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Nexon Acquires gloops

With a slew of popular mobile games in Japan, developer gloops has been successful enough to warrant a splashy presence at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, as well as become an acquisition target for Nexon.

OCT. 1, 2012 • All outstanding shares of Japanese mobile developer gloops, Inc. were acquired by Nexon Co., Ltd. for ¥36.5 billion ($468 million) in cash. The developer is one of the major content providers for DeNA’s Mobage platform with titles such as Japan Pro Baseball Card Battle, Warriors of Odin and Three Kingdoms Guild Battle. The existing relationship between gloops and DeNA is bringing five titles to North America and Europe in 2012 through its Mobage platform, and another five in those markets during 2013. One title each on Mobage’s platforms in China and Korea are also planned. Since launching in 2010, gloops has seen rapid growth and popularity in Japan, reporting a profit of ¥3.1 billion ($39.7 million) on revenues of ¥23.8 billion ($305 million) for the year ending June 30. Last June Nexon purchased another Japanese mobile developer, inBlue. Previously Nexon had acquired two Korean developers in the space, JC Entertainment Corp., and Moyasoft.

Impact: Nexon raised $1.2 billion through its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last December. The publisher is certainly devoting much of its newly raised capital toward targeted acquisitions. While the majority of the investments have been in mobile and social game studios, Nexon also bought a hefty stake in rival NCsoft this summer for $685 million. Nexon established Nexon Mobile way back in 2000 but in 2012 they have made a major effort to expand mobile development.  Early in the year, Nexon Mobile was merged in with the parent company and it is obvious that Nexon wants to be a dominating factor in mobile content in Japan and Korea, with eyes on using that base as a jumping off platform for success in Asia and elsewhere. Also as discussed in the report The Secret of Gree and Mobage’s Success, mobile has really taken off in Japan.  In  Nexon’s last reporting period it was noted that Nexon’s Japan revenue had declined.  We assume much of that decline can be traced to the growth of Gree and DeNA.  Prior to acquiring inBlue and gloops, Nexon was generating 15% of its revenue from Japan. That percentage could grow significantly by 2013 if Nexon can ride the growth of mobile games consumption in the country. On another level, it is instructive to note how well Nexon is successfully expanding its market footprint post-IPO compared to Zynga, which launched its public offering a day later in New York City, and has seen significant distemper in its operations during 2012.

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