MapleStory publisher Nexon has sunk $400 million into AGBO, an independent entertainment company co-founded by Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo and 21 Bridges producer Mike Larocca.
The Japanese-South Korean publisher specializes in online games for PC and mobile, and is best known for working on franchises like MapleStory and Dungeon & Fighter.
The strategic minority investment will support AGBO as it attempts to develop "tent pole-led entertainment universes," including a push into games and "virtual world experiences," and values the company at roughly $1.1 billion.
The deal will result in Nexon owning at least 38 percent of AGBO, making it the largest individual shareholder in the production house. Nexon has also committed to investing up to an additional $100 million in the first half of 2022 if requested by AGBO.
"AGBO is driven by creatives who aspire to work at the universe scale,” said Anthony and Joe Russo, co-founders and executive chairmen of AGBO. "AGBO’s partnership with Nexon represents a significant juncture for entertainment, furthering the convergence of franchise filmmaking and games with a global reach. Our collaboration is based on our shared vision of the future of storytelling and utilizes the unique talents of both companies."
In practical terms, AGBO chief exec Jason Bergsman hopes the deal will allow the entertainment group to leverage Nexon's "best-in-class games capabilities" to expand its global footprint and create virtual experiences.
Nexon Film & Television president Nick van Dyk and SVP Tim Connors will join the AGBO board of directors as part of the deal.