Joystiq recently spoke with Nexon CEO Daniel Kim about the runaway success that is the company's pre-paid gaming card program. While Nexon is a well-established gaming powerhouse outside of the U.S., the company's American market is nothing to sneeze at either, with 12 million users spread across its portfolio (7.6 million of them in MapleStory alone).
A big part of Nexon's American success is the pre-paid gaming card, an ubiquitous fixture at retail outlets including Target and 7-11. Kim tells Joystiq that a key factor in raising pre-paid card awareness among consumers was the implementation of an in-game quest designed to train users to head for the music section of their local Target superstore. "So three months leading up to the actual release of the card, we actually had a quest in-game to go get allowance from an NPC, go to the Target store, go to the music section, go find a CD card," he says.
Kim also provides a bit of insight into Nexon's customer demographics, stating that "our median age is really 17, 18, 19." Many of the company's users weren't previously online gamers, and Kim says the microtransaction model is the key to customer attraction and retention. "There's no barrier to entry. If they have a computer and an internet connection, they can download the game and play for as long as they want," he says.