Nexon generated 124,087 million yen ($923.1 million) in revenue in Q1 2023, according to its latest financial report. This represents a 36.3% increase from the same period in 2022 (91,034 million yen, or $677.2 million), highlighting the company’s strong performance over the period.
Operating income for the company has also risen substantially, standing at 56,275 million yen ($418.7 million), representing a 46.1% year-on-year increase from 38,520 million yen ($286.6 million yen) in 2021. This was largely driven by lower-than-planned marketing expenses for Kartrider: Drift and recruitment, as well as the resulting decrease in HR costs.
“Our record-breaking first quarter reflects the success of our large and growing portfolio of global franchises,” said president and CEO Owen Mahoney. “On top of the steady growth from our existing games, we are currently developing the strongest collection of new titles in Nexon’s 28-year history. This unique combination of powerful existing franchises and multiple new virtual worlds in development offer an asymmetric upside opportunity for our shareholders.”
Mobile is leading the charge
Mobile proved to be a particularly strong performer for the company, with Blue Archive being a top performer worldwide while FIFA Mobile and HIT2 led the way in South Korea. One particularly notable exception is the Chinese market, where, instead, PC title Dungeon&Fighter was highlighted as the top performer. Signs are that Nexon struggled to adapt its mobile portfolio to the volatile Chinese market, but saw a measure of success on other platforms. However, revenue still grew 45% year-on-year in the country.
It’s also worth noting that Japan, which has historically been slow to adapt to mobile gaming in comparison to other platforms, saw a 29% year-on-year increase in revenue, primarily driven by the success of Blue Archive.
Looking forward, Nexon forecasts decreased revenue of between 88.4 billion and 96.7 billion yen ($656 million - $717.5 million) for Q2. Despite this being a quarter-on-quarter decline, it would represent a 15% increase in revenue year-on-year.
Nexon’s success in Q1 follows the company’s record-breaking $618 million in revenue in Q4 2022.