Got Games) and Asiasoft divisions AS Online Sdn Bhd, Asiasoft Online Pte Ltd and PT Asiasoft
      • NC Taiwan - Taipei, also publishes in Macao and Hong Kong; integrated with XPEC's publishing operations, FunPlus Taipei, Pearl Abyss Taiwan Corp and Gravity Communications
        • NC En Masse Asia - formerly Go Kids
        • NC Gamania - joint venture with Gamania Online Entertainment, also based in Taipei; formerly GungHo Gamania
      • NC Thailand - Bangkok; merger between Gravity Game Tech, IGG Thailand and Asiasoft Corporation PCL
      • NC Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi; merger between IGG Vietnam, Asiasoft Co Ltd, PTW Vietnam, Pit Crew Vietnam, and Trilight Cove's Vietnam operations
      • NC Indonesia - Jakarta; merger between Gravity Game Link, IGG Indonesia and Asiasoft's Indonesian operations
      • NC Indochina - publishes in Burma and Cambodia; formerly Trilight Cove Enterprises
      • NC Hong Kong - merger between IGG Hong Kong, Bigben Interactive (HK) Limited/Nacon (HK) Limited and Pearl Abyss HK Limited
      • NC Philippines - Makati City; merger between Level Up! Games, FunPlus Philippines and Asiasoft's Philippines operations
    • NC Korea - Seoul; merger between Nettention (Pearl Abyss) and Gravity's publishing and maintenance operations
    • NC Japan - headquartered in Tokyo; joint venture with SB Creative, integrated with PUBG Corporation's and Pearl Abyss's Japanese operations, RAD Game Tools's Japanese sales office, CrossFunction Co Ltd, Poletowin Pitcrew Holdings, FunPlus Tokyo
      • NC Japan (Chiyoda Office) - merger between Gung-Ho Online Entertainment and Pit Crew Co Ltd
      • NC Japan Network Services - Sapporo, Kitakyushu, Nagoya, Ogaki, Hachinohe and Sendai; merger between Pit Crew Co Ltd and Pit Crew Core Ops.
      • DATE Interactive Co Ltd (branded as NC Data East) - established with the acquisition of all Data East and Technos Japan IPs and franchises, as well as all rights to the Neo Geo game library, from Tactron Corporation, Paon DP, G-ModeArc System Works and SNK; also acquired rights to the ASC Games library and also most of the FM Towns, NEC/Turbo, Amstrad, Sinclair, ColecoVision, Vectrex, 3DO, N-Gage and Casio game libraries
    • NC Australia - East Melbourne; formerly Madman Interactive
      • MicroProse - Taylors Beach; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • NC New Zealand - Auckland; formerly Ninja Kiwi's publishing operations
    • NC India - Bangalore and Gurugram; merger between FunPlus India and Zynga India, also works as a large-scale infrastructure/backend development office
    • NC Turkey - Istanbul; formerly IGG Turkey
  • NC Europe SAS - Paris; merger between IGG France, Asmodee Digital, Asmodee, Focus Home Interactive, Bigben Group, Nacon and Gravity Europe SAS
    • NC En Masse France - Buc; merger between Space Cowboys, Days of Wonder, Ystari and Zygomatic
      • Edge Entertainment - Saint-Jean; formerly part of Asmodee
    • NC UK - headquartered in Oxford, with offices in Cambridge and London; formed out of a merger between NC Europe, Jagex's publishing operations, IGG UK, and Rebellion Developments's publishing operations
      • NC En Masse UK - Alton (Hampshire) and Oxford; formed out of a merger between Asmodee UK and Rebellion Unplugged
        • Games Workshop - Nottingham, UK; formed out of a merger between Games Workshop Group plc and its divisions Citadel Miniatures and Forge World
      • NC Ireland - Dublin; formerly Zynga Ireland
    • NC Nordic - Stockholm; newly-established with integration of Raw Fury and Paradox Interactive's publishing operations
      • NC En Masse Nordic - Stockholm and Hvidovre; merger between White Wolf Publishing and Asmodee Nordics
    • NC Western Europe - Helmond and Hilversum, Netherlands & Waterloo, Belgium; merger between Pearl Abyss EU BV and Bigben Interactive Nederland BV/Bigben Interactive Belgium SA
      • NC En Masse Netherlands - Helmond; formerly Enigma Netherlands
      • NC En Masse Belgium & Luxembourg - Kortenberg and Frasnes-lez-Anvaing; merger between Asmodee Belgium and Pearl Games
      • NC En Masse France - Guyancourt; formerly Asmodee France
    • NC Iberia - Barcelona and Madrid; merger between Bigben Interactive Espana/Nacon Gaming Espana and FunPlus Barcelona
      • NC En Masse Iberia - Madrid; formerly Asmodee Spain
    • NC Southern Europe - Rome and Milan; merger between IGG Italy and Bigben Interactive Italia
      • NC En Masse Italy - Corregio (RE); formerly Asmodee Italy
      • NC Greece - Athens; formerly Atari Hellas EURL
    • NC Germany - headquartered in Munich, with offices in Karlsruhe, Düren, Bergheim and Berlin; formed out of a merger between ProSieben.Sat1 Games, Gaijin Europe, Gameforge, IGG Germany, Headup Games, Bigben Interactive GmbH and Wargaming Mobile/Wargaming Berlin
      • NC En Masse Germany - Ingelheim, Essen and Ratingen; merger between Asmodee Germany, ADC Blackfire Entertainment GmbH and Look Out Games
    • NC Russia, CEE & CIS - 90/10 joint venture with Mail.ru Group, headquartered in Moscow, with locations in Ostrów Wielkopolski, Riga, Budapest, Prague, Krakow and Nicosia; formed out of a merger between IGG Russia, Techland Publishing, FunPlus Moscow, Gravity CIS Inc, Gaijin Entertainment LLP (Latvia), Gaijin Distribution Kft (Hungary), Bohemia Incubator, All In! Games and Gaijin Network (Nicosia)
      • NC En Masse Russia, CEE & CIS - Prague and Bucharest; formerly ADC Blackfire Entertainment
        • Rebel - Gdansk
  • NC Canada - Toronto
    • NC En Masse Canada - Rigaud; formerly Asmodee Canada
  • NC South America - Buenos Aires, handles the Latin American and Carribean distribution of KPA games; formerly Level Up! Games's Latin American operations
    • NC En Masse South America - Santiago; formerly Skyship Distribuidores
    • NC Brazil - Sao Paulo; merger between Level Up! Games Brazil, IGG Brazil and PUBG Corporation's Sao Paulo office
      • NC En Masse Brazil - formerly Galápagos Jogos
  • NC Africa - Johannesburg; formed out of a merger between Koodoo and Gamefinity

Paradox Interactive (North Division)

  • Paradox Interactive - Stockholm
    • Paradox Development Studio - Stockholm, Sweden
    • Paradox Arctic - Umeå, Sweden
    • Paradox Malmö - Sweden
    • Paradox Tinto - Barcelona
    • Triumph Studios - Delft, Netherlands
    • Harebrained Schemes - Seattle, Washington
    • Snapshot Games - Sofia; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Sharkmob - Malmö; integrated into KPA in 2020
  • Bohemia Interactive - Prague, Brno, Amsterdam, Mnisek and Pattaya; not to be confused with Bohemia Interactive Simulations
  • Gaijin Entertainment - Moscow; integrated with Nival's Moscow studio
    • Dagor Technologies - Moscow

Pearl Abyss (West Division)

Peal Abyss is a division focused on Black Desert Online, EVE Online, World of War, Path of Exile and mostly single-player focused/narrative games, as well as work-for-hire game co-development. It consists of development groups Pearl Abyss & Rebellion and solo development studios Funcom, Recursive Studio, Good Science Studio & PlatinumGames.

  • Pearl Abyss - Anyang
    • CCP Games - Reykjavik, London and Shanghai
    • Pearl Abyss Capital - South Korea; investment and management consulting
      • Pearl Abyss Iceland hf - investment and management consulting
    • RedFox Games - San Jose, unknown stake acquired by Pearl Abyss in June 2017
    • Frostburn Studios - Kalamazoo, Michigan; formerly part of Garena
    • Grinding Gear Games - Auckland; 80/20 joint venture with the company founders
    • Pearl Abyss Canada - Vancouver; acquired by Garena as Phoenix Labs, merged with Virtuos's Vancouver office, IGG Canada, Descriptive Video Works and SkyBox Labs, integrated with ex-EA Black Box and Radical Entertainment employees, and integrated into KPA in 2020
    • AudioMotion Studios - motion capture studio in Oxford; acquired by Rebellion in 2003, integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Kythera - Edinburgh; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Eden Games - Lyon; integrated with Kylotonn's Lyon studio into KPA in 2020
    • Double Eleven - Middlesbrough; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Australia Pty Ltd - Sydney and Melbourne; merger between Intuitive Game Studios (ex-Team Bondi), Firelight Technologies, Tantalus Media, Torus Games and Wargaming Sydney/BigWorld, intergrated with former employees of Blue Tongue EntertainmentTHQ Studio AustraliaPandemic StudiosMelbourne House2K AustraliaDefiant Development and Redtribe
    • Pearl Abyss Kiyv - Ukraine; formerly Persha Studia
    • NorHo Audio (A Pearl Abyss Studio) - located in North Hollywood, legally known under the name KPA Game Audio LLC; formed out of a merger between Blindlight, Binari Sonori America and Descriptive Video Works USA
    • Airship Images - Blackpool; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Another World Studios - Los Angeles; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Concept Brothers Oy - Helsinki; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Deck13 - Frankfurt; acquired by Focus Home Interactive, in turn integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Frankfurt - formerly Das Werk's Frankfurt studio
    • The Forge Interactive - Encinitas, CA; integrated with Exigent Game Art USA into KPA in 2020
    • Rmory - Memmingen; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Geomerics - Cambridge; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Streamline - Kuala Lumpur, with additional studios in Tokyo and Las Vegas; merger between PTW Kuala Lumpur, Base FX Kuala Lumpur, Streamline Media Group, Allpixels and Streamline Studios
    • Nerve Software - Richardson; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Coherent Labs - Sofia; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Perforce - Minneapolis, with additional offices in Alameda, California; Mason, Ohio; Hallbergmoos, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Sydney, Australia; Uppsala, Sweden; and Wokingham, England; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • InstaLOD - Stuttgart; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Isopod Labs - Santa Monica; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Finland - Turku; formerly Rival Games Ltd.
    • Techland - Ostrów Wielkopolski, Wrocław and Warsaw; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • QLOC - Warsaw; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Nival (A Pearl Abyss Studio) - St. Petersburg; merger between Lesta Studia, Nival, and Playgendary's, Gaijin Entertainment's & Sperasoft's studios in St. Petersburg
    • Pearl Abyss India - Hyderabad; merger between PTW Hyderabad and Griptonite Games's art and development outsourcing studio in Hyderabad
    • Pearl Abyss Baltimore - formerly PTW Baltimore
    • Pearl Abyss Hangzhou - a co-development studio consisting of ex-2K China employees, established in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Abu Dhabi - founded in collaboration with Image Nation at twofour54 in 2020; they will work with nearby universities and colleges in training future game developers as a co-development studio
    • 4DMax - a 3D scanning company for VFX, located in Surrey; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Playgendary - Limassol, Yekaterinburg and Munich; integrated with Nival Limassol studio and Das Werk Munich
    • XPEC Entertainment - Taipei, Kaohsiung and Suzhou; integrated with PTW Taipei into KPA in 2020
    • SummerTimeStudio - Ginowan; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Boston - acquired Standing Stone Games (ex-Turbine) and integrated with former DoubleTap Games (ex-Helixe) employees in 2020
    • Iron Galaxy Studios - Chicago; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Redmond - established with the Hired Gun team from Microsoft in 2020
    • Tabletop Towns (A Pearl Abyss Studio) - headquartered in Paris; formed out of a merger between Cyanide Studio, Spiders, EKO Software and Kylotonn, integrated with former Monte Cristo employees
      • Big Bad Wolf - Bordeaux
      • Rogue Factor - Montreal
    • Virtuos - headquartered in Singapore, with additional studios in Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi'an and Paris, with offices in Seoul; integrated with Sparx's studios in Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian & offices in Paris, and their parent company Virtuos Holdings Pte Ltd, and PTW Shanghai, into KPA in 2020
      • Black Shamrock - Dublin; integrated with Virtuos's development center & Sparx's studio, both in Dublin
      • Sparx Animation Studios - Ho Chi Minh City; integrated with Virtuos's development center in Ho Chi Minh City
      • Virtuos India - Bangalore; formerly PTW Bangalore, integrated into KPA in 2020
      • Massive Black - San Francisco; integrated with Virtuos's San Francisco office and PTW San Francisco
    • Sumo Digital - Sheffield; integrated into KPA in 2020
      • Sumo Leamington Spa - integrated with Electric Square's Leamington Spa studio
      • Lab42 - Leamington Spa
      • Sumo India - Pune; integrated with Lakshya's Pune studio
      • Sumo North West - Warrington; formed by ex-Evolution Studios employees
      • Sumo Newcastle - formerly CCP Games's Newcastle studio
      • Sumo Nottingham
      • The Chinese Room - Brighton
      • Red Kite Games - Yorkshire
      • Atomhawk - Newcastle and Vancouver
    • Redshirt (A Pearl Abyss Studio) - a technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, headquartered in Montreal; born out of a merger between Keywords Functionality QA, Keywords Player Support and Keywords Localization QA, with VMC Consulting Montreal, Babel Media Montreal, PTW Montreal, Game On (audio production and motion capture studio), Fire Without Smokes Montreal, CM Labs Simulations, Player Research Montreal, Enzyme (St-Jérôme) and Syllabes Studio
      • Redshirt Brighton - merger between Studio Gobo (Hove), Electric Square, Player Research and The Trailer Farm
      • Redshirt Quebec City - merger between Alchemic Dream (Shawinigan), VOLTA Creation and Sunny Side Up Creative
      • Redshirt Paris - merger between Synthesis Paris, DuneSound, Asrec, La Marque Rose and Around the Word
        • Redshirt Angoulême - formerly Piste Rouge's Angoulême studio
        • Redshirt Clichy - formerly Piste Rouge's Clichy studio
      • Redshirt London - merger between ICHI Worldwide London, PTW London, Spov, Liquid Violet, Fire Without Smokes and CORD Worldwide
      • Redshirt New Delhi - formerly Babel Media India, Exigent Game Art and Lakshya
      • Redshirt Hamburg - merger between Das Werk Hamburg and Synthesis Hamburg
    • Pearl Abyss Slovakia - acquired the now-closed Bratislava studio of Bohemia Interactive in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Zagreb - acquired Raw Fury's co-development studio in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Scotland - formerly PTW Glasgow
    • Pearl Abyss Bucharest - formerly PTW Bucharest
    • Pearl Abyss Naju - formerly PTW Naju
    • Pearl Abyss Novato - testing/QA studio in Novato, California
    • Pearl Abyss Las Vegas - testing/QA studio
    • SIDE - London, Los Angeles and Shanghai
    • Synthesis - Milan and Madrid; integrated with Binari Sonori's Cinisello Balsamo studio; formerly owned by Keywords Studios
    • Gravity - Seoul; integrated with IGG Korea, PTW Seoul and Gamebase Co Ltd into KPA in 2020
      • Gravity Mobile - formerly Supercell Seoul
    • Raw Thrills - Chicago; moved from Skokie to Chicago and integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Pearl Abyss Mexico - Monterrey; formerly CGBot's Mexico studio
    • NaturalMotion - London; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Stoic - Austin; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Demonware - Dublin, Shanghai and Vancouver; acquired from Activision Blizzard and integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Wargaming - Minsk, Nicosia and Guildford; integrated with IGG Minsk and Playgendary Minsk
    • Pearl Abyss Fareham - founded in October 2003 as Living Pixel Games, sold to Vivendi Universal Games in 2005, renamed Travelship Studios, sold to THQ in 2007, then to Crytek and renamed Crytek Fareham in 2011,, acquired by Starbreeze Studios in 2013, then named to Starbreeze UK, then spun off under the Travelship name in 2018 due to financial difficulties, before being acquired by KPA in 2020
  • Funcom - Oslo, with an additional studio in Durham (North Carolina)
  • PlatinumGames - Osaka
    • PlatinumGames Tokyo
  • Recursive Studio - Copenhagen
  • Good Science Studio - Kirkland
  • Rebellion Developments - Oxford, Liverpool and Warwick; the Oxford studio is integrated with Exient Entertainment
    • Grasshopper Manufacture - Chiyoda; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Rebellion North - Wakefield; integrated with Exient's Leamington Spa studio
    • Rebellion Malta - Valletta; formerly Exient's Malta studio

NC Krafton (East Division)

NC Krafton itself is formed out of a merger between NCSoft and Krafton Game Union, with the brand styling adapted from Krafton. It consists out of NC, NC Plarium, NC Entertainment, NC VR, PUBG Corporation, eight development studios and six support studios. They also own NCVR, Inc, the development team behind NCVR.

Logo Name Location(s) Notes
NCSoft.svg NC (sometimes NC Krafton) Flag of South Korea.png Seongnam, South Korea The main publishing brand worldwide, outside of North America. Houses internal teams Team Aion, Team L, Team Bloodlust, Team L2Live, Project G Team and Team TL.

Formerly called NCSoft.

NC Abstraction.svg NC Abstraction 

Flag of the Netherlands.png Valkenswaard, the Netherlands
Flag of the Netherlands.png Doetinchem, the Netherlands
Flag of Poland.png Warsaw, Poland
One of two support studios acquired for porting Krafton Pearl Abyss games for console platforms. Merger between Engine Software and Abstraction Games.
NC Arenanet.svg NC Arenanet

Flag of United States.png Bellevue, Washington, United States Formerly called Arenanet.
NC Blit.svg NC Blit

20px Barcelona, Spain One of two support studios acquired for porting Krafton Pearl Abyss games for console and mobile platforms. Formerly called BlitWorks.
NC Bluehole.svg NC Bluehole

Flag of South Korea.png Seongnam, South Korea Formerly called Bluehole and briefly Krafton Bluehole.
NC Demiurge.svg NC Demiurge

Flag of United States.png Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States A support studio for Krafton Pearl Abyss games and for the AAA game industry. Formerly called Demiurge Studios.
NC Klei.svg NC Klei

Flag of Canada.png Vancouver, Canada Integrated with Piranha Games and the Hardsuit Labs/Zombie Studios team. Formerly called Klei Entertainment.
NC Yager.svg NC Yager

Flag of Germany.png Berlin, Germany
Flag of United States.png Irvine, California, United States
The Irvine studio was founded with former Double Helix Games/Amazon Game Studios employees in order to develop Breakaway.

Formed out of a merger between Das Werk Berlin and Yager Development.

NC Nixxes.svg NC Nixxes

Flag of the Netherlands.png Utrecht, the Netherlands A support studio for Krafton Pearl Abyss games and for the AAA game industry. Formerly called Nixxes Software.
NC RedSahara.svg NC RedSahara

Flag of South Korea.png Seoul, South Korea
Flag of South Korea.png Seongnam, South Korea
A support studio for Krafton Pearl Abyss games and also for NC Plarium games. Merger between Krafton Delusion, Krafton PNIX, Ntreev Soft, NeoCyon and Krafton Red Sahara.
NC Jagex.svg NC Jagex

Flag of United Kingdom.png Cambridge, United Kingdom Formerly called Jagex.
NC Game Arts.svg NC Game Arts

Flag of Japan.png Chiyoda, Japan
Flag of Japan.png Kofu, Japan
Flag of Japan.png Nagoya, Japan
Flag of Japan.png Osaka, Japan
Flag of Japan.png Sapporo, Japan
Flag of Japan.png Tokyo, Japan
Flag of United States.png Boulder, Colorado, United States
Flag of United States.png Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Formed out of a merger between Virtuos Tokyo, Acquire, Game Arts, Pole To Win Networks, Qbist, Entalize, MSPO Corporation, QaaS Co Ltd, SuperTrick Games, GungHo Online Entertainment's other internal teams, operations and affiliates, Omiya Soft, Syn Sophia, Crafts & Meister, Indieszero, Racjin, Tri-Crescendo, Japan Art Media (JAM), h.a.n.d., Y'sK Inc., HexaDrive, Cattle Call, Grezzo, Arzest, Asobism, Arika, Grounding Inc, Jackalope Art Factory, Prope, Vanpool, Mikage (ex-Imageepoch), IGG Japan, consulting companies Shantery and E-Smile, outsourcing studio Leverages Inc, and QA company Digital Hearts, integrated with employees from Black Bandit Q Limted and AlphaDream.

Kofu and Nagoya studios were formerly part of QaaS Ltd.

Boulder and Charlotte studios are formed out of a merger between Interactive Data Visualization, Gamebase USAXLOC Inc, Mighty Rabbit Studios and Wyrmbyte.

NC Zynga.svg NC Zynga

Flag of United States.png Eugene, Oregon, United States
Flag of United States.png New Orleans, United States
Flag of Turkey.png Istanbul, Turkey
Social casino and casual games developer, who also absorbed HVS NOLA. Formerly called Zynga, integrated with Rollic.
NC Boss Alien.svg NC Boss Alien

Flag of United Kingdom.png Brighton, United Kingdom
Flag of United Kingdom.png Southport, United Kingdom
Flag of United Kingdom.png Birmingham, United Kingdom
Racing game and middleware developer, formed out of a merger between Boss Alien, Playrise Digital, and the Brighton and Birmingham offices of NaturalMotion.
NC Stunlock.svg NC Stunlock

Flag of Sweden.png Skövde, Sweden Formerly called Stunlock Studios; integrated into KPA in 2020.
NC Aspyr.svg NC Aspyr

Flag of United States.png Austin, Texas, United States
Flag of United Kingdom.png London, United Kingdom
Flag of United States.png Dallas, Texas, United States
Flag of Singapore.png Singapore, Singapore
A support studio for Krafton Pearl Abyss games, the AAA game industry and also NC Plarium games.

The London studio was formerly called Feral Interactive.

Formed out of a merger between General Arcade, Electric Square Singapore, PTW Singapore, Zynga Austin, Triptych Games, IGG Dallas, Panic Button, GL33k LLC, CGBot, Armature Studio, BonusXP, Bluepoint Games and Aspyr.

NC VR.svg NC Virtual Reality

Flag of the Netherlands.png Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Flag of United States.png Dallas, Texas, United States
Flag of United States.png Austin, Texas, United States

NC Krafton's virtual reality division, formed out of a merger between Force Field Entertainment, Groove Jones and Subvrsive.

NC Immortal.svg NC Immortal

Flag of United States.png San Mateo, California, United States Formed out of former employees of Mythic Entertainment, 7 Studios, Locomotive Games, Underground DevelopmentTelltale Games, Carbine Studios, Pandemic Studios and Visceral Games.
TBA Unnamed Paris studio Flag of France.png Paris, France Announced during KPA's Q2 2021 financial results presentation.
TBA Unnamed Annecy studio Flag of France.png Annecy, France Announced during KPA's Q2 2021 financial results presentation.
TBA Unnamed Lyon studio Flag of France.png Lyon, France Announced during KPA's Q2 2021 financial results presentation.
TBA NC Polar Flag of Norway.png Oslo, Norway Announced during KPA's Q2 2021 financial results presentation.

NC Plarium

NC Plarium.svg

NC Plarium is NC Krafton's mobile and casual games division, dedicated to games for iOS, iPadOS and Android games. Founded as Plarium in 2009, they develop mobile games, casual games and MMORPGs, as well as content related to Krafton Pearl Abyss's intellectual property for apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeGame and Line. Their games include Raid Shadow Legends, World of Warships Blitz and QuizUp.

During the formation of Krafton Pearl Abyss, Plarium - then owned by Styhon Games - absorbed Machine Zone, Miniclip SA, Wargaming Mobile, Gaijin Arts, Glu, Zen Studios and Jam City.

They are headquartered in Herzliya, Israel with its own development studios in Cedar Falls and Kiyv. They also own subsidiaries Rumble Games, Lillith Studios, Jam City and Griptonite Games; with multiple international development and localization branches, and the Glu platform.

The company includes the following:

  • NC Plarium - headquartered in Herzliya, with additional studios in Cedar Falls (formerly of Jam City) and Kiyv (of the original Plarium)
    • NC Plarium Ltd. - Vancouver; formerly This Game Studio
      • NC Plarium Toronto - merger between Glu Toronto/Blammo Games, Zynga Toronto/Five Mobile, Alientrap and Jam City Toronto
    • OOO NC Plarium - merger between Gaijin Arts (Gaijin's mobile division), Plarium Krasnodar and Wargaming Moscow; headquartered in Moscow, with an additional studio in Krasnodar with support teams in Voronezh and Sevastopol.
    • OOD NC Plarium - Sofia; formerly Masthead Studios
    • NC Plarium GmbH - Berlin; merger between Jam City Berlin and Wargaming Mobile/Wargaming Berlin
    • NC Plarium AB - Stockholm; formerly FunPlus Stockholm, integrated with Star Stable Entertainment AB
      • Simogo - Malmö; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • TOV NC Plarium - headquartered in Kharkiv, with support teams in Lviv, Sevastopol and Odesa; formed out of Plarium's studios in Ukraine, integrated with Gameloft Khrakiv and Lviv
    • NC Plarium Sàrl - Neuchâtel; formerly Miniclip SA
    • NC Plarium Zrt - Budapest; formerly Zen Studios
    • NC Plarium SRL - Buenos Aires; formerly Jam City Buenos Aires
    • NC Plarium Ltda - Bogota; formerly Jam City Bogota/Brainz; which develops World War Doh among other projects
    • NC Plarium Oy - Helsinki; acquired as Small Giant Games by Zynga in 2018, integrated into KPA in 2020
    • NC Plarium SSC - Singapore (Singapore subsidiary company); formerly IGG Singapore
    • NC Plarium G.K. - Tokyo; formerly Supercell Tokyo
    • NC Plarium UK - Leeds; acquired Alternative Software and moved from Pontefract to Leeds in 2020
    • NC Plarium Thailand - Bangkok; formerly FunPlus Bangkok
    • NC Plarium Philippines - Manila; formerly IGG Philippines
    • NC Plarium Indonesia - Yogyakarta; formerly Gameloft Indonesia
    • NC Plarium Vietnam - Hanoi and Saigon; formed out of Gameloft's studios in Vietnam
    • NC Plarium Chicago LLC - a support studio in Chicago, Illinois; formed out of a merger between Babaroga, High Voltage Software and Zynga Chicago
    • NC Plarium Michigan LLC - Portage; formerly Plarium Michigan Studio
    • NC Plarium San Mateo LLC - merger between Machine Zone's Palo Alto headquarters/studio and its subsidiaries Epic Action LLC and Epic War LLC (who work on Mobile Strike and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire respectively), Ncubate Games, VoidAlpha, Disruptive Games, Glu's San Mateo/Burlingame studios, Mercenary Technology, Paradox Tectonic and Iron Tiger Studios
    • NC Plarium San Diego LLC - merger between Jam City San Diego, Zynga San Diego, Faceware Technologies and Playdek, integrated with former THQ San Diego/Concrete Games/Incinerator Studios employees
    • NC Plarium Orlando LLC - merger between War Drum Studios and Iron Galaxy Orlando; integrated into KPA and moved from Gainesville to Orlando in 2020
    • NC Plarium Oxnard LLC - formerly Left Field Productions, integrated into KPA and moved from Ventura to Oxnard in 2020
    • Pocket Gems - San Francisco; integrated with Rumble Games (Plarium), Supercell San Francisco, Glu's San Francisco studio/HQ, Zynga's HQ, IGG San Francisco, Additing Games LLC, FunPlus San Francisco and the Jam City San Francisco/TinyCo assets
    • Lillith Studios - Shanghai, with additional studios in Shenzen, Beijing and Fuzhou; merger between Lillith Games, Supercell Shanghai, IGG Shenzen/Fuzhou studios and FunPlus Beijing/Shanghai studios
    • XII Braves - Singapore and Jakarta; integrated with Gameloft Jakarta into KPA in 2020
    • Ninja Kiwi - Auckland and Dundee; integrated into KPA in 2020
    • Jam City - headquartered in Los Angeles

NC Entertainment

NC Entertainment (formerly Gravity Game Arise) is a division of NC Krafton, founded to exploit the intellectual properties owned by NC Krafton and Pearl Abyss divisions in such fields as animation production and film development. It expanded into original content on January 2020, with the acquisition of CJ ENM's units by parent company Krafton Pearl Abyss.

They're headquartered in Mapo-gu, Seoul, with additional offices in Tokyo, and Rebellion Film Studios in Oxford, England. The group of companies includes:

  • NC Entertainment - located in Mapo-gu, Seoul
  • NC Entertainment K.K. - located in Tokyo; former main headquarters
  • NC Entertainment Ltd - located in Rebellion Film Studios in Oxford
    • NC Entertainment Development Ltd - film development
    • Rebellion Productions - 50/50 joint venture with Rebellion Developments
      • Rebellion VFX

THQ Nordic

THQ Nordic is a division of KPA, responsible for assets acquired from MGM Interactive and Leyou in February 2021.

  • MGM Interactive Publishing - New York City, Stockholm and Skövde; formed out of a merger between Amplifier Game Invest, ​Private Division​, Coffee Stain Publishing and Coffee Stain Holding, unit to be renamed
    • Tarsier Studios​ - Malmö
    • Vermilia Studios - Madrid
    • River End Games - Gothenburg
    • Palindrome Interactive - Sködve
    • Rare Earth Games - Vienna
    • Misc Games - Stavanger
    • DestinyBit - Ravenna
    • C77 Entertainment - Seattle
    • Coffee Stain Studios​ - Skövde
    • Coffee Stain North - Stockholm
    • Lavapotion - Skövde
    • Intercept Games - Seattle
    • Playdots - New York City
    • Socialpoint​ - Barcelona
    • Ghost Ship Games (35%)
    • Other Tales Interactive (20%)
  • THQ Nordic
  • Saber Interactive​ - headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, with studios in Saint Petersburg, Sundsvall and Minsk
  • Deep Silver​ - Planegg
  • 2K​ - Novato; integrated with the 2K Games sublabel
    • 2K Play - sublabel; to be discontinued due to Cat Daddy's merger into new NC studio in Kirkland
    • 2K Sports - sublabel
      • Visual Concepts​ - Novato, with additional studios in Seoul, Budapest, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and in Orange County
    • 2K Chengdu - China
    • 2K Vegas - Las Vegas
    • 31st Union​ - Silicon Valley, with an additional studio in Spain
    • Cloud Chamber - San Francisco, with an additional studio in Montreal
    • Firaxis Games​ - Hunt Valley
    • Hangar 13​ - Novato, with additional studios in Prague, Brno and Brighton
  • Vertigo Games - Rotterdam; acquired by Koch Media in Sep 2020 and integrated into KPA in 2021
  • Radius Maxima - London (UK); integrated into KPA in 2021 as a holding company for ex-Leyou assets
    • Digital Extremes - London (Ontario) and Toronto
    • Splash Damage - London (UK)
    • Athlon Games - Burbank
    • Kingmaker - Beijing
    • Radiance Games - Guangzhou

KPA Sports

KPA Sports is an internal sports management, event agency, production, consulting and marketing division, specialised in the sporting preparation of professional sports teams and athletes, as well as the organisation and implementation of sports events and brand activation measures. They are headquartered inside KPA's headquarters in Gwacheon.

Their holdings include:

They also have offices in:

  • Los Angeles (formerly Mandalay Sports Entertainment and Independent Sports & Entertainment/Relativity Sports), 
  • Randburg, South Africa (established through intergation of MultiChoice Group's sports assets),
  • New York City (formerly Match IQ's overseas operations),
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands (new EMEA office),
  • Sydney, Australia (formerly Beyond Action)

Their Silver Spring office (formerly owned by Discovery Golf) was closed down during the sale of KPA Sports's golf assets. In December 2020, their offices in Unterföhring (formerly 7Sports), Cologne (MMP Event), Leucerne (TEAM Marketing), Neuilly-sur-Seine (M6 Foot SAS) and Hamburg (Match IQ) were closed, while operations were merged into a new office in Amsterdam.

Keywords Studios

Keywords Studios is an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, established in 1998, and headquartered in Dublin. They also have offices in Rio de Janeiro, Portland, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, New Delhi, Pune, Rome, Barcelona, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing and Manila.

The studios owned by Keywords Studios are:

  • Keywords Art Services:
    • Mindwalk Studios - Beijing; integrated with XPEC's Beijing studio
    • Liquid Development - Portland (OR)
    • RedHot Gameart - Shanghai with satellite studios in Chengdu, Dalian and Zhengzhou, with another in Yogyakarta (Indonesia); integrated with Exigent Game Art's and XPEC's Shanghai studios
    • ICHI Worldwide - Los Angeles
  • Keywords Game Development:
    • GameSim - Orlando
    • GetSocial - The Hague
    • D3T - Chesire
    • Sperasoft - San Jose (CA), Krakow (Poland) and Volgograd (Russia)
    • Snowed In Studios - Ottawa
    • Wizcorp - Tokyo
    • Yokozuna Data - Tokyo
    • Heavy Iron Studios - Los Angeles
    • Coconut Lizard - Gateshead
  • Keywords Audio Services:
    • Sound Lab - Burbank
    • Binari Sonori - Rome
    • LOLA - Mexico City
    • Maximal Studio - Sao Paulo
    • TV+Synchron - Berlin
    • Laced Records - London
  • Keywords Localization - with Binari Sinori:
    • Reverb Localization - Rio de Janiero
    • KantanMT - Dublin
  • Maverick Media - London
  • Keywords Embedded Services - Redmond, Munchen, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Slough, Indianapolis, Las Cruces, Loveland (CO) and Burbank; formerly called VMC, also offers services such as Functionality QA, Player Support and Localization QA​​​​​​

Kakao

Main article: Kakao

Kakao is a social media company entirely owned by KPA. 

Before Kakao's merger into KPA, they were a minor shareholder in KPA, while KPA held 50% of stakes in the company.  During the merger of Tencent Games overseas operations into KPA, Tencent's stake in Kakao was also integrated into KPA, with the stake they inherited from WeMade before its merger into KPA. They also acquired stakes in Kakao from non-domestic institutions and foreign investors, as well as 0.03% from domestic institutions and treasury stocks, in exchange for Vuori's B stock. 

Afterwards, its services Kakao Navi, Kakao Metro, Kakao Map, Kakao Place, Kakao Hairshop and Kakao Bus merged to form a new service called Kakao Maps; while Kakao Style, Daum Shopping, KakaoTalk Gift, Kakao Makers, ShoppingHow and related assets all merged to form KakaoShop. Kakao Japan Corporation, Kakao Investments and Kakao Ventures would be merged into Vuori, KPA's parent company.

Their products include KakaoTalk, KakaoTalk Cheez (camera app), KakaoMusic, KakaoMail, Kakao Maps, Kakao Driver (Uber-like service), Kakao T, Piccoma and Piccoma TV, KakaoShop, Brunch (Medium-like blogging platform), Kakao Together (crowdfunding website), Kakao Farmer (tangerine delivery service), KakaoStory, Tistory and KakaoPage. They also own 1boon, Melon (with sub-services Melon Ticket and Melon Aztalk), Kakao Friends, Daum (with Daum Webtoon, Daum Mail, Daum Cafe, Daum News and Daum Search), Kakao TV, Agit, KakaoBank (with subsidiaries Kakao Insurance, KakaoPay and KakaoPay Securities), and the consumer blockchain payment platform Klaytn.

Ventures, investments and other holdings

Following the merger of Tencent Games's overseas operations into KPA, they inherited Tencent Games's stakes in Milkytea, Shanda Network and Ourpalm, as well as minority shares in Voodoo and the 20% stake in Marvelous Entertainment. Aside from the shares held with or inherited from Tencent; they also hold 70% share in Netmarble, around 12% of stakes in ​SK Group and a minority stake in KT Corporation.

Tencent and Krafton Pearl Abyss formerly had minority shares in Naver Corporation (before they got acquired by Nami Holdings, in turn a Eclipse company) and Activision Blizzard (before being acquired by Oliver Watson). Game developers 4:33 Creative Lab, Pati Games, Xishanju (a division of Kingsoft), Frontier Developments and Robot Entertainment, all of which KPA has minority stakes in, are set to be acquired by Eclipse Group as well. Their minority stakes in Ubisoft were bought out by Illustrious, along with the rest of shares, including those owned by the Guillemot family.

Their real estate holdings include:

  • NC Nippon Complex - Tokyo; under construction, will include recording studios, a data center and a motion capture studio, as well as the offices of NC Japan, as well as NC Entertainment KK, Yokozuna Data, Wizcorp, and the Tokyo studios of Streamline, NC Game Arts and PlatinumGames
  • Rebellion Film Studios - Oxford

They also own the following companies that do not belong in the KPA divisions:

KPA Visual Arts

KPA Visual Arts is a CGI animation studio based in Seattle, formed out of a merger between Lakshya Digital (a Keywords studio)/Keywords Seattle and FXVille in October 2020. It is dedicated towards creating video game cinematics and full-length feature films, similar to Square Enix Visual Works.

In December 2020, they opened studios in Budapest, through acquiring Digic Pictures, and in London, employing animators from Axis Animation and Passion Pictures.

KPA External Development Group

During the formation of KPA, the External Development Group was formed to outsource full titles, sometimes even certain assets, to external development studios (outside of Keywords Studios and the Pearl Abyss division). They re-hired former employees of (THQ) External Development Group, especially their managers Kevin Chu and Shiraz Akmal.

They're headquartered in Shanghai, with a satellite office in Burbank, California. 

Products and events

NC Core

NC Core Flat.svg

NC (colloqually known as NC Core) is a full-fledged video game digital distribution service, online gaming, social gaming and digital rights management platform by Krafton Pearl Abyss. Internally referred to as the Unified Gaming Platform Project and formerly codenamed NC GG, NC will launch in the summer of 2021, after all games are finished being migrated into the platform. It will be available for iOS, iPadOS, Android, macOS, Windows and Linux.

NC Core will also feature the NC Arcade section for remakes and revivals of retro games, with most of the library consisting of the ones done by DATE Interactive (NC Data East), Piko Interactive (and its Piko Studios arm) and their close partners Atari, Nightdive Studios and Intellivision Entertainment.

History

Inherited from the Plarium, Gaijin Entertainment, Wargaming, Feral and Machine Zone acquisitions, the MZ platform, Gaijin inCubator, Unified Premium Account/Wargaming.net, the Feral Store and Plarium Play, as well as the En Masse launcher, Gameforge, Playpark and Garena, along with Glu Mobile's technology assets, are in process of combining into one new gaming service. NCSoft's Purple will also serve as part of the platform, giving access to mobile games to PC players; same goes with Garena+, which will provide the social gaming elements, and Gaijin.Net & Asiasoft Passports, which will provide better authorization amongst other game service features.

NC Dragon

NC Dragon.svg

NC Dragon is a suite of middleware for cross-platform games, created as a cross-studio collaboration within KPA, with internet features development support from NC En Masse. It's meant to compete with Unity, CryEngine and Unreal Engine. It's compatible with the NC Core platform and Krake's data servers.

The main motivation behind the creation of NC Dragon is the concept of a common engine across studios, similar to Frostbite. The development team also seek to make the game engine easy for use when transitioning from developing on Unreal and CryEngine.

It's currently compatible with Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia, HTML5, HTC Vive, OSVR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HoloLens 2Nintendo Switch, iOS, iPadOS and Android, with upcoming versions planned to support Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Components

  • NC Dragon Puppeteer - a combination of the Euphoria animation engine, SpeedTree modeling software, and the Faceware motion capture suite, with some features brought over from Granny 3D
  • NC Dragon Foley - a re-build of FMOD sound effects engine, combined with Miles Sound System
  • NC Dragon Engine - a combination of Gamebryo, Chrome Engine4A Engine, Fox Engine, Evolution, MAGE, Real Virtuality/Enforce, Torus, Silk Engine, PlatinumEngine and Dakor Engine; with the following addons:
    • the Enlighten lighting technology (now called Tatsu)
    • the BigWorld technology for virtual worlds and MMORPGs,
    • Vortex physics engine,
    • the Coherent Labs UI technology,
    • Umbra's occulsion culling and additional technologies,
    • the Telemetry performance visualization system,
    • InstaLOD 3D processing technology,
    • Oodle data compression,
    • Demonware's Matchmaking+, and State Engine netcode framework,
    • SpeedTree vegetation rendering and
    • the Kythera AI technology
  • NC Dragon Coder - an IDE, which is a rebuild of Helix QAC
  • NC Dragon Project - a cloud storage system for project and profile synchronization, integrated with rebuilds of:
    • the XLOC content management system for localization (as the "NC Dragon Localization" add-on)
    • the Streamframe workflow pipeline system
    • the Perforce Helix revision control
    • the Helix ALM application lifetime management system
  • Bink Video

The middleware suite also uses Krake technology.

Development team

NC Dragon's development team is housed inside:

  • Pearl Abyss Australia Pty Ltd, in Sydney and Melbourne
  • NC Boss Alien, in Brighton
  • Gravity, in Seoul
  • Kythera, in Edinburgh
  • Redshirt, in Montreal
  • InstaLOD, in Stuttgart
  • Techland, in Ostrów Wielkopolski
  • Bohemia Interactive, in Prague
  • 4A Games, in Sliema and Kiyv
  • The Forge Interactive, in Encinitas
  • Perforce, in Minneapolis
  • NC Plarium San Mateo LLC
  • NC Plarium San Diego LLC
  • NC Game Arts, in Boulder and Charlotte
  • NC Aspyr, in Austin
  • Umbra, in Helsinki
  • Wizcorp & Yokozuna Data, in Tokyo
  • Tabletop Towns, in Paris
  • Demonware, in Dublin, Vancouver and Shanghai
  • Good Science Studio, in Kirkland
  • Streamline, in Kuala Lumpur
  • Dakor Technologies, in Moscow
  • NaturalMotion, in London
  • Geomerics, in Cambridge
  • Coherent Labs, in Sofia
  • PlatinumGames, in Tokyo
  • Keywords Studios
  • NC Australia, in Melbourne
  • Konami, in Tokyo
  • Digital Extremes, in London (Ontario)

Games using NC Dragon

Main article: List of games using NC Dragon technology

It is confirmed that most KPA studios will immediately start using NC Dragon, once their current projects have finished. First games to use NC Dragon technology are Shadowrun (2026), Evolve Deluxe, an untitled Pirates of the Carribean video game project and a Nebula Starlight MMO.

NCVR

NCVR Logo.svg

In August 2020, NC Krafton acquired Pimax and the consumer assets of Magic Leap to form a new company in Shanghai called NCVR, in order to start development on their own virtual reality system. They hope to release it in the mid-2020s. They're also working on "quirky" motion controllers in collaboration with Swedish consumer electronics company Teenage Engineering.

Glu

The new Glu website (operated by NC Plarium under NC Plarium Sàrl, Ninja Kiwi and Rumble Games) is a free browser game platform. The new Glu was formed out of a merger between the Glu, PlayFirst, GluPlay, CrowdStar, Addicting Games, Shockwave, Ninja Kiwi and Miniclip brands and related technology assets.

NCCon

Other events

Titles

Online games

Name Status Release Date Notes
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Active Dec 20, 2017 Tencent published the mobile versions, while Microsoft published the Xbox One version. Developed by PUBG Corporation. Still published through NC, after PUBG Corporation's sale to OWL Ventures's MGM Entertainment.
TERA Active; publishes the game in North America May 1, 2012 (NA) Developed by NC Bluehole and published through NC En Masse.
Runescape Active Jan 4, 2001 Developed by NC Jagex.
KoGaMA Active Sep 17, 2011 A game making-focused sandbox MMO. Originally developed by Multiverse ApS (later acquired by Crescent Games) and now developed by NC Plarium.
Star Stable Active 2011? Originally developed by Star Stable Entertainment AB, now developed by NC Plarium AB.
Breakaway Upcoming Q1 2022 A revival of the MOBA developed by Amazon, developed by NC Studios (mainly by NC Yager) using the new NC Dragon game engine.
Frantic Royale Mayhem Upcoming Q2 2022

A team-based multiplayer action-adventure shooter game with a surrealistic/cartoonish aesthetic, similar to Overwatch, Sunset Overdrive and Rage 2. Developed by Rebellion Malta and Grasshopper Manufacture with additional work by Rebellion North, Rebellion Warwick, Pearl Abyss and Keywords Studios.

MRP Upcoming Q4 2021 A successor to Bizarre Creations franchises PGR, Metropolis Street Racer & Blur, the Wipeout and Driver franchises, and Climax/Black Rock's games Pure and Split/Second. Developed by NC Boss Alien with additional work by Lucid Games and Sumo Digital.
Incognito Upcoming Q1 2021 A spy adventure game where the player works for an intelligence agency. The player's mission is to spy on people, but you might not know that the other players are spying on them too. Developed by a team of 15 people within NC Game Arts Nagoya.
Bionic Wars Upcoming Q4 2021

A cinematic science fiction-action game that includes mechanical combat and stealth elements, similar to Metal Gear Solid franchise, Gears of War and Titanfall, and is to be set in Dubai during 2080s. Developed by Pearl Abyss Abu Dhabi, Redmond, India, Mexico, Canada, Australia and Kiyv.

Upcoming non-online games

Name Release Date Notes
Weiv May 3, 2021 A music-based video game, developed by a team of 8 people within both NC Klei and NC Game Arts studios; the PlayStation 4 and mobile ports developed by NC Abstraction and NC Blit respectively.
Eox Q1 2022 Krafton Pearl Abyss's answer to Doom, Halo, Assassin's Creed and Star Citizen. Developed by NC Game Arts and NC Yager, with additional work by NC Studios, Pearl Abyss, Keywords Studios and external partners The Imaginarium Studios.
Eox: Ragtag Q2 2022 A companion game taking place within the Eox universe, which is a partial revival of Visceral Games's cancelled projects Jamaica and its successor Project Ragtag, developed by NC Immortal with additional work by NC Yager.
Eox Party Q1 2022 A humoristic take on party games, taking place within the Eox universe, but is not canon. Developed by NC Game Arts Sapporo.
Skylar Q1 2022 A psychological thriller-action/science fiction game, which follows Skylar Henjin, a bullied control freak who, one day, acquires supernatural and enchanced abilities and becomes the anti-hero, while the CIA hunts her down. Developed by Pearl Abyss Slovakia and published by Xbox Game Studios (for Xbox Series X and Xbox One) and NC (for PC through NC Core).
Moving Mountains Q1 2022 A satirical JRPG about a girl, Erin, and her guardian angel/dead boyfriend, Awero. Developed by a team of 7 people within NC Game Arts Osaka.
Just Another Day in the Good Old Alternative Universe Q1 2022 A take on an alternate dimension version of a 3D platformer, with gesture recognition, "alternative physics", time machine elements (such as cloning), gates (similar to portals from the Portal franchise) and gravity switching. Developed by a team of 18 people in NC Game Arts Osaka.
Project D2N Q1 2022 A horror game based around a remote island, with an abandoned factory, both full of mysteries. Developed by a team of 20 people within both NC Game Arts Osaka and Nagoya studios.
Eternal Stranger Q1 2022 An emotional adventure game, inspired by games such as Ori and the Blind Forest, Limbo, Gris, Braid and the Studio Ghibli films. Developed by NC Game Arts Kofu.
Yoostar 3 Q1 2022 The third installment in the Yoostar franchise. Developed by an undisclosed developer with the assistance of KPA External Development Group.

Board games





Films

Krafton Pearl Abyss produces films through NC Entertainment, which specializes in film adaptations and co-productions.

Series

NC Entertainment also produces TV series.

Criticism

Acquisition of CD Projekt Red

In March 2021, Krafton Pearl Abyss finished acqusition of a majority stake in the Polish game developer CD Projekt Red. Mee-Kyong recounted: "As we both share the same values, [DRM-free games, creative control], we subsequently ended up in a deal which would see us financially support every [CD Projekt Red] title from then on, with no exceptions, in exchange of a majority equity stake."

Parent company Vuori's CEO Kasperi Salovaara and The Eclipse Group's CEO Issac Davis later expressed their mixed feelings about the deal, with both of them explaining in a Twitter thread how "while [Kasperi is pretty much] happy about [the deal], [he does not] feel like the studio would be fairly secure under Mee-Kyong". Kasperi and Issac both promise to take action to spin off the studio, should anything happen to them such as internal conflicts.

The deal also received mixed to negative backlash from fans, targeting Mee-Kyong and KPA, with Red's earlier dedication to independence being brought up and fears about KPA becoming a juggernaut in the video game industry. The backlash also targeted Salovaara for a brief time, as he was notorious in acquiring big companies in the media industry. However, he later explained on Twitter: "like 93% of the time [sic] I'm not entirely responsible for acquisitions in my company. [He does] bring up some potential partners, while the others do the rest. It's kind of a way of resolving conflicts for example."

See also

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