Report: Nexon Looking to Raise $1.3 Billion with IPO

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

South Korean game publisher Nexon is eying an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that would raise $1.3 billion dollars for the company according to TechCrunch’s translation of Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The offering is scheduled for next month.

If Nexon meets its goals, it would be the biggest IPO Japan has seen this year. The announcement comes days after Nexon America reported its third quarter revenue was up 29% over 2010’s numbers, the ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth for the company.

While Nexon may best known as an online gaming company responsible for its hugely successful multiplayer online games (MMOs) like MapleStory, the company has been making an aggressive push into social gaming this year.

So far the company’s biggest hit has been MapleStory spin-off MapleStory Adventures. While still be in beta, the Facebook game peaked with more than 3 million MAU and almost 500,000 DAU in early September. However, since then the game has begun to lose steam, dropping to 1.6 million MAU and 210,000 DAU according to AppData. Nexon has said it plans to bring the game out of beta this month. Below is the traffic trend for MapleStory Adventure for the 30-day period between August 30 and September 30:

The transition to developing Facebook games has not been entirely smooth for Nexon. In September it was rumored that the company would be debuting a cruise ship management sim called Wonder Cruise, but the game failed to launch and has since stagnated. The game is technically still in pre-beta testing, but has dropped from 6,000 MAU to just 248 according to AppData.

KartRider Rush has fared much better than Wonder Cruise with 110,000 MAU and 20,000 DAU, up from 70,000 MAU and less than 10,000 DAU a month ago. Even so, the game is still eclipsed by MapleStory: Adventures and nowhere near as popular as its parent game, KartRider, which sees as many as 230,000 thousand people playing at once in its native Korea.

Nexon’s most recent game, Zombie Misfits, launched in October and is still in beta. The a tower defense title was co-developed with Antic Entertainment and has seen strong growth according to AppData, hitting 100,000 MAU and more than 20,000 DAU in just over two weeks.

Nexon has also solidified its commitment to the social gaming space in recent months through strategic funding. The company invested an unspecified amount in developer and publisher 6waves Lolapps in August and $5 million in social gaming company A Bit Lucky in March. Overall Nexon, currently sees 1.8 million MAU and just over 250,000 DAU across all its Facebook games.

Nexon America could not be reached for comment on a possible IPO as of press time.

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