Nexon didn’t have a “record-setting” quarter in Q1 2021. That’s been the company’s go-to line for years now, so it’s notable when it doesn’t set a new revenue high. Maybe it should have bought Dogecoin instead of Bitcoin.
That doesn’t mean that it did poorly, though. Nexon President and CEO Owen Mahoney still called Q1 a “strong quarter with revenue growth and multiple regions performing close to or above the high end of our guidance.” Additionally, he said that the previous year and a half offer “a clear affirmation of our strategy for focusing on fewer projects that deliver bigger results.” In other words: quality over quantity.
Nexon did at least have a pretty good, if not spectacular quarter, with net revenue of 88.3 billion yen (bJPY), or about $806 million, up 7% from Q1 2020. The portion of revenue coming from China ballooned from 19% in Q4 2020 to 29% in Q1 2021, thanks to the Lunar New Year update in Dungeon&Fighter.
The Korean share went down 6%, though overall revenue on PC and mobile in Korea are both up year-over-year: 21% and 42%, respectively. Even so, Nexon has an entire page in its summary dedicated to “Improving Communication and Transparency” with players in Korea, stemming from a MapleStory promotion where “probabilities associated with unlocking valuable items was not clear enough.” Significantly, this means that Nexon will “disclose probabilities for all of our paid probability-based items in our major games in Korea.” It’s also likely that the impetus for this move comes not from the players, as Nexon claims, but from a law proposed in the Korean National Assembly in February. We’ve reached out to Nexon to inquire as to whether such a policy will be implemented in other parts of the world.
The financial report doesn’t offer much in the way of future plans for the company, apart from events and updates for its ongoing games, and even those are mostly in China and Korea. Nexon expects “flattish” (their word, not ours) revenue for MapleStory in North America and Europe and to increase slightly in Q2, while KartRider Rush+ and V4 to decrease in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. That’s going to be the start of not only Nexon’s, but a lot of companies’, reckonings for their massive profits during the pandemic year, which are unlikely to be duplicated over the same time frame in 2021.
You can check out all of Nexon’s financials on its investor relations page.