Since the worldwide launch of a blockchain-based sport in late August, shares of Korea-listed sport developer WeMade have practically quadrupled, making its founder, Park Kwan-ho, a billionaire.
The sport, known as Mir 4, was launched domestically in November final 12 months and made out there globally—throughout 170 nations in 12 languages—on August 26. Since then, it has been downloaded greater than 1 million instances on Google’s Play Store and shares of WeMade soared about 290%. Park, who turns 49 subsequent month, is the chairman of WeMade and its largest shareholder, with a virtually 45% stake in his personal identify. Forbes estimates his internet price at $1.2 billion.
Mir 4 is a blockchain-based sport that permits gamers to earn cryptocurrency and commerce non-fungible tokens. Such video games have been rising more and more in style as cryptocurrencies achieve mainstream acceptance. For instance, Axie Infinity, developed by Vietnamese sport maker Sky Mavis, boasts greater than 2 million day by day lively gamers. Sky Mavis raised $152 million in a funding spherical earlier this month led by Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz.
“Our video games are evolving into metaverses and the worth of the digital belongings are being acknowledged,” WeMade CEO Henry Chang mentioned on an analyst name in August. “WeMade has since then continued to deal with capturing the alternatives which are created in the midst of this transition.”
Primarily based in Seongnam, south of Seoul, WeMade was doing nicely even earlier than Mir 4‘s world launch. It reported that income rose 175% year-over-year within the second quarter to 69 billion gained ($60 million), whereas internet revenue was 19 billion gained ($16 million), up from a lack of 5 billion gained ($4 million) in the identical interval final 12 months. “We anticipate earnings to proceed on an uptrend, pushed by the worldwide launch of Mir 4 in August and the launch of Mir M (a cellular model of the sport) within the fourth quarter this 12 months,” Shinhan Funding analyst Lee Moon-jong mentioned in a report in mid-August.
The corporate makes most of its cash—about 95%—from video games, together with cellular, desktop and licensing charges. Apart from the Mir franchise, WeMade’s other major game is Icarus; a cellular model of the sport has been downloaded over 500,000 instances on Google’s Play Retailer. Different income streams embrace digital comics, on-line novels and its NFT auction platform.
Park, who holds a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise from Kookmin College in Seoul, based WeMade in 2000 and listed on Korea’s technology-rich Kosdaq inventory change in 2009. Beforehand, he labored for 4 years at Korean sport developer ActozSoft, the place he was an auditor and led the event group.
Apart from Park, there are seven different Korean gaming billionaires: Krafton’s Chang Byung-gyu, NCSoft’s Kim Taek-jin, Netmarble’s Bang Jun-hyuk, Nexon’s Kim Jung-ju, NHN Leisure’s Lee Joon-ho, Pearl Abyss’ Kim Dae-il and Smilegate’s Kwon Hyuk-bin.
In August, Krafton’s Chang noticed his internet price greater than triple to $2.9 billion as his firm raised $3.8 billion in an preliminary public providing—the second-largest IPO ever in Korea after Samsung Life Insurance coverage’s 4.9 trillion gained itemizing in 2010.