Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju dies in the US

The billionaire founder of South Korean gaming giant Nexon has died in the United States aged 54.  

Kim Jung-ju, former chairman and CEO of NXC Corporation, the holding company of Nexon, passed away in Hawaii at the end of February, according to reports in South Korean media. 

NXC announced the death, and said it could not explain the circumstances in detail because "the bereaved family is in a devastating situation."


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"I sincerely hope that you will consider the hearts of the bereaved families who are trying to send the deceased away quietly," the company told Yonhap News Agency.

Kim founded Nexon in Seoul in 1994. The company was a pioneer of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre, with releases such as The Kingdom of the Winds, Dark Ages: Online Roleplaying, Elemental Saga, Kartrider and MapleStory. Nexon was also among the first companies to trial the free-to-play gaming model.

Kim had stepped back from running the company last year, having been CEO of NXC since 2005.

Nexon, which is listed in Japan, had grown rapidly in recent years. Its parent company NXC owns crypto exchange Korbit.

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Lucy is an editor focusing on NFTs, gaming and the metaverse. Prior to joining she worked as a freelancer, with bylines in Wired, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: @LHM1.