South Korean online game developer Nexon said this week that revenues during July were up 35 percent year-on-year, led by microtransaction-based kid-friendly title, MapleStory
Nexon said MapleStory
set a new record for max concurrent users during July 2009, surpassing 70,000. The MMORPG has 92 million registered users worldwide, including 6 million in North America.
Nexon, a privately-held company, is not required to release earnings and revenue reports, and did not release specific sales figures for this past July. But the company said annual revenues in 2005 -- the year MapleStory
launched in North America -- were $230 million, with a net profit of $75 million.
U.S. sales alone in 2007 were $30 million, primarily generated by small virtual item buys. Users can play the basic game for free, and buy "premium" add-on items at will.
In May this year, Forbes named Nexon founder Kim Jung-Ju one of the 40 richest people in Korea, where online gaming is vastly popular. The company also publishes the online games Dungeon Fighter Online, Mabinogi, Combat Arms
, and others.
“The economy has been tough on great deal of the games industry, but we fought hard to retain our customers and to bring in as many new players as possible,” said Min Kim, Nexon America’s vice president of marketing.
"We’re heavily investing on all fronts -- in our games, our publishing platform, aggressive marketing efforts as well as customer service. The best news for Nexon America is that our success isn’t just reflected in registered users, but in actual, dramatic revenue growth."
He added, “We are serious about making Nexon the top brand in online gaming, and we are not backing down our efforts to deliver more content to our customers or aggressively work to attract new players."