Nexon eyes organic growth

By Kim Young-won

Gaming giant commits to developing mobile era ‘masterpieces’

  • Published : May 28, 2014 - 20:52
  • Updated : May 29, 2014 - 08:51
Nexon, Korea’s largest online game company, said it will aim to regain its past glory by seeking organic growth and upholding the entrepreneurial spirit to develop entertaining games.

“For the past 10 years, we have been just following market trends instead of leading them because we cared more about making profits than making fun games,” said Nexon Korea CEO Park Ji-won, who took the helm last March, at the Nexon Developers Conference 2014 in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, on Tuesday.

“We will regain the DNA we used to have, and encourage more failures and come up with ways to overcome the doldrums.” 
Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju (left), Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney and Nexon Korea CEO Park Ji-won participate in a session at the company’s annual developers’ conference in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday. (Nexon)

Despite its improved sales, the company, which mainly produces online PC games, has been struggling in the mobile era.

Nexon, which saw its sales increase 43 percent to 1.6 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in 2013, had been expanding mostly through inorganic growth strategies.

Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney reiterated that the company will commit to organic growth by creating “game masterpieces” like classic paintings that are remembered for a lifetime.

“If a game makes people stop doing everything else and start playing it, then that would be the one (true masterpiece),” Mahoney said at the annual conference.

Chon Kil-nam, a professor emeritus at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, told global game developers to get involved in solving controversial social problems such as game addiction.

“Any government rule basically is established to regulate something,” said the professor, also known as the father of the Korean Internet for developing Korea’s first Internet network in 1984.

“So, rather than passively following what the government tells you to do, you should be more proactive in solving problems.”

Chon emphasized the importance of security amid the rise of the Internet of Things, noting that he, too, was a member of the first Internet generation, which did not care too much about security, ultimately causing negative side effects such as data theft.

“It is expected that connected things will outnumber the world’s population by 2020. Extra efforts should be made to develop safer networks,” said the KAIST professor.

By Kim Young-won (