Smilegate announced the deal Monday in Seoul, after spending a year weighing up proposals from Hollywood producers and studios. The company said that it settled on Moritz’s Original Film because Original “specializes in action blockbusters with strong storylines and themes, which have global appeal.” It said that it had faith in Moritz’s ability to parlay the game into a multi-movie franchise.
Crossfire is a first person shooter game involving two teams. It was first launched in 2007 and originally conceived for Microsoft Windows, though has since been regularly updated and expanded onto other platforms. In Korea it is published by NeoWiz, and in China as an online game by Tencent. Smilegate claims “Crossfire” has 400 million registered users and up to 6 million concurrent players.
While offered as a free-to-play game, add-on extras bring in substantial revenues. It earned global sales of KRW1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion) last year alone.
“We will make the best film out of ‘Crossfire,’ the world’s largest FPS game, with Smilegate,” said Moritz in a statement. “We highly appreciate the potential in the “Crossfire” brand, and are honored to be chosen to spread this strong content to all movie fans around the world.”
“I believe this partnership will showcase the power of the Korean online game IP,” said Baek Min-jung, Smilegate’s brand marketing vice president.
The scriptwriter, distributor, director and cast have yet to be decided.
Smilegate has had previous movie industry connections with stakes in blockbuster Korean films “Ode to My Father” and “Roaring Currents” through its Smilegate Investment arm.