Kakao is a massive South Korean company, and as most MMO fans reading blogs probably know, video games are just one element of that business spread. The company owns internet subsidiaries covering everything from chat programs and blogging to fashion and even an Uber clone. Its gaming sector, however, has been one of its most prosperous, having picked up over $131 million in investment this year from companies including Tencent, Netmarble, and Bluehole. Now it’s putting some of that dough to work by investing almost $17M into an e-sports developer, Neptune, apparently believing in the “growth potential of the esports market.”
A year ago ahead of its IPO, Kakao merged all of its games-related holding into one outfit, Kakao Games Holdings. It currently runs MMORPG Black Desert, holds publishing rights on PUBG in South Korea, and is set to serve as the western publisher for Bluehole’s steampunk MMO Ascent: Infinite Realm, which you’ll recall went on a tear tweeting concept art this spring but has been silent since.