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Nexon desperate to reorganize business structure

By Jun Ji-hye

Nexon is scrambling to reorganize its business structure to prop up its worsening bottom line and inject vigor into its workforce following founder Kim Jung-ju's failed bid to sell the game company, company officials said Tuesday.

Nexon Korea's building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province. / Courtesy of Nexon Korea
Nexon Korea's building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province. / Courtesy of Nexon Korea
Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun said the company will re-examine its ongoing development projects to weed out unpromising games.

Lee said the company would not reduce its manpower amid concerns among employees over their employment status.

The nation's largest game developer and publisher has also recruited Hur Min, a developer of the popular online game "Dungeon Fighter Online" and founder of WeMakePrice, as an outside adviser, hoping he will play a role as a savior to raise the company's competitiveness.

Lee told employees of the plan to review the firm's ongoing development projects the previous day, saying management would not be biased by self-interest when deciding on which projects will be halted.

"We will start from square one as management believes that Nexon will not be able to release more successful intellectual properties if we stick to the current way of working," he said.

Lee said development projects could be suspended, reduced or enhanced in accordance with their feasibility.

Nexon has already stopped developing several games including "Peria Chronicles" that had been in production for about eight years. Nexon invested more than 60 billion won ($50 million) into the game, but decided to cancel it as "the game was not expected to satisfy users."

The firm's decision to restructure game projects is raising concerns among employees over job security.

Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun
Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun
Lee tried to remove those concerns, saying jobs would not be threatened.

"We are preparing a safety net," Lee said.

Meanwhile, Nexon invested 35 billion won and secured an 11.1 percent stake in Wonder Holdings, Monday.

"Through the investment, Nexon established a strategic partnership with Wonder Holdings, and Wonder Holdings CEO Hur Min will participate in Nexon's development of games as an outside adviser," a Nexon official said.

Hur founded "Dungeon Fighter Online" developer Neople in 2001.

He sold Neople to Nexon Korea for 380 billion won in 2008. "Dungeon Fighter Online" is now Nexon's flagship game and is especially popular in China.

When Nexon acquired Neople, Hur did not come with it, instead founding WeMakePrice in 2010.

But Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and Hur have continued to have a cooperative relationship. In 2015, Kim invested 100 billion won in WeMakePrice through Nexon's holding company NXC.


By Jun Ji-hye

Nexon is scrambling to reorganize its business structure to prop up its worsening bottom line and inject vigor into its workforce following founder Kim Jung-ju's failed bid to sell the game company, company officials said Tuesday.

Nexon Korea's building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province. / Courtesy of Nexon Korea
Nexon Korea's building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province. / Courtesy of Nexon Korea
Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun said the company will re-examine its ongoing development projects to weed out unpromising games.

Lee said the company would not reduce its manpower amid concerns among employees over their employment status.

The nation's largest game developer and publisher has also recruited Hur Min, a developer of the popular online game "Dungeon Fighter Online" and founder of WeMakePrice, as an outside adviser, hoping he will play a role as a savior to raise the company's competitiveness.

Lee told employees of the plan to review the firm's ongoing development projects the previous day, saying management would not be biased by self-interest when deciding on which projects will be halted.

"We will start from square one as management believes that Nexon will not be able to release more successful intellectual properties if we stick to the current way of working," he said.

Lee said development projects could be suspended, reduced or enhanced in accordance with their feasibility.

Nexon has already stopped developing several games including "Peria Chronicles" that had been in production for about eight years. Nexon invested more than 60 billion won ($50 million) into the game, but decided to cancel it as "the game was not expected to satisfy users."

The firm's decision to restructure game projects is raising concerns among employees over job security.

Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun
Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun
Lee tried to remove those concerns, saying jobs would not be threatened.

"We are preparing a safety net," Lee said.

Meanwhile, Nexon invested 35 billion won and secured an 11.1 percent stake in Wonder Holdings, Monday.

"Through the investment, Nexon established a strategic partnership with Wonder Holdings, and Wonder Holdings CEO Hur Min will participate in Nexon's development of games as an outside adviser," a Nexon official said.

Hur founded "Dungeon Fighter Online" developer Neople in 2001.

He sold Neople to Nexon Korea for 380 billion won in 2008. "Dungeon Fighter Online" is now Nexon's flagship game and is especially popular in China.

When Nexon acquired Neople, Hur did not come with it, instead founding WeMakePrice in 2010.

But Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and Hur have continued to have a cooperative relationship. In 2015, Kim invested 100 billion won in WeMakePrice through Nexon's holding company NXC.


Jun Ji-hye jjh@koreatimes.co.kr


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