By Jane Han
Good news for Wonder Girls fans: If simply watching the girl group wasn't satisfying enough, wait till the end of this year ― you'll actually be able to control each and every motion of the superstars through the push of a keyboard button.
This is JYP Entertainment's ambitious way of bringing fans closer to ― and get them more hooked on ― its most-profitable asset.
Industry insiders say that South Korea's leading entertainment agency, which manages and represents Wonder Girls, is in the finishing stages of developing an online game dubbed "Star Tales'' in conjuction with China's Shanghai Magic Grid Network, a gaming technology firm.
The product will be released by the end of this year at the earliest, they say.
However, JYP Entertainment did not officially comment on the plans.
Star Tales, which has been under development for three years, is reportedly equipped with Unreal Engine 3, a top gaming engine that powers many of the best-known games on the market.
Industry sources say that the new product will break away from traditional dance games, as it will likely enable users to customize everything from outfits to accessories, giving them more flexibility to dress up their favorite pop icons.
A similar dance game featuring Wonder Girls is already popular in China, but the officially released version is expected to include more quality options. 2PM, a popular boy group, and other singers belonging to JYP Entertainment may be featured as well.
While the jump into the game business is a new one for JYP Entertainment, it is a late starter compared to its rivals SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and J. Tune Entertainment.
J. Tune and YG teamed up with GameHi, a local online game maker, to kick off a joint gaming venture, while SM entered the lucrative industry in 2006 by acquiring a domestic game firm.
Tags: Wonder Girls/korean singer/Star Tales/2PM