At a recent senior management summit, NCsoft’s founder and CEO Mr Taek Jin Kim (pictured) revealed some reasons why he decided to sell 14.7% of the company’s shares to his biggest competitor, Nexon. He cited cases where game companies are forced to retrench staff and apply other drastic measures due to the threat of foreign blockbusters, such as Riot Games’ League of Legends and Blizzard’s Diablo III which achieved incredible success in Korea.
He views the current situation as the biggest crisis he has experienced since founding the company. Nexon has much overseas experience and financial power, hence teaming up with them will only help develop NCsoft further. It is unknown for now what Mr Kim is going to do with the money he received from the sale, which is around USD 700 million.
According to unofficial reports, NCsoft and Nexon are still in discussions if Mr Kim will still lead the company he founded back in 1997. If the head of NCsoft is changed, there is no doubt staff morale will be affected, especially since Blade & Soul just launched and there a few major titles still in development. Even if Mr Kim and Nexon’s founder are friends, the decision will be in the hands of several board members.