How many games do you need to make as a game developer in order to see huge profit? The answer is precisely zero. MMO publisher NCSoft has invested a whopping $1.8m in Korean indie game developer Binaree despite the fact that the developer has yet to actually make any games.
NXSoft is a world renowned publisher from Korea known for their work on numerous PC MMOs, including Guild Wars, AION, Blade & Soul and Wildstar. So the fact that they’re willing to invest such a staggering amount in a company that has yet to actually do anything is quite remarkable.
Binaree is currently at work on a zombie apocalypse MMO strategy game that goes by the working title of APO. The game is expected to soft launch in twelve months says Binaree founder Kyungheon Kim. The full launch is two years away. To say that NCSoft has take a big risk would be a huge understatement.
So what made NCSoft invest in Binaree? Kim’s resume doesn’t hurt. He’s work at Com2us (Summoners War), CrayonPixel, Zynga, and Rovio (Angry Birds).
“My background in games is unique compared to others developers in Korea,” says Kim. “I was told that CEO of NCSOFT was seeking a guy who has very strong entrepreneurship. I guess NCSOFT believe I am right for them. Also, my game concept is clear and should make the game popular with the main stream of the international market.”
The majority of Korean developers have started out in their home country before attempting the international market. BiNAREE’s aims are grander. They’ve firmly set their sights on the world stage even at this early time.
“The Korean mobile game market is extremely polarized,” says Kim. “It’s difficult for a small startup like us to penetrate [the market] without a publishing deal. But the publishing deal itself is very risky as well.”
Speaking of BiNAREE’s first game, APO, Kim says:
“APO is a zombie apocalypse game in which players defend shelters against humans and zombies. The control scheme is easy to learn and the game allows players to okay as either humans or zombies.”
What do you think? Will APO be a hit? Has NCSoft invested wisely? Leave your comments below.