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Gamasutra Interview: Nexon Talks MapleStory DS, Microtransaction Saturation

Nexon is one of the largest online game companies in Korea, and has made significant inroads to the Western markets with the microtransaction business model. The company was one of the first to push online games in the region, and had immense impact on the market, not just in terms of users, but in terms of the companies that evolved from its former employees (Neowiz is a shining example).

Most of the popular Korean game companies today have in one way or another been touched by Nexon, calling to mind Origin Systems' influence in Austin, TX, when the company raised up developers that formed companies like id Software, Digital Anvil, Looking Glass Studios, and Destination Games, which was eventually acquired by NCSoft. Indeed, partially because of Nexon, almost every online game company in Korea has a name beginning with N.

In this wide-ranging interview with Nexon chief marketing officer Jae Yong Min, conducted in Seoul, we discuss the difficulties inherent in the microtransaction model's long tail, the development of Maple Story DS and Mabinogi for Xbox 360, working with Nintendo, Korea's lack of design-led studios, and the future of the online industry.

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