Well, this news comes out of nowhere, but it’s being reported by multiple legitimate news agencies, so I might as well repeat it here: rumors are currently circulating in the financial community that Korean MMO publisher Nexon (best known for free-to-play games like Maple Story and Mabinogi,) is currently attempting to buy ownership of American mega-publisher EA.
It’s pretty strange to hear that a Korean F2P company has enough money to take over one of America’s largest gaming corporations, but it may simple be a sign of the times — Nexon has made a fortune through their microtransaction-funded online games, while EA has struggled in recent years to keep up with competition from the likes of Activision and transition into the digital download market.
But hey, the marriage of these two companies might not be so strange when you think about it, at least from a cynical perspective — Nexon knows how to motivate people to pony up cash for virtual items, and EA loves to charge gamers (unfairly or not,) for online passes and DLC. EA has already made a few forays into the free-to-play market with games like Battlefield Heroes and Need for Speed World. Now, while I’m not a huge fan of some of EA’s business practices, I do like a number of games they’ve published (Dead Space, Mass Effect, Kingdoms of Amalur,) so hopefully the supposed Nexon take-over won’t effect the future development of titles like those.
Of course, this is all just baseless speculation at this point — neither EA or Nexon have commented on the validity of these claims yet, and I’m not sure if buying a struggling, bloated American publisher really makes all that much sense to Nexon, but the rumor is already have a positive effect on EA’s stocks: rumors of the buy-out have caused the company’s stock price to rise over 8% in just the last few hours.