Krafton may invest more to build digital ecosystem in India

South Korean gaming firm Krafton may invest more than the committed $100 million in India, its division head in the country told ET.

The company recently announced an
investment in game streaming platform Loco and said it would chip in more if the right opportunity came up.

“We are already thinking of more opportunities and deploying further capital in India as investors from mid- to long-term perspective,” Sean Hyunil Sohn said.

Krafton has also
invested in esports company Nodwin Gaming.

“Looking at the future, our philosophy is more about finding the strategic fit in terms of right founders, market areas and potential strategic collaborations. These three things define our decision making rather than a fixed stage or pure financial return like a financial investor,” Hyunil said.

Krafton
launched Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the local version of its popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), on July 2.

The mobile version of PUBG – published by Chinese internet major Tencent in India – was
banned last year as part of a wider crackdown on Chinese apps.

The South Korean video game developer said on Monday that BGMI had surpassed 34 million registered users – via Google Play Store — within a week of its release. It said BGMI had a peak of 16 million daily active users, and 2.4 million peak concurrent users. The game has yet to be launched on Apple iOS.

Hyunil said Krafton will focus primarily on the esports, game publishing, game development and affiliate domains.

“We are also looking to back innovative companies in broader areas such as the media and entertainment sector, and hopefully there’s a nice announcement on the cards soon,” he said.

Hyunil, who will relocate to India next month along with family, said the company was committed to investing and partnering with founders to build a strong digital ecosystem in the country.

“We think with our extensive expertise and experience in producing blockbuster games and IPs, we can fast-track the journey for some entrepreneurs,” he said.

Krafton currently has over 20 employees in the country and will grow this two- or three-fold as it focuses on local partnerships, launching more titles and developing games out of India.

“We believe India presents a great untapped market in terms of talent for game development. We want to bring those talent out to the world,” Hyunil said.

Krafton is expected to launch its first major esports tournament soon to bring together the local gaming community. Hyunil said a collaboration with a global electric automotive giant to bring some fun elements to its maps is also on the agenda.

On the controversy around sharing of user data with third parties, Hyunil said according to its privacy policy the app may transfer some user data with their consent and that data was shared only to enable certain game features.

The company will continue to closely monitor and protect any data being transferred to unexpected and restricted IP addresses, he added.

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