Korean Developers Have Now Left Their Mark On AAA Gaming

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Lies of P and Stellar Blade Put Korean Developers On The Map!

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  • Korean developers haven’t been a major part of AAA gaming in the past.
  • Recent releases like Lies of P and Stellar Blade have put the studios from this region on the map.
  • Due to back-to-back hits, Korea will now focus on making more AAA games. 

The gaming industry is dominated by giants like Rockstar, Capcom, FromSoftware, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, Naughty Dog, and more. These names are the most well-known in the industry, but what about the underrated developers?

Some developers, like Remedy Entertainment, are criminally underrated, but there are others that people don’t know much about. Korean studios are great examples, but they have now begun to make a name for themselves in the industry.

With the rise of Korean influence in the Souls-like genre, it seems this part of the gaming industry has a bright future ahead.

Why it matters: Korean developers are best known for their online games like PUBG. This region is also quite well-versed in mobile gaming.

It All Started With Lies of P

While Korean developers mostly focus on online and mobile games, the likes of Mihoyo claimed the top of the ladder quickly, leaving them behind. Fortunately, the release of Lies of P was a major shift for the region as a whole.

This is arguably my favorite Souls-Like so far due to its brilliant atmosphere and boss battles. It raises the bar for the genre, in my opinion, and no amount of praise is enough for the developers.

Neowiz and Round8 Studio seemingly came out of nowhere and managed to attract 7 million players. To me, the best part of Lies of P was its authentic approach to Souls-like.

Many studios are so focused on what FromSoftware does right, they forget to bring their own flavor to the genre. I felt Lies of P was both unique and familiar. It showed that Korean developers could rival the best in this industry, and produce more than just copies of popular formulas.

This is exactly why a sequel to this Souls-like is now in the works.

Stellar blade is phenomenal
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Stellar Blade Carries The Baton

Lies of P was released in late 2023, and another Korean developer, Shift Up Corporation, has managed to keep the momentum going in 2024. Stellar Blade immediately gained popularity due to its main character, combat mechanics, and uncanny similarities to Devil May Cry 5 and Nier Automata.

Perhaps Shift Up Coroporation’s biggest accomplishment was the level of polish it achieved. For a mobile game studio, one would expect it to struggle when making the jump to a console AAA title.

However, you would be forgiven for mistaking the team for an experienced AAA studio after a release like Stellar Blade. Shift Up Corporation has set an example that should prove to be encouraging for aspiring developers in the region.

Overall, both Lies of P and Stellar Blade are examples of the talent in Korea. These games could be the beginning of something much bigger, with the best developers in the region now aiming to meet a similar bar.

AAA Korean Games
AAA Korean Games Has Left Their Mark On The Industry

Future of Korean Developers

There’s no telling where this industry will go from here. However, from what I can see, Korea is just getting started.

Lies of P is getting a sequel, and Shift Up Corporation is likely to follow suit after Stellar Blade’s positive reception. However, their success is sure to spark new growth in the market, leading to more interest in AAA development across Korea.

The Korean government has also taken a liking to the industry, announcing a focus on AAA gaming.

This should give studios a greater incentive to explore console/PC gaming. As they look upon a new chapter of game development, I wish all Korean developers all the best and hope they continue to make more fun games across all types of genres.

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