Stellar Blade Director KIM Hyung Tae, SHIFT UP CEO Information

Stella Blade, the PlayStation 5 exclusive character, sparked debate upon release. Some criticized her design for being overly sexualized, citing concerns about 'political correctness'.

This strategy, however, proved effective. The character's design resonated with many gamers, particularly men, and garnered significant attention despite being a new AAA title.

Stellar Blade Director KIM Hyung Tae


Kim Hyung-tae, the director of this game and CEO of ‘Shift Up’, is well known to Korean gamers.

Prior to establishing Shift Up, Kim Hyung-tae honed his craft as a first-generation Korean game illustrator.

His contributions include work on various titles

  • The War of Genesis: Tempest (1998)
  • The War of Genesis 3 part.1 (1999)
  • The War of Genesis 3 part.2 (2000)
  • Magna Carta (2001)
  • Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata (2004)
  • Magna Carta 2 (2009)
  • Blade&Soul (2012)
  • Destiny Child (2015)

His fame stems from his contributions as an illustrator for popular Korean games.  Kim Hyung-tae's distinct artistic style is evident in these works.

The War of Genesis 3
The War of Genesis 3
Magna Carta
Magna Carta 2


Destiny Child
Destiny Child
His character designs are known for their emphasis on powerful physiques, both male and female, reflecting a distinct aesthetic choice.  In 2015, he founded SHIFT UP. As a Korean game developer, he discussed his artistic vision in a media interview.

KIM Hyung tae
SHIFT UP CEO Kim Hyung-tae

Art, for me, is all about expressing what you love, without holding back.

That's kind of what I focused on, before even thinking about being "artistic."

I just went for it, you know?  Some people were surprised, some weren't on board, but that's okay. It came from a genuine place, you see?  It felt more real, more free, and I think that resonated with some people.

A similar controversy erupted in Korea surrounding Kim Hyung-tae's art style when Stella Blade was released. However, many Korean gamers have come to appreciate his unique vision, embracing it as a signature "Kim Hyung-tae touch."

Stella Blade, the fate of SHIFT UP

Stellar Balde
Source: SHIFT UP Corporation

In 2014, when Kim Hyung-tae, a renowned Korean game artist, founded Shift Up and took the helm as director, it raised eyebrows within the industry. The concept of an artist leading game development was unfamiliar at the time.

However, The runaway success of Shift Up's mobile game, Goddess of Victory: NIKKE, in 2022, undoubtedly bolstered the company's profitability.

'SHIFT UP' Net Income
'SHIFT UP' Net Income
Shift Up's success under Kim Hyung-tae's leadership, with his background in art, demonstrates the value of creative vision and artistic talent in game development. The financial success of 'NIKKE' is a testament to this.

GODDESS OF VICTORY: NIKKE stands out for bringing the familiar gun-shooting genre to mobile in a fresh way.

Adding to the challenge, the team reportedly developed much of the game from scratch due to a lack of existing mobile titles in this style. This pioneering spirit exemplifies Shift Up's commitment to innovation in game development.

While PC gaming reigns supreme in Korea, console gaming hasn't taken off to the same extent.

This stems from several factors: a larger PC user base, the immense popularity of online games (particularly MMORPGs), and lower potential profits for console-exclusive titles.

This focus on PC and online experiences has fueled the growth of Korea's robust e-Sports scene, but it's also meant that Korean developers have released fewer console games compared to PC titles.

Despite the strong PC and mobile focus in Korea, the global market remains heavily driven by console games.

For Korean developers aiming for international recognition, venturing into console development becomes crucial.

However, a significant hurdle exists - a lack of experienced personnel within the Korean game industry for console-specific production.


CEO Kim Hyung-tae offered a brief explanation for his decision to develop Stella Blade.

"There's a real sense of urgency for Shift Up to enter the AAA space. Stella Blade is our bold step towards becoming a major developer, and we believe it's now or never."

Korean gamers are eagerly awaiting Stella Blade's success, as it signifies a major step for the Korean game industry into the console market.

The game also carries the hopes of male gamers worldwide, who anticipate it will challenge Western developers' design choices. Positive reviews for Stella Blade could be a turning point, influencing future approaches in the global gaming landscape.

Shift Up Company has its sights set on a listing on the Korean stock exchange KOSPI. The success of Stella Blade is likely to play a significant role in determining the company's IPO prospects.

Stellar Blade Eve actual body model Shin Jae-eun, and Who's Face model