Nexon banks on $22bn IP Dungeon & Fighter being a mobile hit in China as Q1 revenue declines

Franchise has generated more than $22 billion to date, as publisher eyes as much as a 90% boost to China earnings with mobile release

Nexon banks on $22bn IP Dungeon & Fighter being a mobile hit in China as Q1 revenue declines

Nexon is banking on Dungeon & Fighter Mobile’s imminent China launch to boost sales after it reported a 13% year-over-year decline in revenue to ¥108.4 billion ($700.3 million) in Q1 2024.

Dungeon & Fighter Mobile is set to release in China on May 21st, published by Tencent. The franchise has been a top earner for Nexon, generating more than $22 billion for the company to date, with over 850 million registered users worldwide across its games.

Nexon’s revenue in China fell 32% Y/Y in Q1 to ¥29.2 billion ($188.7m) due in large part to a decrease in sales for Dungeon & Fighter, though revenue was still said to be “at the high end” of the company’s outlook.

The publisher said it is continuing work on restoring balance to its in-game economy, after issues arose in December, to recover revenue momentum and the number of active players for the game.

Despite expecting “soft performance” from Dungeon & Fighter in the near-term in China, Nexon has high hopes for the mobile version. Following the launch, it expects China sales to increase between 48% to 90% Y/Y in Q2 to as much as ¥34.6 billion ($223.4m).

According to AppMagic estimates, Dungeon&Figher Mobile has accumulated $167.9 million in gross revenue from the App Store and google Play in South Korea to date.

“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,” said Nexon president and CEO Junghun Lee in an earnings letter.

“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 energise our large base of existing fans in China and attract new players to the franchise.”


Operating income for Nexon fell by 48% Y/Y to ¥29.1bn ($188m), which the publisher put down to lower consumer spending, rising costs and an anticipated one-time loss. Net income, meanwhile, fell by 32% Y/Y to ¥35.9bn ($231.9m)

Despite the declines, revenue, operating income and net income were stronger than expected. It put this down to the “strong performances” of FC Online, FC Mobile and Blue Archive.

The publisher also cited cuts to its HR and marketing costs, as well as lower than expected cloud service expenses, as reasons for operating income hitting above expectations.

Nexon noted that during Q1, 73% of its revenue came from PC and console, while 27% was generated from mobile.

MapleStory and The Finals

Elsewhere in its financials, Nexon noted MapleStory fell slightly below its forecasts during the quarter. It said it had throttled monetisation in favour of improving player engagement, which it said had a positive impact, despite the drop in sales.

Revenue and retention for Embark Studios’ The Finals was lower than expected after the launch of season 2. Nexon said the developer and its South Korea-based live ops team are working together to “understand and address the key issues”.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.