SoftBank Ventures announced on July 23 that it would invest $500,000 in the RPG (role-playing game) venture company, Wave3Studio.
Wave3Studio was founded last August by core developers of NCSoft’s RPG game Blade & Soul, which is one of the most successful MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) in South Korea. It holds a record of 2.3 million concurrent connections in South Korea and 15 million in China.
CEO Dong-Pyo Lee joined the team in 2007 after his time at NFlavor’s Rappelz, and took charge of designing the game’s system for character moves and skill presentation. Production director Ki-Bong Kim supervised the development of B&S’ combat system. Program Manager Young-Kwon Ko also acquired experience from Rappelz and Nexon’s Mabinogi, while Team Manager and B&S engine developer Won-Ho Kim is another Nexon alumnus.
With these experienced team members, Wave3Studio is currently developing ‘Project OZ,’ setting forth a new type of action RPG that allows players to engage in virtual combat by “communicating directly with characters.” Specifics of what that actually means are soon to be revealed.
“I’m counting on the team to make another legend like Anipang and Cookie Run,” said Hyun-Jong Hwi, who is in charge of the investment. He added that “representative Dong-Pyo Lee and other core members of Wave3Studio have been working together for long time, and with the past experiences of RPG development, they have high skills.” Anipang and Cookie Run are two of the most successful mobile games in Korea.
In light of the investment, CEO Dong-Pyo Lee said, “With this investment, we can focus on increasing the quality of ‘Project OZ.’ Because we are trying to differentiate ‘Project OZ’ from other mobile games in the market, the users, who are tired of playing similar games, can count on ‘Project OZ’.”
SoftBank Ventures has been investing in many other online and mobile game ventures like Anipang developer Sunday Toz, Cookie Run’s Dev Sisters, and DooBic Game Studio, the developer of the world’s first online First Person Shooter game. SoftBank Ventures also recently invested in Thailand’s game publisher INI3.