Nexon out to expand presence in global digital game market

Sarah Lee, March 30, 2017, 9:36 a.m.

Nexon, South Korea’s biggest online game company, is out to drive up its presence in the global game industry by continuing its efforts to offer well-developed games that are strategically localized for markets overseas. Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nexon is already a global company, as around 60 percent of its revenue is currently generated abroad, with China being the biggest overseas revenue driver.

Since its foundation in 1994, Nexon has produced classic online games such as “MapleStory,” “Crazyracing Kartrider,” “Mabinogi” and “Dungeon & Fighter.” It jumped into mobile games from 2015, releasing hits including “Heroes of Incredible Tales” and “Dominations.”

To defend its place in the increasingly competitive global game market, the Korean game giant is looking to develop new games of diverse genres for both PC and mobile platforms that can appeal to gamers from different countries and cultures.

Backing such efforts are Nexon’s overseas offices based in Japan, the US, Europe and Taiwan that have led the way in discovering and partnering with promising game studios and publishers in their respective markets, the company said.

In the North American market, the Korean firm has already partnered with major game studios including Big Huge Games, Boss Key Productions, QC Games and This Game Studios to develop and publish new online and mobile games that are localized for Western gamers.

For instance, Big Huge Games, which Nexon acquired last year, developed the hit mobile strategy game “Dominations,” which has topped 30 million downloads worldwide since its release in April 2015, according to Nexon.

Securing the rights to use the intellectual property of popular content and games is another priority for Nexon.

Last year, Nexon purchased the licensing rights to a range of popular content and video games including “Lego,” “Final Fantasy XI” and “Titanfall,” and it is currently developing new mobile games based on them.

Nexon has also sealed publishing agreements to market and service a wide array of globally popular games developed by other game makers including “Need for Speed Edge” and “Titanfall Online,” it said.

Localization is a major priority for Nexon, which has focused on embedding components that locals can relate to in their games. For example, the Japanese version of Nexon’s hit online game “MapleStory” features traditional Japanese houses and the streets of Tokyo.

The Chinese version of “Dungeon & Fighter” has featured traditional Chinese clothing as well as specialized in-game items to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Special game gift certificates are sold in North America and Europe to better cater to users’ purchase habits, according to Nexon.

“Nexon plans to develop its own games for both online and mobile platforms, secure more promising game IPs and enter more partnerships with global game firms to diversify our game genres and boost our global market share,” said Nexon Korea spokesperson Kwak Dae-hyun. 

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