Nexon Eyeing Mobile and Social Gaming Space

Interactive entertainment software company Nexon decides to enter the mobile and social gaming markets with versions of two of its worldwide titles, KartRider and MapleStory.

It has plans to publish KartRider Rush on the iOS and Android platforms and MapleStory Adventures on the Facebook platform later this year. KartRider Rush launches later this month, and MapleStory Adventures is set to launch this summer.

KartRider Rush, playable soon as a free app on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and on Android devices later this summer, is a mobile version of Nexon’s KartRider, which boasts more than 200 million registered players worldwide.

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KartRider Rush will allow up to four players to race against each other on unique and challenging maps in both a battle mode and time trial mode. A single player mode allows players to race against AIs in Item Mode and Speed Mode, and players can compare their scores against friends using Facebook Connect.

KartRider Rush’s microtransaction-based model allows players to download and play the game for free, and also provides the option to extend the gameplay experience through the purchase of additional tracks.

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MapleStory Adventures will be available on Facebook this summer, taking the original and familiar colorful 2D side-scrolling adventure, MapleStory, and adapting it to a simpler interface, says the company.

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MapleStory Adventures will allow Facebook users to participate in quests and challenges while inviting friends to help in combat. The game will also follow Nexon’s microtransaction-based model, which will let players play all of MapleStory Adventures for free while offering the ability to enhance the gameplay experience through the purchases of in-game items.

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“Expanding our global IPs into the social and mobile gaming space is a watershed moment in Nexon’s global expansion efforts,” said Daniel Kim, Nexon America’s CEO.

“Not only will this move provide new ways for hundreds of millions of fans worldwide to experience Nexon’s games, it allows Nexon the opportunity to prove the robustness of its business model on new platforms.”

The announcement was made Thursday, March 3.

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Rakesh Raman