Nexon Co, Ltd.
Native name
TYO: 3659
IndustryVideo games
FoundedDecember 26, 1994; 28 years ago (1994-12-26)
Seoul, South Korea
HeadquartersMinato-ku, Tokyo, Japan[1]
Key people
Owen Mahoney (CEO)[2]
Shiro Uemura (CFO)[3][4]
Revenue¥274.5billion (2021)[5]
¥91.5billion (2021)[5]
¥114.9billion (2021)[5]
Number of employees
7,067 (Dec. 2021)[6]
Subsidiaries§ Organization

Nexon Co., Ltd. is a video game publisher.[7] It publishes titles including MapleStory, Dungeon & Fighter, Sudden Attack, and KartRider.[7] Headquartered in Japan, the company has offices in South Korea, the United States, Taiwan and Thailand.[8]

Nexon was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1994 by Kim Jung-ju and Jake Song. In 2005, the company moved its headquarters to Tokyo, Japan. The company's largest shareholder is the investment firm NXC, also founded by Jung-ju.[9]



Nexon (originally Korean: 주식회사 넥슨) was established in Seoul, South Korea on December 26, 1994. It developed and published its first title, Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, in 1996, which the company continues to service.[10] Numerous other games followed such as Dark Ages: Online Roleplaying, Elemental Saga, QuizQuiz, KartRider, Elancia, and Shattered Galaxy;[11] some of which are maintained by a company spun off of Nexon, Kru Interactive.[12]

MapleStory and Dungeon & Fighter

In 2003, Wizet developed MapleStory in Korea, which later became one of its most successful titles and has been serviced for more than two decades.[13][14] The game was localized for Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, North America, Europe, Brazil, and Vietnam.[15] Nexon is also the developer of Dungeon & Fighter, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Neople.[16][17] Dungeon & Fighter is one of the most popular free-to-play online PC games in China.[17][18]


In April 2013, the programmer "DrUnKeN ChEeTaH" was sued by Nexon America for operating GameAnarchy, a popular subscription based cheat provider for Combat Arms. Nexon was awarded $1.4M in damages.[19]

Nexon went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 14, 2011, in an initial public offering, the largest in Japan for 2011 and the second largest by a technological company for 2011 worldwide.[20] On March 9, 2016, Nexon acquired Big Huge Games, a mobile game developer in Maryland.[21] In October 2018, a labor union was established at Nexon.[22]

On January 3, 2019, the Korea Economic Daily reported Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and associates have put their 98.64-percent stake up for sale.[23] However, on July 8, 2019, Reuters reported the plan was abandoned.[24] On November 25, 2019, The Lego Group announced the acquisition of Bricklink, the world's largest Lego fan community from Nexon's parent company NXC,[25] for an unknown price, which is expected to finish before the end of 2019.[26]


On June 2, 2020, Nexon announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in listed entertainment companies.[27] By March 2021, Nexon had deployed $874 million of that amount on investments into Hasbro, Bandai Namco Holdings, Konami, and Sega Sammy Holdings. Nexon stated that they have no interest in outright acquiring or taking activist investor positions in these companies.[28] Nexon signed with Bandai Namco Holdings, Square Enix and Microsoft for a 10-year Japanese–South Korean video gaming partnership contract for media franchises through 2032, for example HoPals Echoes crossover project.[citation needed]

In a 2021 earnings call, Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney declined to offer hard launch targets for highly anticipated games.[29] In February 2021, Nexon announced significant pay increases for new and existing development talent in the company's Korean studios.[30] In July 2021, Nexon announced the formation of Nexon Film and Television, a division of the company focused on expanding the reach and value of Nexon's global IP, as well as development of new properties in both interactive and linear entertainment. The division is based in Los Angeles.[31] In January 2022, Russo brothers-owned film production company AGBO sold a $400 million minority stake to Nexon, which is valued at $1.1 billion as Nexon takes a 38% stake.[32] In February 2022, it was reported by Bloomberg that Saudi Arabian-based Public Investment Fund had purchased just over a 5% stake in Capcom and Nexon, reportedly worth US$883 million, while American investment company KKR acquired an 8.5% stake.[33]

In May 2022, Nexon announced the launch of Mintrocket, a sub-brand and division of Nexon that specializes on games "focusing on the essence of fun".[34] Its first game, Dave the Diver, was a commercial hit, selling one million copies within ten days of launch.[35]

In early 2023, Nexon filed a cease and desist letter and a lawsuit against video game studio Ironmace, alleging that they stole files and ideas from Nexon's canceled project called "P3" and used them in their game called Dark and Darker.[36][37] Nine "P3" project members had left the company and joined Ironmace, which was started soon after the project's cancellation in 2021.[38][39] According to Ironmace, it is one of these former Nexon employees (who is alleged to have leaked the assets) who is the sued party, and not the company itself.[37] A police complaint filed by Nexon reportedly led to a police raid of Ironmace's offices in March 2023.[39] After the game was removed from Steam, Ironmace distributed it via BitTorrent, made available on the game's Discord server. A March IGN article described the situation as the "Dark and Darker legal scandal".[40] Nexon also filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in United States on April 20, 2023.[41]


Nexon maintains various offices around the world that engage in the publishing and/or development of Nexon's games. Each region's local consolidated subsidiaries are independently managed and are responsible for developing their own strategy for their products and services.[42] The subsidiary that publishes a game does not necessarily indicate the region(s) that a game is available in.[citation needed] For example, some of Nexon Korea's games are published directly by Nexon Korea yet are available worldwide with no separate service published under the local consolidated company's portfolio.

Nexon group companies
Region Company name[43]
Japan NEXON Co., Ltd.
Korea NEXON Korea Corporation; NEOPLE INC.; Nexon Networks Corporation; NEXON Games Co., Ltd. (Nexon Games Seoul, Nexon Games Pangyo) (formerly Nexon GT and NAT Games); NEXON COMMUNICATIONS Co., Ltd.; Nexon Space Co., Ltd.; Thingsoft Inc.; N Media Platform Co., LTD.; Ngine Studios; TDF Co., Ltd.
China Lexian Software Development (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
North America Nexon America Inc.; Nexon US Holding Inc.; Big Huge Games, Inc.; Pixelberry Studios

Free-to-play online virtual worlds

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Nexon is a pioneer in free-to-play online Virtual World games which operate in contrast to games that require a large initial payment and offer a comparatively short life cycle. Nexon's Virtual Worlds make use of live, in-game operations to provide ongoing content and manage service. Nexon Live Operations helps engage players over years and, in some cases, decades.

The logo of Maplestory, an MMORPG published by Nexon.

Multiple Nexon Virtual Worlds are among the world's most valuable entertainment franchises:

Franchise Launch date[44] Registered players[44] Lifetime revenue[44]
Dungeon & Fighter 2005 + 850 million > $20 billion
MapleStory 2003 + 180 million > $3 billion
KartRider 2004 + 380 million > $1 billion
Sudden Attack 2005 + 23 million > $0.7 billion
The Kingdom of the Winds 1996 + 26 million N/A
Mabinogi 2004 + 20 million > $0.6 billion

Games for mobile and consoles

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Nexon began as a developer and publisher of PC games. However, in 2020, the company announced plans to begin releasing both console and mobile versions of key franchises. CEO Owen Mahoney noted that expansion onto the two popular platforms “collectively represent an order-of-magnitude increase in our total addressable market.”

In July 2020, the South Korean launch of The Kingdom of the Winds: Yeon for mobile was the top-grossing title on the Apple App story and #2 on Google Play, 24 years after the launch of the initial The Kingdom of the Winds game in 1996. In August 2020, the highly anticipated release of Dungeon&Fighter Mobile in China generated more than 60 million pre-registrations before it was delayed. In March 2022, Dungeon&Fighter Mobile was released in South Korea, reaching the #1 spot on both the App Store and Google Play.

It has already announced it will be publishing ARC Raiders, The First Descendant, Project AK and KartRider: Drift for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox. Nexon previously published one title for PlayStation 4 in 2017, LawBreakers from Boss Key Productions.

Expansion in Western markets

Nexon operates in over 190 countries, but revenue and consumer engagement are concentrated in Asian markets. In 2021, the company announced a series of games in development for global release – with a focus on Europe and North America.  


Year Title Developer Publisher Notes
1996 Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds Nexon Korea Nexon
1999 Elancia
Dark Ages
2001 Asgard
Crazy Arcade
2003 MapleStory Wizet Nexon (KR, JP, NA, EU)
TalesWeaver Softmax Nexon
2004 Crazyracing Kartrider Nexon Korea Also known in short as KartRider
Servers closed in March 2023 as Nexon Korea has shift their focus on KartRider: Drift
Mabinogi devCAT
2005 Sudden Attack Nexon GT (now Nexon Games)
Dungeon Fighter Online Neople Nexon (KR & JP)
Neople (Global)
2007 Elsword KOG Studios Nexon Publishing for Korea only (KOG to handled Global server)
2008 Counter-Strike Online Nexon
2008 Combat Arms Nexon Server closed in November 2017; while the Global server was carried by VALOFE in both Reloaded and Classic version
2009 Crazy Shooting Bubble Fighter
2010 Vindictus devCAT Also known in Asia as Mabinogi Heroes, prequel to the original game
Dragon Nest Eyedentity Games Nexon to share the publishing rights in Korea (ENP Games now handled KR server, while Eyedentity Games handled rest of World ex. Chinese territories)
2011 Cyphers Neople
2012 FIFA Online 3 Electronic Arts Publishing for Korea only
2013 ArcheAge XL Games Nexon to share the publishing rights in Korea (XL Games was later brought by Kakao Games)
Final Fantasy XIV Square Enix Business Division 5 Square Enix Nexon to share the publishing rights in Korea (Actoz Soft now handled KR server)
Counter-Strike Online 2 Nexon
Nexon Servers closed in April 2018
2014 FreeStyle 2 JOYCITY Publishing for Korea only
Closers Naddic Games Publishing for Korea only (Naddic Games to handled Global server)
Monster Squad Nexon GT
Mobile game
Servers closed in December 2016
2015 DomiNations Nexon
Big Huge Games
Mobile game
Publishing rights was handed over to Big Huge Games in 2020
MapleStory 2 NSquare Both Japanese and Global server closed on Early 2020 with Korea as the only server available
2016 Tree of Savior IMC Games Publishing for Korea only (IMC Games to handled Global server)
Sudden Attack 2 Nexon GT Nexon Korean server closed shortly after launch following the controversy
Titanfall Online Nexon (Licensed from Electronic Arts) The game was never fully released
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online Neople Server closed first in Japan on November 29, 2017, with Global server closed few days later (December 6, 2017).
2017 Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed XPEC Entertainment (Licensed from Koei Tecmo) Mobile game
Server closed in March 2020
Dark Avenger 3 Boolean Games Mobile game
AxE (Alliance x Empire) Nexon RED Mobile game
Server closed in June 2022
2018 FIFA Online 4 EA Spearhead Publishing for Korea only
MapleStory M Nexon Mobile game
2019 KurtzPel KOG Studios Publishing for Korea only (KOG to handled Global server)
Godzilla Defense Force Neople
Studio 42
Mobile game
Crazy Arcade BnB M Nexon
2020 KartRider Rush+ Nexon Mobile game
V4 NAT Games (now Nexon Games) Cross–Platform (PC & Mobile)
The Kingdom of the Winds: Yeon Nexon Korea Mobile game
Currently available in Korea
2021 Blue Archive NAT Games (now Nexon Games) Nexon (Global ex. JP & China) Mobile game
KonoSuba: Fantastic Days Sumzap Nexon (Global ex. JP) Mobile game
Publishing rights was handed over to Sesisoft from June 1, 2023[46]
2022 Dungeon & Fighter Mobile Neople Nexon Mobile game
Currently available in Korea
DNF Duel Arc System Works
Also available on PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5
Nominated for The Game Awards 2022 Best Fighting Game
Argent Twilight: Secrets Of The Dark Orbs[47] Nexon Mobile game
Currently in soft launch for Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada.
TalesWeaver: Second Run[48] Nexon Mobile game
Currently available in Japan
2023 KartRider: Drift Nexon Korea (Nitro Studio) Nexon Cross–Platform (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC & Mobile)
Dave the Diver Nexon (Mintrocket) Nexon (Mintrocket) Cross–Platform (MacOS, PC & Nintendo Switch)
TBA The First Descendant (fka Project Magnum) Nexon Games Nexon Also coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
ARC Raiders Embark Studios Also coming to PlayStation 5 & Xbox Series X|S
The Finals
Warhaven (fka Project HP)[49] Nexon Korea
4 Towers
Dynasty Warriors 9 Mobile
Gwanggateo the Great
Hero Sky
Mabinogi Mobile
Project BBQ

See also


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  2. ^ Eric Johnson (February 12, 2014). "Nexon Names New CEO: Ex-EA Exec Owen Mahoney". Re/code.
  3. ^ Chris Shimamoto (May 15, 2014). "Nexon Surges as Online Game Maker Plans Share Buyback". Bloomberg News.
  4. ^ "Executive Team". NEXON Corporate Profile. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Consolidated Financial Results for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021 [IFRS]" (PDF). Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  6. ^ "Q2 2022 Investor Presentation" (PDF). Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Nexon | About the Company". Nexon Official Website. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  8. ^ Bruce Einhorn (August 21, 2014). "Nexon, Asia's 'Freemium' PC Game Pioneer, Gets More Mobile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014.
  9. ^ "Introduction - NXC CORP".
  10. ^ Bruce Einhorn. "What is Nexus?". Nexus Atlas. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Nexon Holdings history". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  12. ^ "Kru Interactive Profile". Kru Interactive. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  13. ^ John Gaudiosi (May 23, 2012). "Nexon Celebrates Seventh Anniversary Of MapleStory Game With Continued Success". Forbes.
  14. ^ "Nexon Holdings(NXC)". Korea Game Watch. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  15. ^ "Maplestory". Nexon Korea Corporation. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Forbes Staff (April 24, 2013). "What Next for Kim Jung-Ju and Korean Online Gaming Company Nexon?". Forbes.
  17. ^ a b Lulu Yilun Chen and Jungah Lee (May 28, 2014). "Tencent $1 Billion Game Shows Global Hunt for Mobile Hits". Bloomberg News.
  18. ^ Xu Lin (February 7, 2014). "Top 10 free online games with highest revenues".
  19. ^ "Nexon America Inc et al v. Gameanarchy LLC et al".
  20. ^ Kyt Dotson (December 7, 2014). "Despite Setbacks Nexon Sets $1.2 billion IPO for Dec. 14". SiliconANGLE.
  21. ^ "Nexon acquires DomiNations developer Big Huge Games". VentureBeat. March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  22. ^ Se-jin, Jung (September 5, 2018). "Nexon sets up the first labor union among Korean game companies". Korea IT Times (in Korean). Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  23. ^ "Nexon founder to sell controlling stake in gaming company's holding..." Reuters. January 3, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nexon founder scraps what could have been $16 billion gaming deal:..." Reuters. July 9, 2019.
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  27. ^ Leung, Ruby. "Korean Gaming Giant Nexon To Spend $1.5 Billion On Global Entertainment Companies". Forbes. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  28. ^ "Nexon invests $874 million in Hasbro, Bandai Namco, Konami, and Sega Sammy". VentureBeat. March 28, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  29. ^ Royce, Bree (August 13, 2021). "Nexon CEO blasts crunch and the 'charade of launch timing'". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  30. ^ "Nexon offers all its employees a big pay rise". February 1, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  31. ^ Hayes, Dade (July 15, 2021). "Asian Video Game Firm Nexon Launching LA-Based Film And TV Arm Guided By Disney And Activision Blizzard Vet Nick Van Dyk". Deadline.
  32. ^ Vlessing, Etan (January 5, 2022). "Joe and Anthony Russo's AGBO Sells $400M Stake to Nexon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  33. ^ "Saudi Wealth Fund Boosts Gaming Bets With Capcom, Nexon Stakes". February 3, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  34. ^ "Nexon launches game sub-brand 'Mintrocket' on the 3rd". April 5, 2022. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  35. ^ Koselke, Anna (July 12, 2023). "Dave the Diver does swimmingly on Steam, selling over a million copies". PCGamesN.
  36. ^ "Dark and Darker removed from Steam due to ongoing Ironmace/Nexon dispute". Games March 27, 2023. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  37. ^ a b Brown, Andy (March 14, 2023). "'Dark And Darker' developer's office searched by police over allegations of code theft". NME. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  38. ^ Kennedy, Victoria (March 27, 2023). "Dark and Darker developer uses ChatGPT AI tool in bid to prove it hasn't infringed copyright". Retrieved April 15, 2023.
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  46. ^ Schpasm (April 18, 2023). "KonoSuba Fantastic Days Global Server is Changing Publishers". QooApp. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  47. ^ Howard, Jessica (September 8, 2022). "MapleStory Publisher Offers A Closer Look At Turn-Based Hero Game Argent Twilight". GameSpot. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  48. ^ Derrick, Connor (September 14, 2022). "Tales Weaver: Second Run, a reimagining of the 18 year old MMO, opens up pre-registration for Japanese audiences". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  49. ^ Cinderboy (September 14, 2022). "Warhaven – Nexon reveals Global Beta Test schedule for new medieval fantasy 16 vs 16 title". MMO Culture. Retrieved September 15, 2022.