Line app, which is best-known for being a popular messaging system in Asia, has moved into the gaming industry with full force after acquiring a Korean gaming studio called NextFloor for an undisclosed amount. This is big news within the tech industry, as Line became the largest tech IPO back in 2016 after it went public.
According to Tech Crunch, NextFloor has produced gaming titles like Dragon Flight and Destiny Child, with the former racking up more than 14 million users since its launch in 2012 — making $1 million in revenue at its peak. The latter title, Destiny Child, was released in 2016 and immediately topped the Korean charts, as well as gaining popularity in Japan and North America, among other places.
The acquisition by the Line app seems like a clear sign that the company plans to move from its own messaging games to a more direct video game strategy. As it currently stands, Line’s gaming is focused on social features like friend graphs and a booming sticker business that’s part of its bigger in-app purchasing strategy.
While the Line app has been tremendously successful in Asia, it’s still looking for ways to gain market value next to messaging giants like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — who control the space thanks to more than one billion monthly users each. In comparison, the Line app has found itself around the 200 million monthly user mark for quite awhile, so this acquisition gives the company hope to bring in a younger audience and new users.
Per the TechCrunch piece, with Line app doubling down in gaming, the brand said it plans to focus on non-mobile platforms — which, allegedly, will include the Nintendo Switch and other gaming consoles in the next six-to-eight months. While there’s no guarantee Line’s gamble will pay off, the brand’s acquisition of NextFloor could help the company finally break the barrier that seems to be around users outside of just Asia, which would be a huge accomplishment.