Hi everyone, Ren here! Just had some exciting news for all Overgeared readers and fans! Some of you may have noted that the 'licensing status' field of Overgeared has been 'in discussion' for a very long time now. I know that this has been an area of ongoing worry for many of our readers, due to what has happened with some other Korean novels Wuxiaworld worked on in the past. Today, I am extremely happy to be able to announce to all of you that Wuxiaworld and Mayamaru, the original Korean publisher of Overgeared, have finally both signed and concluded our licensing agreement for Overgeared. The duration of this agreement will extend beyond the final Korean chapter of Overgeared (whenever it comes), so in essence, I can now guarantee that Overgeared will be finished for all readers on Wuxiaworld proper!
I'm sure some of you are wondering what took so long. I'll need to give everyone a bit of a history tour, but in short, the blame is primarily on us. As many of you know, Wuxiaworld was founded in Dec 2014 as an exclusively Chinese webnovel translation site, and a pure fan-translation site at that. The Chinese internet (and Chinese publishers) actually discovered us before we reached out to them, and our first licensed novel, Martial God Asura, actually came about because the publisher 17k actively reached out and practically dropped the licensing in our lap. For the most part, this was how things worked in those early years - we'd bring on novels and translators that got popular, then reached out to Chinese partners to get licenses, and they were almost always more than happy to oblige. This was aided by the fact that I had moved to China and spent the better part of two years travelling across China to meet with them on a very regular basis and build rapport. Back then, multiple Chinese companies told us matter-of-factly: Find novels and translate them, and if they do well we'll sign those licenses over to you. This made it easier for them as well, as they would then just do batches of licenses to us that they knew would generate money, rather than everyone doing a crapshoot where we might get a bunch of licenses far in advance and potentially not even use them.
This made for a very easy and smooth operation for a period of time, but it also resulted in a sense of complacency on our part. Simply put, I assumed things would work out the same way with Korean publishers and authors, so when Korean translators like rainbowturtle eventually asked to join Wuxiaworld, my mindset was, 'Sure, why not?' However, we later came to understand that Korean authors and publishers place a much stronger focus on asking for permission first. This resulted in much more difficult conversations than we would've had if we had simply followed the legally 'proper' procedures of licensing before translating. This was our 'original sin', and the negative feelings generated by it contributed to relatively slow and laborious negotiations, some of which didn't bear fruit. Breathe and its CEO Moon was the first Korean platform to give us a chance and licensed Second Coming of Gluttony and other novels to us, and for that I remain incredibly grateful.
Now, after numerous conversations and apologies on our part, Mayamaru has decided that it would be in the best interests of Overgeared fans around the world to collaborate with Wuxiaworld, and for this I am extremely grateful to Mayamaru's Director Kwon! Wuxiaworld also had to make many concessions that we normally don't in order to make this work, but in the end, like Mayamaru and Director Kwon, we decided that this was the best thing to do for Overgeared fans around the world. I want to once again apologize publicly to Mayamaru and author Park Saenal for not having obtained permission first, and thank them for the trust and forgiveness they have shown us.
While this is 'just' one novel, it is a very big moment for us. First of all, Overgeared is one of (if not the) highest selling Korean webnovels in the world, and licensing it is a sign that we are in fact legitimate and are deserving of publisher trust. And, just as importantly, this means that all Korean novels currently available on Wuxiaworld are now fully licensed. We have finally, fully left behind the problems that arose from our early complacency, and going forward all new novels that you see on Wuxiaworld will have been fully licensed in advance, be they Chinese or Korean. There will be no more novels that disappear, and hopefully some that reappear as well. I am hopeful and confident that once COVID madness ends and I can start doing more business trips to Korea, the relationships with Korean publishers will continue to be strengthened and we'll be able to bring even more exciting and unique books for everyone to read.
Grid and Overgeared are here on Wuxiaworld to stay. Let us give thanks and celebrate!