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Nexon reports a record-breaking year

Revenues and income up as Dungeon & Fighter and Maple Story enjoy strong growth

Japanese publisher Nexon has posted its best ever annual results following a record-breaking Q4.

Revenues for the year ending December 31st 2017 climbed 28 per cent to ¥234.9bn ($2.1bn). Operating income grew 123 per cent to ¥90.5bn ($825m) and net income rocketed 182 per cent to ¥56.8bn ($518m).

Dungeon & Fighter and Maple Story both enjoyed double digit growth, with the former doing particularly well after the popularity of its lunar update.

In Japan Nexon suffered declines on both PC and mobile titles, with further PC declines in China, but Korea was a different story with revenues jumping 36.3 per cent and profits up 51 per cent - EA's FIFA Online 3, which Nexon publishes in the region, helped the cause here. Its performance was also strong in North America, where sales were up by over 50 per cent.

Q4 was also a strong one for the company, with record revenues of ¥52.7bn ($481m). Operating income also hit a new record of ¥11.8bn ($107m), although this was below expectations - Nexon blames this on impairment loss of goodwill, prepaid royalties and game IP. The company's documentation makes no mention of either the recent job losses at Nexon America or the struggles of Lawbreakers, which impacted the firm's Q3.

"Nexon had its highest Q4 revenues and operating income ever, and record-breaking annual results with significant year-over-year growth," Nexon president and CEO Owen Mahoney said. "We continued to grow audiences and revenues across flagship titles in key regions through our strength in live services and focus on experiences players can enjoy for many years.

"Strong revenues were driven by Dungeon & Fighter in China, as well as significant engagement across Korea's mobile portfolio, including AxE and newly launched Overhit in Q4. We've also seen strong performance from the recently acquired Pixelberry Studios and their interactive narrative game Choices: Stories You Play.

"Looking ahead to 2018, Nexon will continue to focus on live services and creating highly differentiated games to reach new audiences. We have just launched Durango: Wild Lands, a revolutionary open-world MMORPG where players coexist and pioneer a living, breathing world together for a completely new live experience on mobile devices. We are also excited about the global launch of Overhit, as well as Pixelberry's games as they pave the way forward for the interactive narrative genre."

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Ben Parfitt

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