Nexon CEO: F2P Should Be About Heart, Not Money

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor


There's an interesting interview with Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney, who says free-to-play developers in the West are "early in the learning curve" and that they should "focus on heart first and money second." In his words, doing otherwise is a "disservice to the industry."

Mahoney speaks out against overmonetization -- something he admits that his company has done in the past, before "adjusting" their games -- but that it's not (usually) about nasty, evil, money-grubbing game developers. Rather, Western developers are just behind the curve and it'll take "years" to figure out how to do things right.

"So the companies that we've been partnering with want to accelerate their learning on that and learn how to do live game operations and how to build a live game operations team who knows how to do that and get that learning from us and hopefully we're able to be helpful to them in doing that."

Mahoney also expresses the "why isn't this obvious?" sentiments that game development needs to continue after launch and that lots of game developers think they're geniuses for developing the next WoW or LoL clone (they're not). If you're a Nexon fan, you have to like what you're hearing. He also reveals that about 10-11% of players of Nexon games pay to play, usually an average of $20 to $30.

Still, as Mahoney admits, it's something his company doesn't always get right. You don't usually hear about Nexon as one of the worst offenders when it comes to F2P monetization, but the company still has its detractors. Maybe this gives some hope to people looking forward to MapleStory 2 or those long-ago-mentioned Ghost in the Shell games.

What do you think of Mahoney's comments? Are they in line with what you've encountered playing Nexon's games?

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (29)

Big Boi 8 years ago

Well they did give away something valuable for free; one hell of a laugh. I haven't held my sides like that in a long, long time. This CEO guy should do stand up.

anip 8 years ago
*points at P2W stuff*
*points at gachapon*
need more pointing?

bchbh 8 years ago
All the mmorpgs on the internet are p2w but some are alot more p2w than others
Atlantica, Maplestory, Mabinogi, Vindictus, Dragon Nest are really fatty games who have tons of content in them you can fully enjoy playing them. even if they are a bit p2w but you could totally enjoy it whitout pay. but some players crave to be the best player in every game they play (despite they don't deserve that status) and they made the p2w a problem much more bigger than is actually is.
nexon games are ok, thet they services is not always good
but the true problem is the community around nexon games, is really formed by young teenagers entitled, spoiled and always angry, criticizing everything. is really hard to understand where the good and the bad decisions of a company are if people always underline the negative side

zerozer 8 years ago
This guy obviously lives in different dimensions or in a completely different universe, respect.

blkwiz 8 years ago
Why so many D-Shop events in Dekaron then?? Heart for f2p, ya right...I've never been able to argate/upgrade beyond a +7 wep being only f2p in this game :) So it's p2w or get ganked while playing!! Still love ur game though!!!!

Xaenex 8 years ago
As someone that has not always been a huge fan of Nexon the company, their practices in the past couple years have been stellar. Sure, there are still Pay for Power/Exclusivity instances in some of their more-known published titles like Vindictus and Mabinogi, but they're much better than they were a while back.

I hope they continue to turn this corner and become a noteworthy F2P company, not one that makes people puke.

ExHuman 8 years ago
at least he has sense of humor

Tokos 8 years ago
it this a joke?! Somene from nexon talking how "F2P SHOULD BE ABOUT HEART, NOT MONEY" ?!

Best joke of 2014. Nexon is all about money and nothing else. Their games are a pay to win joke, filled with cheaters and terrible customer support.

I personally cant stands mobas and i do not like those other games but Dota, TF2, Lol, Warframe, Path of Exile CEO are the ones that can talk about this without people vomiting because of their hipocricy like they do when they see that NExon CEO is talking like this.

DatGuy 8 years ago
The main problem with Nexon are those IP-blocks everywhere. No other company is so aggressive with IP blocks like Nexon. Even some countries in Europe are IP-banned from EUROPEAN servers. It's a f** joke.

sniperman248 8 years ago
I know alot of you are saying well he's being a hypocrite and so on and so forth, but as an fyi Nexon has with many of there titles never put content gate restrictions in which blocked off the bells and whistles of a game from there players, and some of you saying that comestics is greed, no cosmetics is not greed but a requested item that a player wishes to see or wear in game, however your fps games yes they are p2w but thats just realism in the real world if you want to be the best at something you have to shell out money, however Nexon does have the right Aspect for the f2p mmorpg market, Aion for example you have access to everything and even gw2 you have access to all the content once you make a one time purchase of the game, if you read properly alot of western publishers of mmo's have been putting content gates and restrictions on there supposed f2p models in which in reality isn't f2p at all and doesn't sell the bells and whistles of the game to the f2p community there for making that mmorpg a complete disgrace to the f2p market.

View 1 reply
John Wayne 8 years ago
LOL FROM THE NEXON CEO!!!! best joke 2000-2014
@Fromhell, they litteraly turned Vindictus from one of my fav games into a p2win trash game

Chuckvs 8 years ago
Laughed at the title...

fromhelll 8 years ago
Nexon may not have a lot of good games, but when i never felt their games were p2w, at least not until 2-3 years ago, i haven't played any of their games since then so idk how they are now. Their problem always seemed to be the ridiculous amount of hackers in their games... that and shitty games.

View 1 reply
Connor Unfried 8 years ago

When in reality, Nexon is pretty good about the model and has always been. Nexon needs the charges and systems they have in place because the allure of their game is inherently different. The basic bitch commends need to stop happening, and some education needs to be given.

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Jellopy 8 years ago
The problem with this line of bs is that they do everything they can to push their cosmetic garbage on young teenagers in pretty much every game they develop or publish. Can't be the greed and argue against it without sounding like.. Well like he sounds. Not only greedy but trying to touch on morality for a little PR also makes him a Hypocrite and makes me really not like Nexon as a company now. I'm fine with greed, you make games and you want to make money but don't even try lying about it. That's just pathetic.

View 1 reply
SureSure 8 years ago
Oh nexon, it's time to let you know the truth. We don't believe you.

Annonymouse 8 years ago
I think there's some truth to what he is saying but he seems to be ignoring the games in the West that have good F2p models. Dota, TF2, Lol, Warframe, Path of Exile and Marvel heroes (sort of) all have pretty much the best F2p models that I have seen (just off the top of my head, I"m sure there are more). The only Nexon game that I'm aware of that I've played is Combat Arms and I would not put them on the list of best F2p models. Combat arms had an ok F2p model and i found the game enjoyable, I think for a FPS the challenge of running F2p is a little higher than Mobas though since there is just simply less things of value that can be monetized that aren't directly affecting gameplay. Then again I haven't played Combat Arms in years and I didn't really play it for long so my perspective may not really be current/accurate I guess.

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