Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sik
Netmarble Games Corp., South Korea’s top mobile game company eying to price this week the second-biggest-ever $2.4 billion initial public offering on the Kospi market, announced on Tuesday that it will launch its hit game `Lineage 2: Revolution` in China within this year.
Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sik told in a press conference the game will be released in Japan in the third quarter of this year and in China in the following quarter. “We are preparing to release the localized version of the game in the two countries. We want to be firmly positioned as a global major game developer in various genres," Kwon said.
In China, Lineage 2: Revolution will be released through Tencent Inc., the world’s top game company. Tencent Holding, Shenzhen, China-based largest Internet company in Asia, holds 28 percent equity in Netmarble.
There had been concerns about delay in the release due to China’s hostility towards Korean brands due to tensions over the U.S. missile-defense system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment in South Korea. Netmarble already began testing of the game among some Chinese users from last Wednesday.
Netmarble said the game will be localized to reflect the needs of Chinese game players who prefer a multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
Kwon said the company was not disturbed by the planned release of Lineage M - a mobile adaptation of NCSoft Corp.’s PC game Lineage.
Kwon said he will use the IPO proceeds to acquire promising game developers in the future. The company will go public on May 12 after share subscription on Apr. 25-26. Pricing will be decided after bookbuilding this week. The lower end of the IPO price rang would bring the company 2.05 trillion won ($1.79 billion). “Our M&A targets include developers and major intellectual property holders that can create synergy with Netmarble. The IPO will bring us 2.5 trillion won in fresh cash and we can leverage it to secure up to 5 trillion won as dry powder for M＆A.”
By Oh Chan-jong
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