[THE INVESTOR] Netmarble Games, Korea’s largest mobile game company that is seeking a US$2.5 billion stock debut in May, said on April 18 it aims to release its hit game “Lineage II: Revolution” in China in the fourth quarter this year.
CEO Kwon Young-sig showed confidence about the planned launch, saying the market conditions in China could ease in the coming months despite the escalating diplomatic tensions following Korea’s deployment of the US-made THAAD missile system.
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“We still have some concerns about licensing in China but our local partner Tencent seems to be more positive,” the CEO said at a press conference held in Seoul. “After the US-China summit in April and Korea’s presidential election in May, we expect things will improve in the second half.”
Since early March, China has refused to give permission for Korean developers to publish new games in the market, a move that is widely seen as part of the local government’s economic retaliation against Korean businesses.
Tencent owns about 25 percent stake in Netmarble, being the third-largest shareholder. The CEO added that “Lineage II” will hit Japan in the third quarter.
On April 11, Netmarble kicked off a 10-day international roadshow for its initial public offering. The IPO price is expected to range between 121,000 won (US$106.05) and 157,000 won, according to the firm. The final price will be announced on April 24.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)