Allowing users to exchange in-game assets for digital currency, a company's stock increased by nearly 700%

Based on blockchain technology, Mir4 allows players to convert in-game assets into a tradable cryptocurrency, while the character hunts and fights in the virtual world.

Allowing users to exchange in-game assets for digital currency, a company's stock increased by nearly 700%
Allowing users to exchange in-game assets for digital currency, a company's stock increased by nearly 700%

Game development for passion

More than 20 years ago, Park Kwan Ho created the Legend of Mir game when he was only 20 years old thanks to his passion for online games. He shyly shared, money was only the last thing on his mind at that time.

Now, at the age of 48, Kwan Ho's passion has also brought him success thanks to the establishment of Wemade Co. in 2000. The biggest achievement for game developers can be said to be the release of the 4th version of Legend of Mir globally in August.

In the mid-1990s, a business student Kwan Ho used to develop computer games as a member of a programming club. At that time, this field was still not profitable. However, despite the disapproval of his friends, he remained undaunted.

The private founder shared in a rare interview: "I'm pretty good at programming and coding. So, I thought it would be interesting to make a career out of it. At first, I didn't. plans to start their own company."

Based on blockchain technology, Mir4 allows players to convert in-game assets into tradable cryptocurrency, while the character still hunts and fights in the virtual world. Although this genre is considered to be played for money, many people still accept to spend money so that they do not have to spend hours searching for adequate resources for "hunting" for cryptocurrencies.

Mir is a game that requires players to complete missions in a virtual world with a mythical setting, warriors fighting monsters. Mir has attracted millions of users from many countries from Belgium to Brazil or the Philippines.

In Mir's virtual world, players can exchange 100,000 Darksteel coins for 1 Draco token - which can then be exchanged for Wemix. The value of Wemix increased to 3,587 won on September 19, an increase of 426% compared to the day the coin was officially listed on October 28.

Park Kwan Ho - Founder of Wemade.
Park Kwan Ho - Founder of Wemade.

Ambition of the game "billionaire"

Thanks to the massive success, Wemade's stock has surged nearly 620% this year, bringing the company's capitalization to around $3.9 billion. Kwan Ho is also among developers working to reshape the sector, which has made a fortune as the pandemic spurs demand for online entertainment.

Mir4 is also part of Korea's entertainment culture wave, promoting the country's soft power. The key new factor to this dynamic is Netflix's blockbuster "Squid Game".

Kwan Ho currently holds about 45% of shares in Wemade, valued at about $1.7 billion. However, nearly 70% of that is used by him as collateral, according to Bloomberg. Accordingly, he is not a self-made billionaire in the Korean online game industry.

Of the 14.8 million shares Kwan Ho holds, 10.3 million shares are pledged between 2013 and 2020 with Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), NongHyup Bank, IBK Securites and Samsung Securites.

A Wemade representative said Kwan Ho's mortgage was worth 45 billion won ($38 million). In addition, this is also the form practiced by many other billionaires such as Elon Musk or Larry Ellison.

When Wemade released the 2nd version of Mir in China in the early 2000s, 500 million players accessed it at the same time. But in the years that followed, the company struggled with its development plans, embroiled in lengthy legal battles abroad to stop pirated versions.

With the emergence of the metaverse and blockchain, "digital ledger" technology, Kwan Ho is looking to tap into the growing demand for "play for money" titles.

He said: "Initially, creating a virtual world to make money in it was a pipe dream. But it can become a reality with the development of blockchain technology. The skyrocketing stock price is clear. clear evidence of our vision."

Kwang Ho's next ambition is to enter the crypto space in 2018, he founded the blockchain division Wemade Tree Co. and listed company Wemix in 2020. He also invested 80 billion won in Vidente - the largest shareholder of the Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange.

After Mir4 was released in Korea in November, Wemade's revenue jumped 147% to a record high in the first quarter of 2021 from a year ago. The company released the 4th version in 170 countries in August and is set to launch in China.

Google Tech News - Bloomberg

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