|Seen is a poster for "BTS World," a mobile game that Netmarble plans to launch within the first half of the year. / Courtesy of Netmarble|
By Jun Ji-hye
K-pop sensation BTS' debut on the Grammy stage is expected to be a boost and boon to Netmarble as the Korean game firm is preparing to launch "BTS World," a mobile game utilizing the intellectual property of the members of the boy band, within the first half of the year.
BTS took the stage to present the Best R&B Album award during the 61st Grammy Awards on Sunday (local time) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It marked the first time for Korean singers to be present at the Grammy Awards.
With its participation in the Grammys, BTS has finished up its debut at the top three music awards, including the Billboard and American Music Awards, proving their explosive popularity globally.
The latest move of the boy band is expected to be favorable to Netmarble that is seeking to make a rebound from its declining sales and operating profit last year.
Shinhan Investment estimated Netmarble would have posted 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) in sales and 254 billion won in operating profit last year, down by 15.4 percent and 50.1 percent from the previous year, respectively.
The unsatisfactory performance was mainly attributed to the firm's failure to release mega-hit games since the success of its previous mobile smash hit, "Lineage 2: Revolution," which was released in December 2016.
The firm has also suffered delays in releasing new games after the government implemented a new 52-hour workweek limit in July last year.
The game firm is seeking to shift the mood through the launch of "BTS World."
The game uses more than 100 video clips and 10,000 photos of the boy band, allowing users to nurture a BTS member in the game.
"We are aiming to launch BTS World in the global market within the first half of the year," said a Netmarble official.
Choi Jin-seong, an analyst from Hyundai Motor Securities, said, "Netmarble is likely to achieve meaningful results from BTS World as the game will allow a number of users worldwide to enjoy it easily."