Korean gaming giant Nexon is making another deal to expand into Western markets with a strategic investment in Rumble Entertainment. They didn’t disclose the size of the deal except to say that it was an all-cash investment for a minority stake in the business. Nexon’s CFO Owen Mahoney also joins Rumble’s board.
Nexon’s announcement comes just on the heels of another strategic investment it made in Zynga’s former chief game designer Brian Reynolds’ new startup. Nexon is making these deals to expand into Western audiences, after building up longstanding franchises in China, Japan and South Korea like MapleStory.
While Nexon generated nearly $450 million in revenues in the first three months of this year, European and North American markets contributed less than 5 percent of the company’s revenues during that time. In contrast, China makes up nearly half of Nexon’s revenue base. So the company is looking to grow its presence in the West at a time when barriers between international markets are falling.
Rumble is led by Greg Richardson, a 15-year veteran in the business, and the team has people from Zynga, Activision, BioWare, Blizzard, Playdom, Electronic Arts, Turbine, LucasArts and RockYou. Their mission is to bring triple-A quality titles to mobile platforms, which so far have been good for casual and then now, midcore games.
The company has announced games like KingsRoad, a medieval action role-playing game; Ballistic, a 3-D first-person shooter; and Nightmare Guardians, a multiplayer tower defense game. All of these titles aren’t fully released yet; they’re either in open or closed beta.
They had previously taken $15 million in funding from gaming-focused Signia Venture Partners, then Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures.