PUBG owner begins active development on lavish adaptation of Korea's biggest fantasy novels

Concept work for the Bird that drinks Tears.
(Image credit: Krafton)

PUBG owner Krafton announced last year it had acquired the rights to the popular Korean fantasy novels, The Bird The Drinks Tears, and today revealed it has moved into full production on the title and launched an official website with a bunch of concept art and background information.

The Bird That Drinks Tears is a four-part fantasy series written by Yeongdo Lee, who is considered a pioneer of the Korean fantasy genre. The story revolves around four races (Human, Rekkon, Tokebi, and Nhaga), and the discovery of a Nhaga plot that forces the other three races to come together under an old proverb: 'three handles one'.

Krafton is throwing huge money at this project, believing it can build a 'global franchise' around the license, including hiring talent like concept artist Iain McCaig, who's previously worked on visualising Hollywood films such as the Harry Potter, The Avengers, Terminator, and Star Wars.

"The Bird that Drinks Tears is unlike any other fantasy story I have read, with fresh new ways of exploring human nature," says McCaig. "That’s what attracts me most. It’s an epic on a par with The Lord of the Rings or Dune. The fantasy world is fresh and visceral, mingling traditional archetypes with dream and nightmare images that are wholly original. I was working on my own projects at the time; engaging with this meant putting them all aside. It needed to be something incredibly special for me to do that. As it turns out, it was."

Krafton has entered full production on the game and says it is "aggressively recruiting the world’s top development talent" to work on it. It's unclear exactly which part of Krafton is working on it though: the company consists of PUBG Studios, Bluehole Studio, Striking Distance Studios, Unknown Worlds, and many other studios.

My first though was that this would be an MMOG. I had a little poke through the job pages however and, while there are slim pickings, one desired qualification for an executive producer role is "experience launching one or more narrative driven single-player open-world game as Executive Producer, Creative Director, Game Director, or similar". So you never know. 

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."