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Nexon’s Blue Archive: Mobile game for anime fans by anime fans

Nexon’s anime-style role-playing shooting game, Blue Archive, is set for release in November. (Nexon)
Nexon’s anime-style role-playing shooting game, Blue Archive, is set for release in November. (Nexon)
Never trust a skinny chef. The sentiment behind this tongue-in-cheek reference to a chef’s inability to resist his own delicious food applies to most professions, including game developers.

Nexon’s Blue Archive, an anime-style role-playing game, immediately stole the hearts of anime fans after its February release in Japan, even ranking as the most popular game on both Google Play and App Store.

Perhaps the game’s success was a predestined one, considering it was developed by Kim Yong-ha, a producer at Nexon known to be a hardcore anime fan himself.

Set for a global launch next month, Blue Archive is a subculture mobile game in which players take on the role as a female academy teacher who teams up with female students to solve mysteries around town, taking down enemies with rifles along the way.

The creation of rifle-toting anime girls was exactly what producer Kim had intended. His love for subculture is portrayed in the name of his studio, MX, which is a combination of two words, “moe” and “Xcom.”

Moe is a Japanese slang that refers to affection or protectiveness one feels towards characters’ -- usually female -- innocence and vulnerability in an idealized way. Xcom is the name of a game in which players are tasked with fending off a global alien invasion.

According to Kim, the main concept of Blue Archive, from the very early stages of development, was to have beautiful girls engage in combat using their surroundings.

To meet the high standards of Japanese anime fans, MX’s scenario writer, art director and team members equipped themselves with in-depth knowledge on anime and guns, Kim said.

Blue Archive’s distinct worldview combined with academy and military elements has drawn immense attention from home and abroad. Just one day after preregistration began on Oct. 14, more than 500,000 global users had signed up ahead of the game’s release next month.

By Kim Byung-wook (