Hybe pledges to continue “without limits” beyond music and artists

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) — Hybe, the company behind K-pop sensation BTS, said Thursday that it will expand into comics, novels and online games by creating original content featuring its artists.

Bang Si-hyuk, Founder and Chairman of Hybe, unveiled the plan during an online briefing, where he shared future plans for the company’s business which has grown under the “unlimited” motto.

“I used words like ‘global’ and ‘connection’ very often, but now I think such expressions have been embodied,” he said. “I’d like to describe the last six months (of the company’s journey) as ‘unlimited’.”

Hybe will continue to blur the lines between countries, cultures and industries in the future to provide K-pop fans with many experiences related to their favorite artists, he said.

For this, the company, which also has popular K-pop idol groups such as Enhypen, Seventeen and Tomorrow X Together, will collaborate with artists from various fields of the pop culture industry to create cartoons, novels and web animations with members of their idol groups as main characters in the coming years.

Hybe then unveiled an impressive lineup of four original series set to hit Naver Webtoon next year. The first will be “7Fates: CHAKHO,” a story inspired by a Korean folk tale about seven tiger hunters who form a team to exact revenge on their loved ones. The members of BTS will be introduced as the seven fighters in the series who will enter service on January 15.

Three other originals on the 2022 list are “The Star Seekers”, “Dark Moon” and “Crimson Heart”, and they will also feature artists from Hybe.

A video game about BTS will also be released in the first half of next year, according to the company. The group will participate in the production process, he said.

During the briefing, the company also announced that it will enter the NFT sector through a joint venture with Dunamu, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency operator. The new technology will allow fans to have sole ownership of digital content and merchandise to be produced based on the intellectual property of Hybe artists, according to Hybe.

Hybe also unveiled a plan to cultivate new international K-pop groups.

Hybe America, the American branch of the South Korean company, will hold global auditions to create new girl groups in partnership with Geffen Records under Universal Music Group. Hybe is also planning an audition program to launch a boy band in Japan, according to the company.