March 2, 2021

The little-known videogame studio that created the cult game PUBG is planning an IPO that could take its value to a whopping $27 billion, report says

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  • The video-game studio behind cult game PUBG is planning an IPO in 2021, Bloomberg reported.
  • South Korean Krafton Inc’s planned IPO could value the company as much as $27 billion. 
  • The CEO plans to release three more games based on or related to PUBG by 2022.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The South Korean video-game studio that created the smash game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or “PUBG,” is planning an IPO in the second half of 2021, according to a Bloomberg report.  

Kim Chang-han, who started out young in the gaming industry as a coding whizz, was one of 30 developers that worked on creating the multiplayer battle royale game in 2017.

Kim is now the chief executive of Krafton Inc, the company that launched PUBG in December 2017. The game attracted players around the world, raking in revenue worth $100 million within just 13 weeks of its global release.

PUBG had a peak of about 438,000 people playing at the exact same time in November 2020, according to data released by Statista. But the highest number of people playing simultaneously – about 3 million – was recorded in January 2018.

Before Kraton, Kim had his own gaming studio. But he laid off a third of his employees in 2014, Bloomberg said. By then, he had already created three multiplayer video games that failed to take off. 

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“That was the darkest time in my life,” the now 46-year-old prodigy told Bloomberg. He sold his startup to Krafton in 2015, leading to a series of events that changed his prospects in the world of gaming.

He then joined the company as an executive producer, only to nab the top post of CEO in 2020. Krafton now plans to list a public offering that could be one of South Korea’s biggest market debuts in years. The planned share sale could raise billions of dollars for the company, Kim told Bloomberg.

The company’s IPO could take its value to as much as 30 trillion won, or $27.2 billion, Bloomberg said, citing a report by Eugene Investment & Securities. South Korea could raise close to $11 billion through 120 IPOs in 2021, according to the report.

Krafton plans to release three more games by 2022, all of which will be based on or related to PUBG. One of them is expected to be a survival horror game that portrays the PUBG universe three centuries into the future.

“We will not stay as a one-hit wonder,” Kim said in the Bloomberg interview. 

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