Nexon, the Korean-Japanese free-to-play company best known as the developer of Maple Story, announced today that it intended to acquire a Japanese mobile gaming developer known as Gloops (stylized as “gloops”).
Nexon elaborated on the strengths of Gloops in a press release.
Based in Tokyo, gloops is one of the leading developers in the large Japanese mobile games market. Since launching its first game on the Mobage platform in early 2010, the company has experienced rapid growth through successive launches of innovative hit titles. gloops offers a diverse portfolio of top-ranking games, from social card battle games such as JapanPro Baseball Card Battle to more core titles such as Warriors of Odin and Three Kingdoms Guild Battle, which have successfully borrowed elements from PC online games by incorporating real-time synchronous game-play.
Seungwoo Choi, the President and CEO of Nexon, said that this new acquisition would help Nexon boost one of its “most important growth areas.”
This acquisition significantly accelerates Nexon’s mobile strategy, giving us immediate exposure to Japan’s large and fast growing mobile market. gloops has established itself as one of the premier mobile game developers in the world and a key player in one of our most important growth areas, with a robust portfolio of hit titles and a strong track record of driving market innovation. We look forward to leveraging gloops’ outstanding capabilities and scale to expand the Nexon game experience to users on mobile platforms worldwide.
In order to acquire Gloops, Nexon spent ¥36.5 billion (approx. $467.6 billion USD), as well as totaling up ¥16 million (approx. $204,971) in advisory fees. The company intends to update its consolidated fiscal year financial outlook as a result of this new purchase.
Analysis: Nexon represented an Eastern analogue of social gaming, and its purchase of Gloops makes sense when placed in the current market trend of eschewing social gaming for mobile gaming. Although Nexon is still doing solid business in the majority of its regions, according to its second quarter financial results, it doesn’t want to get left behind when the new mobile boom hits. Nexon’s recent poor performance in Japan indicates that the trend in Asian markets may begin to follow the Western swing towards mobile gaming, and acquiring Gloops is an excellent way to combat this change in consumer tastes. With this move, Nexon secures its financial health regardless of how the Asian consumer moves: If mobile gaming takes its expected rise, Nexon can leverage Gloops to make the most of this market swing. On the other hand, if mobile gaming never delivers its promised boom, Gloops is still a safe bet that will continue to perform up to expectations. It’s all upside.