Nexon has shut down its game studio in Orange County, California, the company confirmed following chatter on social media.
The shutdown of Nexon OC shows that the strong sales from increased games engagement during the pandemic isn’t helping all companies. There are still winners and losers in this business. In fact, the Game Developers Conference survey released today shows that there are parts of the game industry that are hurting despite the overall positive trend.
GamesBeat asked the Tokyo-based company, the maker of games such as Dungeon Fighter and MapleStory, for comment, and Nexon confirmed it shut the studio. In an update, the company said the reason for the shutdown was not based on any Nexon business concerns but was more due to the creative direction and core focus.
“We deeply appreciate the commitment and output of the OC team, however projects in development there no longer fit with our focus on core creative competencies,” a Nexon spokesperson said in a statement. “All permanent employees impacted by this decision will receive severance and outplacement assistance.”
In 2017 and 2018, numerous people were saying that Nexon OC was hiring people. Its leaders included experienced game makers such as Stephan Frost, Ryan Metcalf, and Jon Jelinek.
Nexon’s CEO is Owen Mahoney, who has given frequent talks at our GamesBeat conferences. In April, he talked about how the gaming world had changed because of the pandemic. Nexon itself has more than 5,000 employees. In mid-2019, Nexon consolidated a couple of Southern California offices into one location. The Nexon OC studio was part of the Asian company’s attempt to expand into the West.
Other Orange County studios such as InXile Entertainment said they were hiring. Nexon has several studio operations in the West including Big Huge Games, Pixelberry, and Embark studios in Sweden.
Projects in the OC studio were never announced. The company said its current roadmap has not been changed at all.
We were sorry to hear about Nexon OC’s closure today. For those of you affected, we’re hiring, and even if you don’t see something posted we want to hear from you: https://t.co/ovFm9hVXtZ #gamedevjobs #Nexon pic.twitter.com/IXwWRANoqW
— inXile entertainment (@inXile_ent) July 16, 2020