Solo Leveling: ARISE is the franchise’s first-ever official game and has already set a new sales and active player record at Netmarble, raising expectations way ahead of its expected release window in 2025. The game reached 5 million pre-registrations in less than a week, promising a successful launch of the action RPG gameplay.

Moreover, the game has a strong source material to support it through the competitive gaming market. Solo Leveling‘s anime adaptation boasts unprecedented success and enjoyed a critically acclaimed first season, while the manhwa it’s based on remains one of the most popular in the genre.

Solo Leveling: ARISE
Solo Leveling: ARISE | MMO Culture on YouTube

Solo Leveling: ARISE taps into the journey of Sung Jinwoo, the protagonist of the manhwa, and explores the source material’s world and character-building that went unexplored previously due to the focused narrative.

Bringing Solo Leveling To Life In a Video Game

Sung Jinwoo in Solo Leveling: ARISE
Sung Jinwoo in Solo Leveling: ARISE | Netmarble

In an interview with Screen Rant, the executive project director, Seong-Keon Jin, and art director Inho Kim discussed the possibilities of this mobile Solo Leveling adaptation, the hardest parts of adapting such a successful story, and the challenges associated with spoiling the series.

When asked what the core philosophy in bringing Solo Leveling to mobile gaming was, Inho Kim replied that the most important thing they thought about while developing the game based on the popular series was to keep the original webtoon’s core design. Seong-Keon Jin added that he wanted to tell the game in two different aspects. One was maximizing the fun of combat content and the second was to faithfully reproduce the original IP.

As the interview continued, the interviewer asked whether the team was worried that spoilers from the webtoon would be accessible in Solo Leveling: ARISE which might turn away only anime players. Jin responded:

“We considered how to provide users with the enjoyable game experience of the original IP, as it gained popularity worldwide. That is why we introduced the original stories in the game, which were never seen in the original series. This will allow fans of the IP to experience new content while playing.

The game’s original Hunters are the ones who were never seen in the original series. We envisioned what it would have been like if there were Hunters from various countries within the universe of Solo Leveling and applied our imagination in creating them. Please stay tuned for a variety of Hunters with unique looks and personalities that we will share in the future.”

Kim and Jin also explained that when they decided to adapt Solo Leveling into a game, they felt the best way to capture the webtoon’s charm was to allow users to experience Sung Jinwoo’s journey within its universe from his perspective. Hence, they developed a single-player action where Jinwoo can grow stronger in various ways.

Challenges Of Adapting Solo Leveling And Future Potentials

Solo Leveling: ARISE Characters
Solo Leveling: ARISE Characters | Netmarble

When asked about the sort of challenges the team faced in adapting the characters and monster designs from the webtoon into functional models in a 3D action game, Kim replied that when animating the monsters from Solo Leveling, they found Kasaka and Centipedes have unique forms compared to others, which required extensive research and development.

The interviewer then asked if there were any other genres the team considered for Solo Leveling: ARISE, and Jin said that the key factors that contributed the most to Solo Leveling’s success are the epic story of Sung Jinwoo and the unique artwork style. Thus, they decided to make Solo Leveling: ARISE an action game for single players that focused on the protagonist’s story.

However, he mentioned that if given the chance to create another game, he wished to explore the stories of other Hunters that came after the Sung Jinwoo Saga. They could also focus on expanding the Solo Leveling Universe, leaning towards the turn-based CCG or strategy genre.

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