Krafton sets its sights on The Ascent studio Neon Giant

The Ascent
(Image credit: Neon Giant)

PUBG parent company Krafton is looking to add another studio to its stable: Neon Giant, developer of the excellent cyberpunk action-RPG The Ascent.

Word of the acquisition came by way of a bland statement in Krafton's Q3 financial report, which also revealed—in just about the most general sense possible—what the studio is up to for its next game. 

"Krafton continues to invest in its development and service capabilities to ensure a steady pipeline of premium titles," the report says. "The company announced plans to acquire Swedish studio Neon Giant (The Ascent), which is currently working on an open-world FPS game. Krafton also plans to establish a major studio in Canada to lead development of The Bird That Drinks Tears project."

The Bird That Drinks Tears is a game concept based on a popular series of Korean fantasy novels by Yeongdo Lee by the same name. Little is known about the game—the official website still refers to it as "unannounced project"—but a "visual concept trailer" was released in September and it looks potentially very interesting.

The Ascent, released in 2021, definitely is very interesting: We called it "one of the most compelling cyberpunk worlds on PC" in our 84% review.

"From the lavish Golden Satori casino to the bleak, dilapidated Black Lake slums, this is a masterclass in creating a sense of place and establishing an atmosphere," we wrote. "Just be aware that, even though the screenshots might make it look like it's a CRPG similar to something like Shadowrun, it's a fast-paced, challenging, almost arcade-like shooter above all."

Krafton isn't quite at Embracer Group's levels of acquisition yet but it's noticeably bulking up. The deal for Neon Giant isn't done but if and when it closes, it'll join a lineup that includes PUBG Studios, Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance Studios, and Subnautica maker Unknown Worlds, which is currently working on a "digital miniatures game" called Moonbreaker and a new Subnautica game.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.