Online Games Giant Nexon Acquires Japanese Mobile Games Developer gloops For $468.4M Cash

Korean free-to-play online games giant Nexon, quietly outperforming Zynga since its IPO last December, has announced it’s acquired all outstanding common shares of gloops, a developer of mobile games for Japanese games developer DeNA’s social gaming platform Mobage. Nexon paid ¥36.5 billion ($468.4 million) in cash to acquire gloops, after the decision was unanimously supported by the boards of both companies. The transaction closed today.

gloops, which is based in Tokyo, launched its first game on the Mobage platform in early 2010 and has grown rapidly through successive launches. Titles include: Japan Pro Baseball Card Battle, Warriors of Odin and Three Kingdoms Guild Battle.

Last month gloops announced an alliance with DeNA for international expansion — mainly targeting North America and Europe, with five titles in 2012 and another five planned for 2013, and also one title each on Mobage’s platforms in China and Korea. Under this alliance DeNA will provide user acquisition and international distribution capabilities to push games titles out to mobile users worldwide.

“This acquisition significantly accelerates Nexon’s mobile strategy, giving us immediate exposure to Japan’s large and fast growing mobile market,” said Seungwoo Choi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexon, in a statement. “gloops has established itself as one of the premier mobile game developers in the world and a key player in one of our most important growth areas, with a robust portfolio of hit titles and a strong track record of driving market innovation. We look forward to leveraging gloops’ outstanding capabilities and scale to expand the Nexon game experience to users on mobile platforms worldwide.”

“We are thrilled to become a part of the Nexon family,” said Shinsuke Kawakata, President of gloops, in a statement. “Providing compelling games for mobile users has always been our passion, and we look forward to being a part of an even larger organization as we work to continue bringing new and exciting titles to a growing base of players around the world.”

Last week a Korean newspaper, JoongAng, reported that Nexon and NCsoft were in talks to acquire a different gaming property — U.S. gamesmaker Valve — but Valve poured cold water on the speculation.