1. About ComixV whose company name has been ch1. ComixV is now Belivvr

Hello. This is Luke, formerly known as ComixV’s Porco. It’s been a while since I had an update about ComixV. As of 2021, ComixV (Est. 2017) is reborn as Belivvr. In 2017, ComixV was founded and was introduced to the public with the technology showing 360° image with audio in a VR comic format in Bocheon International Comic Festival (BICOF).

Since then, we’ve had various projects creating VR webtoon curriculum in affiliation with a university, VR webtoon marketing materials, 4DVR webtoon and so on. As we built our portfolio through different projects, we were able to see steady increase in number of users and introduction of new contents.   

As we participated 2018 BICOF, ComixV has reached the new height in number of users. However, since then the growth of ComixV has been stagnant and has declined eventually. Currently, ComixV is not actively servicing the VR Webtoon but executing some WebXR based viewer update R&D and we opened up our VR webtoon production technology to the public for the contents we’ve been servicing through ComixV. Frankly speaking, my ambition of creating a VR webtoon ecosystem through ComixV has turned out to be a failure.

Major challenge was the delay of targeted VR market along with low profitability of ComixV. As a small start up in Korea, lack of funding wasn’t exactly helping to create quality contents to overcome the challenges either. Ultimately, this has led ComixV to redirect its focus as a metaverse technology company in adjusting to the current market environment and demand.

2. ComixV’s failure in its adult VR Webtoon

I first stepped into the webtoon industry in Naver Webtoon which has now become a worldwide platform providing its service globally. Coming from the background webtoon PD, ComixV was and is still dear to my heart as my “first born”.

In the early stage of planning for ComixV, of course the biggest question was the profitability. Among many different potential channels of profitability, the most prominent topic was always about providing adult content VR webtoon. However, it was my direction and also I felt that I didn’t have enough experience and background with adult content service industry. Yet, pretty soon I changed my mind and attempted to penetrate the market by bringing contents over from Kakao page to Japan’s NetCafe in VR format using ComixV’s technology. Initially, I was confident in it’s potential, but the result was quite disastrous.

To discover the reasons of such failure, I had to Japan’s NetCafe myself.

First, VR HMD that was distributed in NetCafe was very difficult to use. It was very complicated, not user friendly at all. It took me about 1 hour to join the service, download and experience the service. Also, the employees at NetCafe were not able to troubleshoot issues and were poorly trained in operating devices. It didn’t take long for NetCafe’s VR service platform to shut down following the ComixV’s decision to discontinue the service.  


The second reason was the mismatch between the adult VR market and the adult webtoon market. 

The adult comic (females only or Yaoi) is the largest comic genre, in an adult comic/webtoon market. The main customers of this adult webtoon market were women, and we selected adult webtoons that were successful on Kakao Page. We were that comic rearranged to 360 pages, and some pages were completely reconstructed through the background of the sketch-up(3D SW). 

 As in the major adult webtoon market, target customer was a female, and there was about 70 cuts per episode like a regular webtoon, so it was too long for a VR webtoon.  As in the webtoon/manga, I made the perspective from a third-person point of view, so I felt like I was peeking into a sex scene rather than being the main character. 

Secondly, it was a mismatch between the adult VR market vs webtoon market. The post popular adult comic genre in Japan’s webtoon market is Yaoi which translate to “females only”. The main audience and users of such service were female. So, we selected few successful on Kakao Page and rearranged to 360° pages. Some pages had to be completely reconstructed through the background of the sketch-up (3D SW).

In average, conventional webtoon provides about 70 cuts in one episode. For VR webtoon, this was very long. Also, the difference in perspective was another issue. When the contents were rearranged in VR webtoon, it gave me a “peeking” feel. Overall, the audience was looking for something different in VR webtoon that conventional webtoon was not able to provide. Due to the characteristics of VR, VR webtoon needed to be more powerful in its delivery of contents in shorter contents. It had to be more like a male targeted Doujinshi manga… which was not the most popular genre in Japan at all.

3. Qember: New adult VR Webtoon Platform

After the failure of penetrating the adult VR market in Japan, I was redirecting my focus on a new business model as a metaverse technology development company. However, the pandemic has shed a new light on VR webtoon. Coronavirus caused the increase in sales of VR hardware, especially Oculus. As I mentioned previously, the major reason for VR webtoon’s failure was prematurity of VR market. With the shift in the market due to Coronavirus, ComixV has decided to give it another try and now we are Qember.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAHwwnSQgDk (Video

Qember will provide service through Oculus Quest since Oculus Quest is the number one selling VR hardware. As the service will be 6DOF base, the experience will be improved because 6DOF will provide clearer and more detailed movements even while viewing in 360° images. Also, zooming will be possible as well. Currently, Oculus Quest doesn’t officially provide adult content. As a result, Qember has launched through Side Quest using an independent game platform, itch.io.

Episode 1 can be viewed for free on the web through ComixV’s  web VR Webtoon viewer, and episodes 2 aOne of the advantage of ComixV was and still is the access via web. Currently, Episode 1 is available for free on the web. Episode 2 and 3 are also available for free if you have Oculus Quest. All other episodes are paid services.

Contents are now in 1st person view. For smoother production, character modeling are in 3D and then rendered in 360°type, then retouched in 2D. Through this process, we were able to establish a steady and sound production system and created contents for VR only. Furthermore, due to the characteristics of VR, audio was a significant factor in creating VR content which sets apart VR webtoon from conventional webtoon. Korean dubbing has been introduced and audio will pay automatically play matching the cuts. Story style is close to short omnibus style, like Japan’s doujinshi.

This is our new challenge for us. We are now creating original content in comparison to our previous service which was brought over from Kakao Page. New challenge means new problems and difficulties. However, it also means accumulation of experience and maturity. I believe Qember’s service will provide new and enjoyable experience. I believe our challenge will be a milestone for the history of this industry in Korea.

I sincerely hope for Qember’s success through the new challenge and may open up new doors in the future for opportunities to create great number of exciting VR webtoon contents.

Cheers,

Luke, CEO