South Korean game developer Nexon Co. has become the first Korean game publisher to be worth near $30 billion, becoming the second most valuable game stock in Japan after Nintendo.
Nexon trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed at a fresh record high of 3,210 yen ($31.01) on Wednesday, putting its market capitalization at 30.02 trillion won.
Nexon like other Korean game publishers have seen their shares fly high this year after demand for its popular games has steadily grown among pandemic-driven homebound people.
Nexon’s operating profit in the January-September period reached over 1 trillion won and revenue 2.5 trillion won, setting it on path to achieve annual sales milestone of 3 trillion won for the first time in the game industry.
Nexon benefited most from mobile game business, with revenue surging 140 percent on year in the third quarter. Nexon managed to place three of its mobile game titles – The Kingdom of the Wind: Yeon, V4, and Kart Rider Rush+ – on Top 10 Google Play Store list with the most revenue.
Revenue from Nexon’s popular title Maple Story surged 71 percent on year in the July-September period in Korea, 178 percent in North America and Europe, and 165 percent in Asia and South America.
Its classic games Dungeon & Fighter and Sudden Attack are also still popular among Korean gamers even after more than 10 years of its release. Sales of Dungeon & Fighter jumped 56 percent in the third quarter ended September from the same period a year ago on the back of major character level expansion and strategic content update while those of Sudden Attack 35 percent after the company launched a large-scale compensation event to celebrate 15 years of service.
Nexon stock gained momentum upon joining the Nikkei 225 on Nov. 29. Nikkei 225, a representing stock index of Japan like the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, is cited to track movement of Tokyo Stock Exchange, one of the world’s top three stock exchanges along with New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
Big names such as Toyota, Honda, Asahi Group, Japan Tobacco, and Fuji Film are on the Nikkei 225 index. Japan’s leading game developers Bandai Namco Entertainment and Konami are also under Nikkei 225 along with internet company SoftBank and NTT Docomo.
By Lee Dong-in, Lee Yong-ik, and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]