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Nexon's Min Kim on the importance of Target to free to play gaming

Michael Zenke

Today Gamasutra has up a massive interview with Min Kim, public face for the Korean gaming powerhouse Nexon. Kim has spoken on numerous occasions at various industry events on overcoming challenges for free to play gaming. Those challenges have translated into huge opportunities, with games like MapleStory, Kart Rider, Mabinogi, and Audition earning Nexon big money. According to Kim, the microtransaction business model the company uses across its titles is responsible for that success. Many other MMO developers have attempted to emulate that success, but their entrenched position 'since the late 90s', has made that difficult.

Some of Kim's most interesting statements surround their interactions with brick-and-mortar retail outlets. "We didn't really take off until we got the cards into Target and Best Buy and 7-Eleven. Over 50 percent of our player base doesn't have access to plastic, between 13 and 17. They just couldn't pay, so we'd effectively lose more than half our business. So that payment side is, I think, one of the biggest battles that people will fight." He goes on to discuss the possibility of Nexon games on the Xbox 360, the role of games in South Korea, and the misconceptions Western developers have when entering the free-to-play marketplace.

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