SEOUL, Feb.3 (Korea Bizwire) – The promise that Netmarble chair Bang Jun-hyuk made in September 2011 when he first stood in front of his staff has become reality. He set a goal to exceed 1 trillion won in sales by 2016, which seemed impossible at the moment, but was achieved a year before the self-imposed deadline.
Netmarble announced that its 2015 sales came in at 1.07 trillion won. Business profits were 225.3 billion won, more than double the profits from the year before.
Netmarble is the second domestic game business to exceed 1 trillion won in annual sales, after ‘game dinosaur’ Nexen. NC Soft, ranking second in the game industry, is not expected to make it to one trillion won in sales this year.
Bang commented that he was all in on mobile games when he returned to Netmarble. “I pushed mobile games, saying that they could be a network online game that could last many years, just like PC games. Nobody supported my views, but whether they believed me or not, that wasn’t important.”
For Netmarble, which was standing on a cliff at the time, the ‘mobile only’ strategy was a risky mission.
The company hadn’t had much financial success until 2013. It lacked investment, and mother company CJ did not offer significant support. Sell-off rumors were rife in the market.
The white knight that saved Netmarble was China’s Ten Cent. Despite the concerns that technology might be leaked, Netmarble used the financial support from Ten Cent to invest in mobile games. The company gained flexibility after being detached from CJ Group. The games released last year were actually developed in this period.
Achieving annual sales of 1 trillion was a result of the mobile-concentrated strategy, but also because Netmarble targeted the global market.
Long running games such as ‘Marble for Everyone’, and ‘Seven Knights’ helped sales and business profits double, but the success of the action RPGs (Role playing game) ‘Raven’ and ‘Idea’ also boosted profits.
Netmarble’s overseas sales were worth 17 percent of its total sales in 2014, rising to 28 percent last year, and during the fourth quarter alone, they reached 40 percent.
Netmarble is still thirsty for success. It plans to settle as a global mobile game business.
However, it is hard to say that the company will be sailing on calm seas.
As domestic game companies were previously satisfied with their PC game results, the development capacity of mobile games among Chinese businesses became competitive at an international level. Some businesses are even faster and better in developing than Netmarble.
Netmarble put its emphasis on ‘Speed Competition’ to achieve its next goals.
By Kevin Lee (email@example.com)