How is Nexon faring after the 2019 year that saw the company’s owners give up on a sale and instead begin slashing teams and projects around the world, prompting the company’s dev union to agitate? About the same as Activision-Blizzard, as it turns out. While the company’s revenues were down 11% year-over-year, it nevertheless saw better-than-expected revenues for the first quarter, thanks to, well, the pandemic driving everyone straight into the waiting arms of video games.
“Despite significant damage to the global economy, Nexon posted a solid First Quarter with record revenue in Korea and no significant disruption to our business,” CEO Owen Mahoney says.
“Better than expected Q1 revenues of ¥82.8 billion were driven by the strong performances of our major franchises in Korea. Q1 EBITDA totaled ¥49.9 billion bringing total cash at the end of March to ¥518 billion or about 4.8 billion US dollars. In Korea, both the PC and mobile versions of our MapleStory franchise generated record quarterly revenue with 132% year-over-year growth on PC and in the same period, 184%1 growth on mobile. Revenue from Dungeon&Fighter grew 53% year-over-year following a successful major content update; and revenue from Sudden Attack grew 52%. V4, a mobile MMORPG launched in last November performed well and FIFA ONLINE 4  delivered record quarterly revenue. In China, revenues were within the expected range, although at the lower end of guidance. Q1 content releases for Dungeon & Fighter were well received by players, however, the temporary impact of PC café closures in China due to COVID-19 negatively affected our momentum. The benefits from the content updates are expected to accelerate as PC cafés re-open for business.”
Not mentioned in the press release, of course, is the impending sunset of MapleStory 2 here in the west a few weeks from now. Last time ’round, we noted the movement of Moonlight Blade in the hopes that it might be launching here, but it sounds as if it’s not doing so hot overseas.