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Nexon America Launches North American Version of Its Blockbuster Casual MMO Game, MapleStory.

Company Establishes New Gaming Category with MapleStory - Casual Massively Multiplayer Online Games

First of Several Games from Nexon to Receive Marketing Support Across Portfolio of MTV Networks Television and Online Brands

LOS ANGELES -- MapleStory, one of the world's most popular massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG), is making its official debut in North America, it was announced today by Nexon America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Asia's leading casual online games company, Nexon Corporation. MapleStory is a global, mass-market phenomenon, having attracted 50 million registered users worldwide through its ease-of-use, award-winning game play, robust community and the ability to personalize game characters in endless whimsical combinations.

MapleStory will be the first of several games from Nexon that will receive marketing support from MTV Networks (MTVN), a byproduct of the two companies' recently announced strategic online gaming partnership. Beginning in early 2007, marketing campaigns for MapleStory will run across a portfolio of MTVN television and online brands including MTV, MTV2, mtvU, Comedy Central, The-N,,,, and Xfire.

Available now via free online download at, MapleStory is establishing a new category of online games in North America called casual massively multiplayer online games. Free-to-download and subscription-free, MapleStory utilizes a cash shop system, also known as micro-transactions or item-selling, where players can purchase a wide array of items to customize, personalize and enhance their characters and game play experiences.

"MapleStory is driving a new market segment of casual online games that has experienced great success in Asia and is ripe for North America," said Min Kim, director of game operations for Nexon America. "Our game combines classic console game elements with a fantastic massively multiplayer experience that is both easy to learn and fun to play. With the free-to-play model, rich content, and highly customizable characters, we think MapleStory's pint-sized heroes will be a big hit with a broad range of gamers!"

With localized versions in South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, MapleStory has achieved great success throughout Asia. The game's mass-market appeal has led to marketing deals in Asia with top companies such as Coca-Cola. MapleStory's free-to-download, subscription-free service is supported by revenue generated through its micro-transaction business model where players can opt to spend real money on character customizations and game enhancements. In 2005, Nexon Corporation reported $230 million in revenue, driven primarily from millions of micro-transactions.

Filled with vibrant backgrounds and charming characters, MapleStory is an online adventure game that centers around the "Maple World," allowing players to combat monsters and develop their characters' skills and abilities in an immense platform-inspired persistent world. Players interact with each other online through chatting, trading, and playing mini-games. Groups of players can also ally together in parties or guilds to socialize, hunt monsters, and adventure through the immersive lands on exciting quests.

MapleStory's innovative cash shop offers players the option to use real currency to pay for game enhancements -- from cosmetic items such as haircuts and plastic surgery coupons to virtual pets that can be trained to sit, stand, and breathe fire. This feature is purely optional and players can try out items prior to purchase in a virtual dressing room. Through avatar customizations, players can create truly unique identities in MapleStory. As a pioneer in the "item-selling" arena, Nexon has sold millions of virtual items worldwide through MapleStory and other hit titles such as KartRider, BnB: Crazy Arcade, and others.

Providing endless variety for its online game players, MapleStory offers monthly content updates and events. Free monthly patch updates provide new items, monsters, quests, maps, and events to keep the experience fresh. In-game events supported by dynamic content updates take place throughout the year to celebrate holidays and other occasions. Special content is being created specifically for the North American version that reflects gamers' tastes and pop culture trends.

MapleStory is available exclusively for Windows PC via free online download at

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 130 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 130 interactive properties worldwide, including, IFILM, Neopets, Xfire, Y2M, and online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About Nexon America

Nexon America is the North American publishing arm of Nexon Corporation, a pioneer of interactive entertainment software and the world's leader in massively multiplayer online games. Based in Los Angeles, Nexon America was founded in 2005 to bring the best of online entertainment to the North American audience. The company's library of titles includes the world famous, smash-hit franchise, MapleStory, and the new motion-captured dance battle game, Audition Online. The foundation of all Nexon America titles is the "item" business model, in which users access the full game for free and can later opt to pay for game enhancements.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 28, 2006
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