Responding to the U.S. console retail declines
shown in August, online game firm Nexon (MapleStory, Combat Arms
) has told Gamasutra that, in contrast, its August 2009 revenues were up 32% year on year.
The company revealed in a statement to this website that Nexon's U.S. division had "32 percent increase in revenues for August over last year (and 35 percent [year on year] growth in July)."
Along the way, the company's Combat Arms
hit 3 million registered users, and an earlier announcement
revealed that MapleStory
set a new record for max concurrent users in July, surpassing 70,000.
The MMORPG had 92 million registered users worldwide at that time, including 6 million in North America. Overall territory-wide revenues were not disclosed by the firm, but it's known that U.S. sales alone in 2007 for Nexon were $30 million.
Gamasutra followed up with Nexon's VP of marketing Min Kim regarding the announcement, and he commented that "microtransactions through our games is the primary generator of our revenue [although] ads are being implemented in our sites and around our games."
He added that, apart from the lifetime high numbers for MapleStory
in North America, "additional growth is driven by double digit growth for Combat Arms
over the past several months and Mabinogi
’s record breaking revenue spikes as well."
As for which of the revenues come from new versus older titles, Kim commented that "MapleStory
figures are holding strong, and growth over last year is being heavily supported by our new titles. We expect [upcoming side-scrolling 2D brawler] Dungeon Fighter Online
to be a significant contributor to our company's growth next year."
Nexon's revenue growth appears to be symptomatic of at least partly where the revenue from U.S. console retail sales is going -- into online game transactions that are less easily tracked.
As for how Nexon is managing such growth in a slow economy, Kim noted that retail does still play a key part: "Our teams are working constantly to bring new content, retain users, and offer compelling reasons to spend in our services. Also, a lot of our growth can be attributed to the power of our robust prepaid [retail-distributed] card network."