Nexon released its third-quarter financial results today, and, to be honest, I’m struggling to come up with a headline and focus for this article. Sure, it’s easy to write something when things are going great, or when they’re going poorly, but when a report starts with “Revenues as planned,” you know it’s going to be a tough one.
The only real superlative in the report comes from MapleStory, which delivered “lifetime-high quarterly revenue” in Korea, as did its younger mobile counterpart MapleStory M. China underperformed, due in part to “lower-than-expected item sales in the latter half of Q3” for Dungeon&Fighter, while Japan and North America — wait for it — enjoyed “results as planned.” Overall revenue for the company was down slightly from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019, and the Q4 outlook is, even on the high end, expected to fall below 2018’s total revenue.
I don’t normally look at the appendices of these reports, but in my quest to find something interesting to write about, I did so this time. There I found a table that I wasn’t aware ever existed in these reports: a head count of all of Nexon’s employees, going back a year and a half to March 31, 2018. At that point, Nexon employed 5,716 people, a number that has risen steadily, up to 6,569 on Sept. 30, 2019. That’s up just one from the total at the end of June, due in large part to a 63-person drop-off (485 to 422) in North America. That was offset by a significant increase in employment in “Other” territories, which might be due in large part to the ongoing acquisition of Patrick Soderlund’s Embark Studios.
Another chart also details the history of the company’s revenue, dating back to fiscal year 2012. Nexon brought in 108.4 billion yen that year, which has gone up to 253.7 billion as of the end of 2018. That’s not a bad trend at all, and it can’t totally be explained by a shift to mobile. That was almost negligible in 2012, and was worth 54.9 billion yen in 2018, but PC revenue nearly doubled in that same time frame, from 100.2 billion yen to 198.9 billion yen. The results for fiscal year 2019 are expected to be a bit below FY2018’s, but I guess that upper management can weather a bit of blah, based on what they’ve accomplished over the course of six years.