Big Hit Entertainment's latest strategic move has got industry insiders excited about the future of the company, and its artists too.
South Korean news outlets have reported that the K-pop management company has just acquired multi-platform music game company, Superb. This further expands the company's portfolio, which also recently bought over Source Music, the talent agency behind popular K-pop girl group, GFRIEND, and marks the company's move into music and intellectual property-based game development and services.
It is reported that Superb will work with Big Hit to develop games and services that can be accessed and played globally.
"Big Hit believes the gaming industry will create a strong synergy with the music industry. We believe that Big Hit will especially thrive in the two industries, so we have been looking into many different opportunities," said Bang Si-hyuk, CEO of Big Hit, in a press release issued to the media.
This news comes just a few months after they launched the wildly successful BTS World mobile game application, which was developed together with gaming company Net Marble. The multi-story game has since been downloaded more than 600,000 times as of July 2019 and brought in about $3 million, according to one report.
Bang further explained his company's latest decision, "We believe this acquisition will bring a positive value and more possibilities for both companies, as well as the multi-labels that Big Hit is expanding into. Along with our acquisition of Superb, we will continue our partnership with Net Marble in game development."
Mobile gaming is an extremely lucrative market, accounting for about 47% of the global gaming industry, with a net worth of $63.2 billion in 2018.
And faced with male artists who have to put their entertainment careers on hold for mandatory military service, this provides an alternative to the tried-and-true method of creating ever-smaller K-pop group sub-units, instead allowing fans to interact with their favourite idols virtually.
Co-CEO of Superb Minhwan O said, "Superb has been focusing on creating new ways of having fun by combining music and games. Through both parties' revolutionary content and development ability, we will work to create content that lives up to expectations of global users."
Superb has been in the mobile gaming industry for 10 years. Games that the company has created include Pianista, a rhythm game based on classical music, and Yumi's Cells with Naver Webtoon, another rhythm-based music game, accoprding to the company's website.
Big Hit Entertainment is the parent company of super-septet boy band BTS.