'Metaverse Hub’, a program to support Metaverse entrepreneurship, human resource development, and content testing and demonstration opened in May. The Ministry of Science and ICT reorganized the ICT-Culture Integration Center located in Pangyo 2nd Techno Valley, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do into a Metaverse Hub in order to create a leading foundation for a new industry of hyper-connected and hyper-realistic Metaverse.
This paper interviewed CEO of You Need Character Co., Ltd., Minsoo Song, who has accomplished remarkable achievements such as successful investment attraction and overseas expansion as the CEO of a member company in the Metaverse Hub.
Q. What kind of company is You Need Character?
A. You Need Character is an animation production company. Its representative piece, ’Cricket Pang’, is an animation made for the Indian market. In March, it started airing on major OTT channels in India as well as the United States, Sweden, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East. It also recently started airing on MBC.
Q. What is Cricket Pang, the representative piece of You Need Character?

A. This is a comedic animation with animal characters that like cricket. The national sport of India, cricket, was the motif of the animation. It is an educational animation centered on cricket, featuring values such as friendships, cooperation, and sociality. In addition, it was relatively easy to enter various countries because it contains scenarios that children of many countries can relate to.
Q. What kind of animation does You Need Character want to create?
A. The contents were created with the heart of a father, and the contents are structured in a way that they can be educational and emotionally helpful for young children to watch. In addition, we are aiming for creative and social development contents that parents can show without any concern. We plan work continuously with the same goal in the future.
Q. What is the reason for targeting the Indian market?
A. While looking for a new animation market, India came to our attention as a country where 27 million newborns are born each year. Because there are not many Indian-centered IPs, Cricket Pang was received well by the people of India. It aired starting with JIO, India's largest mobile operator, and published children's books through major Indian publishers. Recently, We signed a contract with Ajinkya Rahane, India’s national cricket player, as an ambassador. In the future, we plan to engage in publishing, licensing, and opening kids cafe businesses.
Q. What is the current investment status?
A. In 2019, there was a 700 million won seed investment, and recently received a total of 2.7 billion won Series A investment from Capital One, Woori Bank, and Midasdong-a Investment. After that, we plan to produce Cricket Pang 2. We are also planning and producing a new piece.
Q. Were there any difficulties in operating You Need Character?
A. It was difficult to receive investment since it was an animation company. However, we were able to continue to receive interests and supports from investors and partners once finding a definite market and setting a concept for India. A special thanks to the Metaverse Hub for support, we were able to operate the company stably from the beginning to the present.
Q. What are future goals?
A. Currently, we are developing our own 'Jeju Metaverse Tourism Service' using 'Bongbong Guardian' animation content for the first time in the industry. We are trying to become a global convergence content producer based on the Metaverse. The goal is to grow into a globally recognized content and media company like Disney and Pixar by continuously releasing series beyond Cricket Pang seasons 2 and 3 and producing new pieces.
Q. You mentioned the support from Metaverse Hub, what kind of help did you receive?
A. First of all, the spatial support was the biggest. National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) and Next-generation Convergence Contents Industry Association(NCIA) have been of great help in the steady growth of the company by continuously providing consultancy services, IR-related preparation, marketing, and public relations from the beginning of the business to the present. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to NIPA and NCIA.
As the pandemic of the post-COVID era is present in the world and makes it difficult to have physical exchanges, there is an interest towards next-generation platforms such as Metaverse, that connect with SNS in recent days. And we are looking forward to the future of Metaverse Hub, where promising companies such as You Need Character are growing.

Electronic Times Internet Reporter Eunjung Judy Yu(judy6956@etnews.com)