top of page

Nexon is betting on its $22 billion IP Dungeon & Fighter to become a mobile hit in China

Nexon is pinning its hopes on the upcoming launch of Dungeon & Fighter Mobile in China to revitalize sales following a 13% year-over-year decline in revenue to ¥108.4 billion ($700.3 million) in Q1 2024. Set to be published by Tencent on May 21st, Dungeon & Fighter Mobile aims to leverage the franchise's strong track record, which has generated over $22 billion to date and amassed more than 850 million registered users worldwide.

In Q1, Nexon’s revenue in China dropped 32% year-over-year to ¥29.2 billion ($188.7 million), primarily due to a downturn in sales for Dungeon & Fighter. However, revenue remained "at the high end" of the company’s outlook. Nexon attributed the decline to ongoing efforts to restore balance to the game's in-game economy, which faced issues in December, impacting revenue momentum and active player numbers.

Despite anticipating near-term "soft performance" for Dungeon & Fighter in China, Nexon has high expectations for the mobile version. Post-launch, the company projects a 48% to 90% year-over-year increase in China sales in Q2, potentially reaching up to ¥34.6 billion ($223.4 million). According to AppMagic estimates, Dungeon & Fighter Mobile has already garnered $167.9 million in gross revenue from the App Store and Google Play in South Korea.

Nexon President and CEO Junghun Lee highlighted the importance of the upcoming launch in an earnings letter: “A big priority is the May 21st launch of Dungeon & Fighter Mobile in China – a game that has the potential to have a profoundly positive impact on Nexon’s revenue and profit profile. Together with our partners at Tencent, we are introducing a fresh, new mobile experience to one of the world’s biggest game franchises. The enthusiastic player response to a recent Beta Test and the strong marketing campaign planned by Tencent give us growing confidence that Dungeon & Fighter Mobile can energize our large base of existing fans in China and attract new players to the franchise.”

Nexon’s operating income fell by 48% year-over-year to ¥29.1 billion ($188 million), attributed to lower consumer spending, rising costs, and an anticipated one-time loss. Net income dropped 32% year-over-year to ¥35.9 billion ($231.9 million). Despite these declines, revenue, operating income, and net income exceeded expectations due to the strong performance of FC Online, FC Mobile, and Blue Archive. Cost reductions in HR and marketing, along with lower than expected cloud service expenses, also contributed to better-than-expected operating income.

During Q1, 73% of Nexon’s revenue came from PC and console platforms, while mobile generated 27%.

Nexon reported that MapleStory's performance fell slightly below forecasts due to throttled monetization in favor of improving player engagement, which had a positive impact on the game's community despite the drop in sales. Additionally, Embark Studios’ The Finals saw lower than expected revenue and retention after the launch of season 2. Nexon stated that its developer and South Korea-based live ops team are collaborating to address the key issues.

Overall, Nexon’s strategic focus on the Chinese market through Dungeon & Fighter Mobile and continued optimization of their existing game portfolio reflects a concerted effort to stabilize and grow their revenue streams amidst a challenging financial quarter.

Source: adapted from an article by Craig Chapple, Head of Content for

bottom of page