Nexon, which became NCsoft’s biggest shareholder back in 2012, recently announced that it will participate in the management of NCsoft based on its stake in the company (15.08%), reversing its original decision not to do so. Nexon, stock-listed in Japan, decided to make the move as “the existing cooperation structure failed to leave meaningful results”.
NCsoft has replied, stating that the two companies have different styles of philosophies in game development and the business, and such a one-sided move by Nexon will only hurt stock prices and potentially hurt NCsoft’s ability to compete in the gaming market. The Fair Trade Commission will also be watching closely if Nexon continues to purchase shares and force changes to NCsoft.
Nexon first invested in NCsoft due to fierce competition from foreign game companies settling in Korea, particularly Riot Games (League of Legends) and Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, StarCraft). The CEOs of Nexon and NCsoft used to be good friends when entering the games industry, but both had different perspectives on running the business. Nexon and NCsoft are apparently still locked in talks, with both companies slated to reveal their latest financial reports next week.