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Game industry mourns death of Nexon founder

Posted March. 03, 2022 07:59,   

Updated March. 03, 2022 07:59


Leaders of the IT industry and startups are mourning the death of Nexon founder Kim Jung-joo, posting messages of condolences on social media. Kim was known to have kept to himself, but friends treasured memories of the late entrepreneur as a supportive advisor and investor that helped friends and colleagues. Game players also gathered online to express condolences for creating and sharing memories.

Park Jae-wook, the founder of startup VCNC and leader of car-sharing platform So Car, posted a Facebook message on Tuesday looking back when he first met Kim in 2015. “When I addressed him as his title Chairman, he replied that we wouldn’t be able to casually meet up often if he called me that way. He asked me to be friends. He always willingly shared his time to listen to any concerns or difficulties I had related to business,” he said.

Kim Moon-su, the founder of online education site Etoos and current CEO of Smatoos, also shared on his Facebook how he received 1 billion won in investment in 2011 without even signing papers. “I was playing mobile games on my tablet at the meeting location, when JJ (an affectionate nickname of the late founder) appeared, casually dressed in cotton trousers, looking over my shoulder as he watched me playing. He was trying to figure out how Nexon, still oriented to PC style playing, would be able to adopt more easily to mobile platforms,” he recalled.

Kim Min-seok, CEO of the The Pinkpong Company, creator of the well-known “Baby Shark” contents and former Nexon employee, also shared memories with the late Kim. “It has been 22 years since I joined Nexon. Kim had been the role model of my life- both for work and personally,” he said. NCSoft CEO Kim Take-jin and Kakao CEO nominee Nam Gung-hoon also posted Facebook messages. The Purme Foundation, which Kim was involved with for more than 10 years through donation for children’s hospital care and social contribution activities, set up a space to commemorate Kim at the Purme Rehabilitation Center and the Nexon Children’s Hospital in Sangam-dong of Seoul.

Game players of the Kingdom of Winds logged onto the game and held an online commemoration service to pay tribute to Kim, gathering on the map that had been used since the early days of the game. The Kingdom of Winds is the first game in the world that allowed multiple players to go online and play at the same time and which Kim developed after he founded Nexon in 1994. “Thank you for inventing the game,” “We had fun thanks to your invention,” “We will remember you as the one who helped us create childhood memories playing the game. RIP” read several messages on the chat tab.