Nexon pressures NCsoft as largest shareholder

While Nexon and NCsoft may be competing developers in the MMO space, business has made strange and hostile bedfellows of both.

After purchasing enough shares to become NCsoft’s largest shareholder last year at 15.1%, Nexon is attempting to put pressure on its rival to conform to certain demands. However, tensions are running high as NCsoft is pushing back against those proposals.

Last week, Nexon issued a proposal to NCsoft with an unspecified deadline to allow Nexon to appoint a board member, sell certain non-core assets, disclose wages for unregistered board members, and adopt an electronic voting system for shareholders, among other demands. NCsoft responded to the proposal although the specifics of the response were not revealed.

Nexon also released its fourth quarter 2014 financial report today. While the company celebrated an increase in revenues of 25% year-over-year, it is still operating at a $4.13 million (4.5 billion KRW) net loss for the quarter.

[Source: Nexon press release, Korea Times, Korea Herald]
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

64 Comments on "Nexon pressures NCsoft as largest shareholder"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
social_crime
Guest
social_crime

Here was the answer.

SirMysk
Guest
SirMysk

BryanCo It’s entirely reasonable, but Nexon is a less than popular company in general.  It’s easy to assume that what they’re doing is somehow shady when this is a company that would make you pay to use mouse controls if they could get away with it.

hults2
Guest
hults2

from a business standpoint, Nexon isn’t asking for anything unreasonable. They want to know how much people directly responsible for the business they own stake in are earning, and they want accountability of assets and a more open voting process.

from the standpoint of someone who has been victimized by these companies, frankly, they deserve each other an can go down in flames together for all I care.

jgauthier45
Guest
jgauthier45

Not sure how much this will effect GW2’s development.  But I don’t see it as a good thing.  It boggles my mind how a horrible developer like Nexon could buy enough of NCSoft’s stock to take control like this.  Yet another example of how corporate suits are ruining our pastime…..

unixtimed
Guest
unixtimed

RicharddeLeonIII Lol, so many big corporations have invested in their competitors. It’s very common thing. Even Google partially funds Mozilla Foundation.
So you are saying Nexon is in conflict of interest?  Did you even read that the wife of NCSoft’s CEO is president? His brother is also on very high-ranked position. It’s obvious who is in conflict of interests.

playerxx
Guest
playerxx

*from the other side, a simple city of heroes player smiles*

Crow God
Guest
Crow God

BryanCo It’s because its Nexon and Nexon is the company that is so easy to hate.

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

I see a great deal of hating on Nexon over this (usually with the side note that no one really feels sorry for NCSoft.)  But why?  Nexon’s requests are quite reasonable as near as I can tell. 

A seat on the board of directors?  Why should a %15 shareholder NOT deserve that?

Nexon also demanded NCSOFT disclose wages for its unregistered board members,
who receive more than 500 million won (about 450k USD) annually and are affiliated with NCSOFT
CEO Kim Taek-jin.They want to know just how much the CEO’s cronies (including his wife and brother) are getting paid.  FYI, an ‘unregistered director’ is someone (generally an employee) who performs all the functions of director even though technically not one.  In the US (I am not familiar with Korean business law) director compensation must be reported in public filings, so ‘unregistered directors’ and pretty shady to begin with.

The sale of “non-core assets” is hard to judge without knowing the specifics.  But chances are it refers to corporate jets, yachts, and such.

Detton
Guest
Detton

Well this doesn’t sound skeezy as hell does it..

Observer98
Guest
Observer98

A perfect example of why crowdfunding- imperfect as it is- is our last best hope for decent games.

JohnT_NC
Guest
JohnT_NC

Although the circumstances are a bit different, this is why crowd-funding is gaining so much traction over traditional publishers.  When one entity throws a ton of money at another entity, they feel entitled to have their way with it, even if they weren’t asked to do so. Instead, if you can get a large number of people to invest small amounts, then the people who were apparently worth investing in can carry out their vision, and not have it mangled by someone just because they have deep pockets.
I’m not a huge fan of NCsoft or anything, and I don’t know the facts behind Nexon’s transaction, but I’m guessing NCsoft didn’t ask Nexon to buy so many of its shares.  If Nexon did it just because they thought they could bully NCsoft into doing what they want, then they should sell the shares and do something else with the money.  If they invested because NCsoft made a deal with them, well then that’s on NCsoft to honor the arrangement.  The nature of this article leads me to think otherwise.
It really all depends on the company.  If the board has 10 people on it, then it actually makes sense that someone that owns 15% of the company should have a place on it.  If they’re an idiot, the rest of the board can keep them from negatively impacting the company (and they should all sign non-disclosure agreements to avoid conflict of interest anyway).  If anything nefarious does occur, then the authorities/trade commission can step in and sort things out, hopefully before things get fubar’d.

RicharddeLeonIII
Guest
RicharddeLeonIII

As much as I hate NCsoft, isnt it kinda a conflict of interest for Nexon to be a major shareholder in a competitor? or at least it being extremely anti-competitive?  Im not familiar with investor rules so im not sure.

DavidBrown2
Guest
DavidBrown2

Wow, having Nexon as your owner is like sleeping with the devil; nothing good can come of it.

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

ArtemisiaWS Yinta Midgetsnowman I use the naming in pointing out Nexon would do literally anything to make a buck. Much like a certain dibbler :D

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

Pardon me while I don’t shed any tears for NCsoft.

JerryMaples
Guest
JerryMaples

ArtemisiaWS dirtyklingon Dungeon Runners and Exteel were two I played back in the day. Pretty sad when each of them shut down

TomTurtle
Guest
TomTurtle

dirtyklingon Exactly. :-p

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Man would I love to see these two companies destroy each other. Fine examples of what is wrong with the mmo industry. Blah.

Grimfargo
Guest
Grimfargo

dirtyklingon ArtemisiaWS 
I remember Auto Assault, was kinda fun to play like Twisted Metal MMO ;)

TomTurtle
Guest
TomTurtle

Lol @ feeling bad for NCSoft. Who!? Feel bad for the players if anything, especially if Nexon gets involved even further. D:

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

I did not realize that Nex and NC were getting together to take a run at EA.  

Since that time in June 2012, it looks like Nex was flat, NC down a third and EA more than quadrupled. It sure looks like EA was a much better company without them.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

Denice J Cook Midgetsnowman I think I read the family owns 10% and Nex is the largest shareholder at 15%

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

dirtyklingon ArtemisiaWS I think a friend actually played that, seeing the video, but could be wrong. o.o

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

dirtyklingon ArtemisiaWS because…we don’t talk about these things here…but no really I know nothing about that game :O

Golden_Girl
Guest
Golden_Girl

Ideally, they’d destroy each other :-p

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

dirtyklingon I don’t feel bad for them, I feel bad for the results that Nexon having too muh power over Nc could bring. 
And despite Nc having made the horrible thing of giving out AionEU to SuckForge,…for some reason I can’t stop liking them more than almost all the gaming companies. (I love L2 world, even though I left for the grind I have great memories, and Aion, even if NA, gave me so much good and still has a great f2p model. Plus let’s admit it, their games look so pretty and well done.)
I probably would like it less if I was a CoH or Tabula Rasa player but eh.

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

dirtyklingon xDrac and they even made the mobile version! (of aion as well if I remember right)

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

SoMuchMass SallyBowls1 All is right with the world

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

Yinta Midgetsnowman But…I actually like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, while I dislike Nexon! It’s not a fair naming!

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

Younguns today; ignoring traditions.  Did you read the articles and just overlook that NCSoft’s earnings are today?  Wildstar Revenue!  GW2 Revenue! We did not even have a pool/contest for guesses.

/sigh

TipLine: see above ^

Yinta
Guest
Yinta

Midgetsnowman Anyone referring to Pratchett gets a like !

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

SallyBowls1 When I saw that, I realized maybe Nexon is actually asking the right questions and putting the right pressure.

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

Wratts but why do that when you can demand Ncsoft make money for you?

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

I liked the bedfellows comment since one of the things Nexon is asking about is the compensation of “CEO Kim Taek-jin’s wife Yoon Song-yee, who was recently promoted to company president.”

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

pcgneurotic Midgetsnowman glad someone got the specific reference of the insult :D

pcgneurotic
Guest
pcgneurotic

Midgetsnowman MMOGs ina bun! Come and get yer fresh MMOGs ina bun! Guaranteed top quality ingredients!

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

Golden_Girl Gottphoenix HA!  Okay, you win this round, GG.  ;)

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

Nexon is going to win this battle, easily.

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

Midgetsnowman Word!  As much as I have boycotted playing NCSoft’s games after going through the shutterings of Tabula Rasa, Dungeon Runners and CoX, I feel that letting Nexon even begin buying their stock in June 2012 was a “frying pan, meet fire” scenario.

To this day, I feel that CoX’s termination notice given but two months later was Nexon-driven.

Now I feel like I’m in an odd position where I am actually rooting for NCSoft so they don’t get closed down altogether, and this would be happening even if NC wasn’t in the midst of working a “behind closed doors” deal with an undisclosed backer to rez and run an issue 23 zombie server image of CoX.  The day a dweeby game like Maple Story can become more important than Aion, CoX or Lineage Eternal should be the day the world ends.  ;)

NCSoft’s CEO promoted his wife to President, and hopefully their “family” and combined stock ownership in NC can fend Nexon off for a while, and even get that CoX rez and IP lease out the door!

Bannex19
Guest
Bannex19

Remember when in doubt, boobs.

xDrac
Guest
xDrac

They should go make another Lineage MMO :(

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

as much as I usually dont like NCsoft. Theyre still worlds better than Cut-me-own Throat Nexon.

Golden_Girl
Guest
Golden_Girl

Gottphoenix Golden_Girl They’re acting like predators though :-p

Golden_Girl
Guest
Golden_Girl

mrsangeld With their treatment of CoH players, Harvey Debt would be a  better fit :-p

Gottphoenix
Guest
Gottphoenix

Golden_Girl Nexon are clearly the Aliens

Golden_Girl
Guest
Golden_Girl
Ceder
Guest
Ceder

Bannex19  NC Sex On sounds like a North Carolina swingers group or escort agency though :P

Polyanna
Guest
Polyanna

Interesting approach. Forget working hard and being better at what you do than your competition. Just buy up their stock and pester them until they’re even worse than you are.

wpDiscuz