The OGN x CJ E&M Game-Dol Olympics is just around the corner, so it’s about time we pay closer attention to all the occasions on which K-pop idols have crossed over into the gaming world. After all, (G)I-DLE Soyeon and Miyeon’s major collaboration with League of Legends is only the most recent crossover. We’ve actually been seeing a steady rise in the union of games and K-pop for the past decade. Clench up, buttercup, we’re about to take a look at some of them.
Music & OSTs
There’s no better way to start than with (G)I-DLE Soyeon and Miyeon’s recent seriously kickass collaboration with Madison Beer and Jaira Burns in bringing to life a fictional girl group, K/DA, from League of Legends. We all know of Soyeon and her Midas touch when it comes to (G)I-DLE’s discography, but did we truly expect anything of this level? You’re lying if you say you did because K/DA went off, beyond all of our imaginations combined, with POP/STARS. Stan (G)I-DLE.
While K/DA is arguably the most successful, and also the most amazing, musical collaboration between K-pop and games yet, it isn’t the first. For instance, NCSOFT must have some kind of working partnership with SM Entertainment, because they’ve been collaborating on the MMORPG Blade & Soul‘s official soundtracks for a while now. SM Entertainment’s Girls’ Generation was among the first to do so with ‘Find Your Soul‘. More recently, EXO-CBX and Red Velvet Seulgi also worked on ‘Crush U‘ and ‘You, Just Like That‘ respectively.
K-Pop Featured In Games
Considering K-Pop’s strong emphasis on the winning combination of visuals and sound, it’s a no-brainer for K-Pop games to be a thing. One of the first few instances that comes to mind would be mobile rhythm games, most notably SuperStar SM/JYP/BTS. Some idols also play these games themselves, because earning money and having fun while they’re at it? Goals. Aside from SuperStar SM, EXO has that mobile game EXORUN out there, but who still plays EXORUN in this economy?
That aside, Sudden Attack has worked with and created characters based on several idol groups over the years, including TWICE, Lovelyz, and T-ara. The results are honestly mildly disturbing (check out some of them in the gallery above) but there it is. Japanese game developer DONUTS also allegedly took an interest in rookie girl group LOOΠΔ. Not much is yet truly known about what kind of interest, though. For all we know, they simply like pretty girls and just want to shower them with money to see them prosper. It’s quite literally their statement, rephrased.
When it comes to game CFs, few are better than 2PM and Miss A‘s CF for Crossfire. First of all, Ok Taecyeon is so handsome and we are so blessed. Second of all, Wang Fei Fei is so beautiful and we are so blessed. Watch the video and thank their parents, makeup artists, and stylists every day for this.
More recently, though, rookie girl group LOOΠΔ has been collecting coins from their CF for the game Law of Creation. They’ve been on a quite a roll with this gaming business, haven’t they? You know who else has been on a roll, too? TWICE. They’ve had CFs with Elsword, Legion of Heroes (alongside BTS), and of course, Sudden Attack. Business is booming.
Gamer Nerds Disguised as Idols
The list of gamer-dols in K-pop is practically endless. Carats, of course, know that Seventeen rapper Wonwoo is also the group’s resident nerd, having seen him play several times in his cute, nerdy little wire-framed glasses. Apparently, there have been times when he was so into it that Mingyu has complained about how loud and noisy he got. I mean, sure, Mingyu complains about it, but he still feeds Wonwoo ramyeon while he’s busy playing anyway — so who’s the real winner here?
More than a few K-Pop idols have held game live-streams for their fans, including EXO Baekhyun & Sehun. HKT48/IZ*ONE Miyawaki Sakura even has a whole YouTube gaming channel set up for fans to watch her play Fortnite. With so many idols indulging in the hobby, it’s only natural for the Korean entertainment industry to want to capitalise on this, giving rise to shows like Jung Dae Man and the upcoming OGN x CJ E&M Game-Dol Olympics. If I had my way, I’d broadcast the whole of Seventeen playing games as Mingyu feeds them ramyeon but I don’t, so…
Anyways, FYI, the OGN x CJ E&M Game-Dol Olympics will be held at the OGN Stadium in Sangam-dong, Seoul tomorrow, November 13, but will be aired on November 23. So keep your eyes peeled for that. Check out the full line-up here.