Krafton, the developer of popular gaming title PUBG Mobile, has invested $22.4 million in Indian esports firm Nodwin Gaming, the two firms said today as the South Korean firm looks to maintain some presence in what was once a key overseas market for it.
Nodwin Gaming, backed by local gaming giant Nazara, has established itself as one of the largest esports firms in India.
The Gurgaon-headquartered firm today works with several firms including Blizzard Entertainment, Valve, Riot Games, ESL to help them host events, provide commentary, produce and license content, and amass brands and sponsors.
Nodwin, which recently expanded to Africa, will deploy the fresh capital to accelerate its growth in international markets, it said.
Krafton and Nodwin have been engaging with one another for some time. The two firms last week announced that they will be collaborating to hold two PUBG Mobile events in Asia.
India banned PUBG Mobile and hundreds of other apps with affiliation to China last year citing cybersecurity concerns. Krafton has been attempting to bring PUBG Mobile back in India, but hasn’t had any luck yet.
To assuage New Delhi’s concerns about users’ security, Krafton said it had cut ties with Chinese publisher Tencent. (It also inked a global cloud deal with Microsoft.) Sean Hyunil Sohn, the head of Corporate Development at Krafton, said earlier this month at a gaming conference that the firm “will work hard” to bring PUBG Mobile back in India, though he didn’t elaborate.
“Krafton is excited to partner with Nodwin Gaming to help foster the promising esports ecosystem and engage with our fans and players in India,” said Changhan Kim, chief executive of Krafton in a statement.
“Taking the momentum from this partnership, we will explore additional investment opportunities in the region to uphold our commitment and dedication in cultivating the local video game, esports, entertainment, and tech industries.”