NHN, Korea's largest internet company and leading gaming site in Asia, today announced plans to launch an American gaming site in the fall. In addition, the company also confirmed that both original NHN founders, NHN Corp. Global CEO Beom-Su Kim and NHN USA CEO Tae-Sik Moon have relocated to the United States to prepare for NHN's entry into the American game market.
The company claims to have more than 170 million subscribers to its game sites in China alone, and that its search engine commands a nearly 70 percent market share in Korea - surpassing both Yahoo! and Google in that market. NHN currently notes that it has a market cap of more than $5 billion and that its efforts are focused on serving the 18-34 demographic.
NHN USA currently resides in Mountain View, California, where it was “quietly founded” a year ago. The company employs 50 people and NHN expects this to grow to more than 80 by end of year.
“Our plan is to become a major player worldwide, so getting a foothold in the U.S. is a critical step for NHN,” said Kim. “The market for online interactive entertainment in the U.S. is much broader than the small hardcore segment and much of it is underserved. We're using our knowledge of how to appeal to a wide range of online gamers and applying it to the American market.”
In 1998, Beom-Su Kim founded Hangame Communications. Two years later he was instrumental in merging Hangame Communications with Naver Com, creating NHN as it is known today - he is currently NHN's Corp. Global CEO. Before founding NHN with Kim, Moon spent four years at Samsung SDS. Moon then served as vice president of Hangame Communications for several years before heading up NHN game development. Last year, he assumed the role as CEO of NHN USA.