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Nexon targeting "double-digit millions" of mobile players

Free-to-play pioneer turns attention to handsets

Korean free-to-play publisher Nexon is setting it sights on mobile markets, with the intention of dominating Apple and Android app stores.

The company helped pioneer the free-to-play market on PC and hopes to emulate the huge success its seen in the market - one of its flagship titles, MapleStory, has over 96 million users and this year celebrated one million users purchasing content through the game's Cash Shop.

"The target is to hit quadruple doubles," Nexon's CEO Daniel Kim told "Double digit numbers of millions of players, double digit numbers of engagement, double digit average revenues per user, double digit payment rates."

While some companies such as Chair Entertainment want to see Apple support more expensive games, Nexon continues to push the free-to-play model with money made through microtransactions. It has already released a handful of titles on mobile handsets and plans more for the coming year.

"We've seen this business model really dominate the games industry in other parts of the world and we're starting to see that in North America. Certainly similar models are being applied on different platforms that are connected and we're certainly very much interested and focusing a lot of our energy in investing in new platforms that are capable of providing connected experiences," said Kim of mobile formats.

Now mobile markets have become less controlled by carriers, Kim believes Nexon can apply its models to mobile as well as create specific content for portable formats.

"There was no open market, no freedom to apply this model that we've developed to those platforms," added Kim. "But the last couple of years with the emergence of mobile devices that are connected to an open market like the App Store and Android - those have really opened up an opportunity for us to look at those again as a platform to provide these connected experiences that build community and drive competition.

"It's quite different from the typical PC experience," said Kim of mobile gaming. "There are new ways to innovate on the gameplay and mechanics because it has different kinds of user interface and input, as well as the fact that you're in a different context of playing. We trying to make sure that whatever experience we provide is appropriate for the platforms. How do these platforms fit into our users lives and what is the context? How can we maximise that engagement and make it valuable enough to sell them on the idea that they can enhance their experience? And even if they don't spend any money it's still a great experience."

For more on Nexon's current plans, read our recent interview with CEO Daniel Kim here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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