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.