Online Games Turn to Webtoons for Content | Be Korea-savvy

Online Games Turn to Webtoons for Content


A screenshot of '2016 God of High School with Naver' game(image: NHN Entertainment)

A screenshot of ’2016 God of High School with Naver Webtoon’ game(image: NHN Entertainment)

SEOUL, August 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Use of the intellectual property (IP) of webtoons (online comics) in the gaming industry is becoming increasingly popular.

Because the main characters in webtoon series are already familiar to young gamers who often read comics, use of existing characters offers cost-saving benefits when it comes to marketing.

Naver and Daum, the two largest web portals in South Korea, both actively support the development of online games based on their webtoon series.

Naver introduced its ‘Page Profit Share’ (PPS) program in 2013, placing ads for online games at the bottom of webtoon pages. The PPS program has since expanded to movies and other digital content as well.

As the creation of ‘one-source, multi-use’ content based on webtoons is spreading rapidly, Naver dedicated a separate department to handle the utilization and sale of IP-based content.

Misaeng, a famous South Korean comic written and illustrated by Yoon Tae-ho, and released on Daum, is also being launched as a mobile game.

To encourage IP to be utilized more widely, Daum created a business website (http://biz.webtoon.daum.net/) in June for publication rights in order to target external investors or large corporations that might be interested.

“A synopsis, background history, author’s information, and key scenes are provided for the webtoons with publication rights, and recommendations based on different genres are also available on the website,” said a Daum official.

An interesting trend to note is that different online games are being developed from one webtoon series.

For example, ‘2016 God of High School with Naver Webtoon’, which ranked seventh in the Google Play game category as of July 28, is based on the same webtoon as a game that was released under the same name on the YD Online gaming website in 2015.

‘God of High School’ is published periodically on Naver’s webtoon page.

The two games, however, are very distinct, and have different styles of game characters and graphics. With different stories and goals, many users on gaming communities find both games intriguing.

“‘God of High School’ was a success both as a webtoon and as a mobile game, and we are hopeful for the webtoon and gaming industries to collaborate on more ventures in the future,” said an official from Naver subsidiary NHN Entertainment.

By Nonnie Kim (nkim@koreabizwire.com)

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