South Korean online game company Gravity Co. signed an agreement to acquire a 50.8 percent equity interest in Barunson Interactive for ₩11.69 billion, or $10.2 million.
Barunson Interactive, which is also based in South Korea, has created two free-to-play MMORPGs since its founding in 2003: Dragonica Online
(under development). Dragonica Online
is available to play in 10 different countries, including Japan, China, and Europe.
THQ*Ice, a now-defunct joint venture between THQ and I.C.E. Entertainment, published Dragonica Online
in North America last October, but Gravity took over that license
after the company folded several weeks ago. Gravity plans to make the game available in North America again through its WarpPortal site.
Gravity is best known for developing and publishing popular free-to-play MMORPG Ragnarok Online
. It expects to complete this acquisition of Barunson on October 25th. After closing its purchase of the shares, the firm will be in a position to appoint the majority of members for Barunson's board of directors.
"We expect this transaction will create significant value for Gravity and its shareholders as Barunson Interactive has talented online game developers with great experience," says Gravity's president and CEO Toshiro Ohno.
Ohno continues, "We believe it represents an important step forward to secure continuous profit by diversifying our revenue source and create synergy from the two companies' online game development teams."