Dungeon & Fighter. [Photo by Nexon]
Korea’s three major game publishers Nexon, NCSoft, and Netmarble have come to dominate a combined market value of 50 trillion won ($41.3 billion), earning capital refueling to accelerate global rollouts and outreach at a time the world has turned more connected and inwards from the momentum of virus pandemic.
Their turnaround has been epic from last year when they were weighed down by poor sales, new regulations under WHO’s classification of ‘gaming disorder’ plus sale rumors of Korea’s top game developer Nexon.
According to industry sources on Sunday, Nexon shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed at 2,430 yen per share last Friday, leading to a market cap of 24 trillion yen ($20 billion). NCSoft and Netmarble, both traded in Korea, recorded 18.81 trillion won and 8.34 trillion won, respectively in their market cap.
Nexon’s corporate value is now ahead of the country’s leading mobile platform company Kakao (23 trillion won), top automotive brand Hyundai Motor (21.36 trillion won).
Their business outlook for the second half remains rosy. Nexon is betting high on the mobile version of its popular 2D action game Dungeon & Fighter, which will be released jointly with Tencent in China this summer. The PC version game has brought about 1 trillion won to Nexon each year and this could happen in the mobile version too as pre-registration users already topped 43 million.
Nexon has three games in the top-selling list of Google Play Store games – KartRider (4th), V4 (7th), and FIFA Mobile (9th).
Nexon has been focusing on the development of new products since early this year after replacing the management team in Korea and Japan.
NCSoft"s Lineage 2M. [Photo by NCSoft]
The company also announced a $1.5 billion investment plan to secure global game IPs. In the first five months and 15 days of this year, Nexon shares gained 68 percent, which is higher than 11 percent of Nintendo which hit the jackpot by releasing the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game for Nintendo Switch. NCSoft, which hit a new sales record in the first quarter, has maintained fast growth driven by its popular MMORPG Lineage M and Lineage 2M. The
NCsoft will step up efforts to penetrate the global market from the second half of this year. It is planning to export Lineage 2M to Japan and Taiwan and release its rhythm game FUSER in North America and Europe this fall. The company is also expanding its game platform to cover all mobile, PC, and console systems.
Netmarble"s BTS World. [Photo by Netmarble]
Netmarble, a strong mobile game player in Korea, is seeking further growth in the global market. More than 70 percent of its revenue come from overseas countries. Netmarble has its own branded games in the top 100 Google Play Store games in 83 countries out of 89 in total.
The company is due to roll out a slew of brand-new games in the second half, which include BTS Universe Story in the third quarter. Netmarble is also expected to make various attempts with its game business based on the acquisition of Woongjin Coway, a leading company in water purifier, air cleaner and bidet, as a new cash cow last year.
By Lim Young-sin, Lee Yong-ik and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]