Game company Neowiz takes bet on Lies of P — looks set to pay off
BUSAN — Game company Neowiz had a big win last August, with its upcoming release Lies of P becoming the first made-in-Korea console game to take home an award from Gamescom.
The company hopes to keep that anticipation alive when the game is released next year and ultimately lead a new console game trend in Korea, according to Lies of P’s developers.
“It’s true that the domestic game market has been focused too much on mobile games in recent years,” said Jason Park, director of Studio 8, the console game developing unit at Neowiz, during an interview with local press on Thursday at Bexco, Busan, as a part of the G-Star 2022 game festival.
“But there has always been demand for console games in Korea, which is why we started developing this game with developers who were also craving a chance to make console games. That’s how Studio 8 came about and ultimately, Lies of P came about.”
Lies of P is a PC and console roleplaying game (RPG) based on the story of “Pinocchio.” Set in the late 19th century, Lies of P is a “soulslike” game, a sub-genre of dark-fantasy games that are usually very difficult to conquer.
Neowiz was one of the biggest game companies in the late 2000s after it split off from Neowiz Holdings in 2007, mostly publishing online PC games developed by other companies rather than developing its own.
After falling behind larger companies that had quickly moved onto the mobile world, Lies of P was Neowiz’s big bet — and appears set to pay off.
Lies of P became the first Korean console game to be named the Most Wanted Sony PlayStation Game at the Gamescom Award 2022 held last August. It also took home the Best Action Adventure Game award and the Best Role Playing Game award, becoming the first domestic console game to win three awards at Gamescom, the biggest games event in Europe.
“Because this was our first go at a console game, we thought about what story could be appealing to both younger and older users, as well as domestic and global,” Choi Ji-won, directing producer of Lies of P said. “So we took this children’s tale and turned it into a brutal adult novel, with aspects from the original story visible here and there.”
Gamers must venture around 19th century France, also known as the Belle Époque period, which was known for its peaceful optimism backed by rapid industrial growth in Europe. Neowiz has added its own twist by depicting the era as a chaotic mix of technology and history with violent mechanic dolls and circus clowns.
Another twist centers on the idea of “lies” — the essence of the “Pinocchio” story. Contrary to how lying takes the original Pinocchio further away from becoming a real boy, lying gives P, the game’s protagonist, more “humanity,” an important aspect that influences the outcome of the game, according to Choi.
“We’ve also thought hard about how to incorporate the ‘growing nose’ into the game,” he said. “I’m sure you will be able to notice while you’re playing, so I hope you try the game for yourself.”
Having focused on mobile and PC games during the last decade, Korean developers have been starting to eye the console genre in an effort to cater to a wider pool of gamers around the world. Lies of P was one such endeavor from Neowiz, but larger companies have to take the lead, according to Choi.
“I believe that consoles expanding in Korea is a very positive trend indeed,” he said. “I think it’s important that larger game companies with the experience in having developed quality games take part so that more high-quality games are released into the market. I hope to see more console games and friendly competition to liven up the industry.”
We hope the game turns out to be so good that Korean gamers feel proud that such a work came from a domestic company.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]