Nexon is planning on taking over the service of Sudden Attack in Korea this Summer. The database issue has been resolved and Nexon and CJ E&M have agreed to co-publish the game. I think Nexon will do the servicing while CJ will channel. But before the two companies’ current agreement was a conflict that I found interesting to read about.
Nexon acquired Gamehi, Sudden Attack’s developer, in 2010. Nexon waited until Gamehi’s publishing contract with CJ E&M (who had published Sudden Attack since its launch in 2004) expired so they could take it over. Since Sudden Attack is CJ’s biggest title, Nexon’s actions started a conflict between the two companies over Sudden Attack, including a battle over the all-important player data holding character database. If CJ didn’t hand over the database to Nexon when Nexon begins publishing then all Sudden Attack players, whether you just started playing or have been playing since 2004, would have to start over. It took 20 days, but finally the two companies have agreed to co-publish Sudden Attack. Conflict resolved.
But what took place during the conflict?
- CJ E&M suggested co-publishing Sudden Attack with Nexon since Sudden Attack is CJ’s biggest game and they don’t want to let it go.
- Nexon stands firm and says they will take over full publishing no matter what and will not co-publish with CJ.
- The CEO of Gamehi agrees with Nexon, saying that Sudden Attack cannot be split and that the database transfer was his only concern.
- Nexon tells CJ to hand over all the game DB including player’s over to them and Netmarble agreed it. Yay!!!
- Nexon gets all suspicious of CJ’s kindness and planned an unprecedented event called ‘Move Quickly’ which rewards all the players who migrate their information to Nexon from Netmarble approximately US$60 in game money in pursuit of having their DB without a help of Netmarble in early June. In the ‘Move Quickly’ event, players go into their in-game character information screen and take a screenshot. This is then sent to Nexon. Since this screen has all the information on the character, Nexon can use the submitted screenshots to add character information to their database.
- CJ E&M responds by disabling the screenshot feature of Sudden Attack so that players cannot take screenshots and therefore cannot send their character data to Nexon. -F3-
- Nexon then responds by creating their own screenshot program that can be used in Sudden Attack so that players can take screenshots and submit them to Nexon again. Every time that CJ patches Nexon’s screenshot program, Nexon updates it to work again. IN OTHER WORDS, NEXON CREATED A THIRD-PARTY PROGRAM TO BE USED IN ANOTHER PUBLISHER’S GAME AGAINST THAT PUBLISHER’S WILL WHICH GOES COMPLETELY AGAINST WHAT NEXON HAS STOOD FOR (OR HAS APPEARED TO STAND FOR). Low move, Nexon, low move.
- After this the 20 days of negotiations began and Nexon and CJ have agreed to end their conflict and have signed a deal to co-publish the game until July 11, 2013. The new terms of service go into effect when CJ’s current publishing agreement with Gamehi expires on July 11, 2011.
Oh, the immaturity of game publishers. Two old partners, Nexon and CJ E&M, locked in a back-and-forth type of battle over a game. I hope Sudden Attack doesn’t lose any players due to this.
Nexon is known by some Korean companies as the “cancer of the Korean gaming industry”. This is because Nexon has acquired at least one successful company in each of the past several years and has taken over the service of at least one of their new subsidiary’s successful games from another publisher. This has surely worked for Nexon as they remain Korea’s largest online game publisher by revenue and will likely become Korea’s first gaming company to generate of 1 trillion Won in revenues in 2011.
Past examples of this include Nexon’s 2005 acquisition of Wizet, the creators of MapleStory, and in 2008 when Nexon acquired Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) developer Neople. In the case of Wizet, Nexon was actually working with them since 2003 as Nexon published MapleStory in Korea and Japan and was at the time preparing the game for a global release. However, with Neople, DFO was being published by NHN on their Hangame portal from its launch in 2005 to Nexon’s takeover in 2008.
Both of these takeovers have proved extremely profitable for Nexon as MapleStory is one of the world’s most revenue-making games and DFO has grown to have over 300 million players worldwide and set a recently eclipsed world record of 2.2 million concurrent users.
The results of the takeover of Ndoors is likely the most obvious to North American gamers as Atlantica Online has transferred publishers from Ndoors Interactive to Nexon America. It has been announced that Nexon will take over another game from NHN (after DFO in 2008). Starting this Summer Nexon will take over the publishing of Atlantica Online in Korea. Atlantica will become third game to be published by all four publishing branches of Nexon, after MapleStory and Mabinogi. Of course, this number should increase to four by the end of the year as both Nexon Europe and Nexon Japan take on Vindictus.
Gamehi is the developer of the first free online first-person shooter to enter the Korean market, Sudden Attack. Sudden Attack has truly done well in Korea where it holds the fifth highest concurrent user mark of 250,000. Sudden Attack has been published by CJ E&M on their Netmarble portal since its launch in July 2004. Well Gamehi’s publishing contract with CJ E&M for Sudden Attack expires on July 14 and Nexon will take over publishing of the game on that day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the original publishing contract that CJ E&M would have to handover the game’s database in the case of a service transfer. Therefore, unless Nexon can negotiate quickly with CJ E&M, no character data will be transferred between the two companies and all Sudden Attack players from CJ E&M will be forced to start over from scratch under Nexon.
It’s not just game transfers that have come as a result of Nexon’s acquisition of Gamehi. The development of MMORPG Dekaron 2 has been canceled as Nexon slashed Gamehi’s development team from 600 to just 200 in a move they describe as “strategic” and “conservative”. This was a huge shock to all Dekaron fans who were patiently awaiting Dekaron 2. The job cuts were not only as a result of the cancellation of Dekaron 2, but also were also due to the sale of Gamehi child company Hope Island to CJ E&M. Another change that came is the change of the Gamehi logo to a much better designed one in my opinion. The new logo also resembles the Nexon logo in many ways.
As far as Nclipse goes, I honestly haven’t heard much about them recently. Nexon continues to publish Everplanet in Korea and Japan and Everplanet made Msupdate’s Top 5 Nexon Games That Should Be Brought to North America. Maybe we’ll be seeing more of Nclipse in the near future.