Flashback: How Let's Play on Webtoon changed the comic game in 2021
Looking back at 2021, the monumental success of "Let's Play" on Webtoon stands out, symbolizing the platform's disruptive entry into mainstream media and its impact on the traditional comic industry.
Let's Play (Source: Webtoon)
With the digital age taking over traditional forms of entertainment, one can't help but glance back at Webtoon's phenomenal ascension into mainstream pop culture. Especially when we reminisce about Leeanne M. Krecic’s chart-topping series, "Let's Play."
Webtoon's Game Changer: "Let's Play"
Back in 2016, a romantic comedy hit the digital world by storm, brilliantly maneuvering between the world of gaming and affectionate satire of a male-dominant industry. The protagonist Sam, a spry 20-something game developer, finds herself amidst a whirlwind when her project faces the brunt of online critic “Marshall Law.” But the real twist? The very critic turns out to be her new next-door neighbor! Ah, the beautiful fusion of the classic rom-com elements with a GenZ twist reminiscent of "Friends" or "New Girl" for the YouTube generation.
In the words of its creator Krecic, “On its surface, Let’s Play is a love triangle, but it's also a contemporary, emotionally sophisticated reinvention of the form.” And boy, did it resonate. In an age where even top-selling comics struggle to hit the 100,000 monthly sales mark, "Let's Play" amassed a staggering 3.6 million weekly readers. The digital series wasn't just a piece of entertainment; it was a phenomenon.
Breaking Boundaries, One Webtoon at a Time
Webtoon's success, especially with "Let's Play," had many legacy publishers baffled. The shift from traditional channels to mobile platforms heralded a change, and the success of creators like Krecic was pivotal. Their ability to reach out to an audience not traditionally catered to by the conventional comics industry signaled a sea change. This was more than just storytelling; it was validation for an entire generation. “Let’s Play has an incredible fanbase of ardent readers... a community. I am one of them myself and discovering Let’s Play was a revelation,” revealed Allnighter co-founder and producer Amanda Kruse.
And it wasn't just about comics anymore. In South Korea, the webtoon format had long been dominant, with K-dramas getting inspiration from such platforms. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood caught the wave.
It's heartening to remember that back in May 2021, Allnighter decided to bring "Let's Play" to our television screens, recognizing the gold mine it had on its hands. As reported by Forbes, collaborations were announced, high-profile showrunners were being roped in, and Webtoon's dominance was only set to expand.
Looking back, one can't help but wonder: was this the moment that changed how we consumed entertainment? And if history is any proof, the "Let's Play" series was only the tip of the iceberg.
Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.