|Bluehole Studio, Inc. (2007–2015)|
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||March 2007Seoul, South Koreain|
|Parent||Krafton Game Union (2018–present)|
Bluehole, Inc.[a] (known as Bluehole Studio, Inc.[b] until 22 April 2015) is a South Korean video game developer based in the Bundang-gu district of Seongnam. Founded by Chang Byung-gyu, in Seoul, in March 2007, the company is best known for developing TERA (2011) and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (2017), the latter through its PUBG Corporation subsidiary. In November 2018, Bluehole organised itself under a newly founded parent company, Krafton Game Union.
Chang Byung-gyu founded Bluehole Studio in Seoul in March 2007. Chang previously established Neowiz in 1997, along seven other co-founders, moved on to found search engine developer First Snow in 2005, and sold that venture in 2006. The company announced on 22 April 2015 that they had changed their name to simply Bluehole.
In August 2017, Chinese holding company Tencent announced that it had, following a turned-down acquisition bid, invested an undisclosed amount of money into Bluehole. Bluehole initially denied that any investment had been made, but later stated that they were in talks with Tencent in multiple partnerships, including the acquisition of an equity stake in Bluehole by Tencent. Subsequently, Tencent acquired 1.5% of Bluehole for a total of ₩70 billion. Tencent reaffirmed their intents to fully acquire Bluehole in November 2017. Korean magazine The Korea Times suggested that an initial public offering, through which Bluehole would become a public company, was "out of question" due to Chang Byung-gyu's position as chairman of both Bluehole and the Fourth Industrial Revolution committee. At the time, 38 Communications, a company that tracks unlisted Korean stocks, valued the company at ₩5.2 trillion. Tencent plans to invest further ₩500 billion to acquire further 10% ownership, raising their total stake to 11.5% Through the acquisition, Tencent is set to become Bluehole's second-largest single shareholder, following Chang Byung-gyu, Bluehole's founder and chairman, who owns 20.6% of the company.
On 5 November 2018, Bluehole launched a new company, Krafton Game Union, that would serve as the parent company for Bluehole and its subsidiaries.
Bluehole acquired several development studios since its foundation. As of 5 November 2018, all subsidiaries were reorganised as sister companies to Bluehole under a new parent company, Krafton Game Union.
Bluehole Pnix is a mobile game developer. The company was founded as Pnix Games in 2012. Bluehole announced that they had acquired Pnix Games, alongside Squall, on 22 April 2015. Pnix Games changed their corporate name to Bluehole Pnix in June 2016.
Bluehole Squall is a mobile game developer. The company was founded as Squall by Park Jin-seok, a founding member of Neowiz, in 2013. Bluehole announced that they had acquired Squall, alongside Pnix Games, on 22 April 2015. Squall changed their corporate name to Bluehole Squall in March 2016.
En Masse Entertainment
En Masse Entertainment is Bluehole's North American publishing subsidiary. The company was established as Bluehole Interactive in June 2008. On 26 February 2010, the company announced that it had changed its corporate name to En Masse Entertainment.
Delusion Studio was founded in April 2011 and is headed by Kang Moon-chul. On 22 June 2018, Bluehole announced the acquisition of the studio. Delusion developed mobile games such as Guardian Stone, Jellipo, House of Mice and, most notably, Castle Burn.
PUBG Corporation, formerly Ginno Games, is an internal studio of Bluehole's that developed PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG). It was announced that the company would be acquired by Bluehole on 27 January 2015, with the sale to close on 27 March that year. At the time, Ginno Games employed 60 people. Ginno Games changed their corporate name to Bluehole Ginno Games in May 2015. Following the success of PUBG in 2017, Bluehole Ginno Games was renamed PUBG Corporation in September 2017. A second office was established in Madison, Wisconsin in late 2017, with two further offices in Amsterdam and Japan opened later. On 12 March 2018, PUBG Corporation acquired New York-based studio MadGlory, which was renamed PUBG MadGlory. In June 2019, a new studio called Striking Distance was opened in conjunction with Glen Schofield, the co-founder of Sledgehammer Games. Striking Distance, headed by Schofield as chief executive officer, is set to develop narrative-driven games based on PUBG.
Red Sahara Studio
Red Sahara Studio is a mobile game developer headed by Lee Ji-hoon. On 12 March 2018, Bluehole completed the acquisition of the studio in a stock swap deal. Red Sahara is developing a mobile game based on TERA.
L-Time Games was founded in June 2009. The company attracted a ₩2 billion and a ₩5 billion investment from Knet Investment Partners and IMM Investments, respectively. L-Time Games was acquired by and merged into Bluehole in January 2014.
Maui Games was a mobile game developer founded in 2013 by Woonghee Cho, previously head of business development for Neowiz. Bluehole Studio announced on 16 January 2015 that they were acquiring the company, which was completed in October that year. At Bluehole's January 2017 shareholders' meeting, it was decided that Maui Games would enter liquidation, which was effective immediately. Nine staff members of Maui Games, a fraction of that company's total employee count, were reemployed directly within Bluehole.
|2011||TERA||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||Bluehole Studio|
|2015||Devilian||Microsoft Windows||Bluehole Ginno Games|
|2017||PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||PUBG Corporation|
|TBA||Ascent: Infinite Realm||TBA||Bluehole|
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