2007 proved to be a good year for Nexon in the United States, particularly with its free-to-play MapleStory. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that the although the game has 85 million users worldwide, only 5.9 million of them are U.S. players. Given the relatively small percentage of its player base located in the United States, it's surprising that MapleStory made an absolute killing on in-world transactions in 2007; the WSJ reports that 'Nexon's U.S. revenue last year more than tripled to $29.3 million from $8.5 million the prior year.'
Jeremy Liew provides some additional commentary on the Nexon windfall over at Lightspeed: "With $30m in US sales and 6m US registered users, assuming a 20% "active player" rate and 10% "buyer rate", that implies an ARPU of $20/mth which sounds about right and is consistent with number we've seen from games in Asia. It sounds like the US will be following very similar models of virtual goods monetization that we've seen in Asia." It's interesting that the predominantly Asian business model of legitimized RMT is already gaining some degree of acceptance in the United States, albeit a slow acceptance.