Krafton Inc. Acquires Subnautica Developer Unknown Worlds

The oceans have a new owner.


Krafton, Inc., which published battle royale forefather Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and the upcoming title The Callisto Protocol, has acquired Unknown Worlds, the developer behind Subnautica and Natural Selection.

Krafton, Inc. has been going on a bit of a buying spree, acquiring five other studios before Unknown Worlds: PUBG Studios, Striking Distance Studios, Bluehole Studio, RisingWings and Dreamotion.

Per a press release from Krafton, Inc.:

“Unknown Worlds will come to Krafton with a vast amount of experience steeped in a rich history of creating community-driven gameplay experiences. Founded by Charlie Cleveland and Max McGuire in 2001, the studio created the highly popular Half-Life mod, Natural Selection, which went on to see a commercial sequel. Continuing with its community-focused roots, the studio went on to release critical and commercial PC and console successes, Subnautica and Subnautica: Below Zero, in early access, before official launches. With Unknown Worlds’ proven ability to create immersive experiences that resonate with gamers around the world, the latest acquisition plan will help Krafton expand its IP and diversify the company’s portfolio of groundbreaking games.”

CH Kim, CEO of Krafton, Inc. said the following about the acquisition:
“Unknown Worlds are incredibly skilled and passionate developers with an unparalleled gift for creativity and a proven track record of building successful player-driven worlds. Krafton will spare no effort in helping them. Not only do they enhance our development capabilities, but we share a goal of creating unique experiences for global audiences.”

Krafton, Inc.’s press release stresses that in this new status quo, “Unknown Worlds will function as an independent game development studio wholly owned by Krafton and will continue to operate globally with talent seated throughout the world.” What this means for the production or direction of future releases in the underwater survival sim Subnautica franchise, Unknown Worlds’ most popular and profitable title, remains to be seen. The press release does mention that Unknown Worlds are working on an unknown “new genre-defining game” which is scheduled to enter access in early 2022.

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