Speaker Spotlight: Nexon's Drew Boortz on the past and future of the games industry

Speaker Spotlight: Nexon's Drew Boortz on the past and future of the games industry

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC London and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

In today’s speaker spotlight, we’re talking to Nexon managing VP of Western business and corporate development Drew Boortz, who will be taking part in our 'the Strategics discussion'. 

The talk will delve into investment criteria; routes to M&A, valuation methods (financial, strategic etcetera) and market trends.

PocketGamer.Biz: Could you tell us a bit about your company?

Drew Boortz: A pioneer in the world of interactive entertainment software, Nexon was founded in 1994 and introduced some of the biggest innovations in our industry including the world’s first graphic massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and the first free-to-play game.

Since then, we've continued to be an industry leader in MMORPG’s with more than 80 live games operated across more than 190 countries proving that online games are a progressive, mainstream form of entertainment to be enjoyed by everyone. 

By focusing on quality we have developed long-standing IP franchise hits, including MapleStory, Dungeon&Fighter, Sudden Attack, and KartRider.

Each of our games is tailored to the unique geography in which they are played, which is why our titles continue to be played by millions of people around the globe. 

Nexon is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the company was placed on the Nikkei Stock Index 300 in 2017.

What does your role entail?

Managing our business development, investments and M&A for the Western markets.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

Games have always been a major facet of my life. 

Working in the industry affords me the opportunity to give back to that which has given me so much.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Set goals, hold yourself accountable to them, and never pass on an opportunity to push yourself.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Games have stagnated somewhat in recent years. 

The focus has been more on iterating on previous titles than using our creativity to develop new interactive experiences. I (and Nexon) want to change that.

What significant trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

The PC landscape is going to change with the coming of new distribution venues, console F2P games will continue to grow and new mobile games will trend towards two distinct product groups; hyper-casual games and deep, almost PC-like interactive games.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

When I started, PC was "dying" and mobile was growing but would never be on par with "real" games, graphics fidelity was how you told "good" games from "bad," and industry growth came only in the form of console hardware refresh cycles. Turns out we were 0/4.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

Meeting developers with new ideas and the willingness to risk everything to make those ideas a reality.

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 on the website.


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