The founder of one of the most important MMORPG companies in the world dies in Hawaii at the age of 54

The Korean billionaire Kim Jung-Ju founded today’s gaming giant Nexon almost 30 years ago and was one of the pioneers of MMORPGs. With online role-playing games such as The Kingdom of the Winds and MapleStory, he shaped the genre and established the Free2Play model. As his company announced, Kim Jung-Ju died in Hawaii at the age of 54. He struggled with depression.

That’s the message: In a statement Tuesday, Nexon said its founder Kim Jung-Ju passed away in February 2022. At the time of his death he was in Hawaii, USA.

It says:

Please excuse that we don’t explain it in detail. All his family members are devastated. The deceased was receiving treatment for depression, which unfortunately had worsened recently.

Kim Jung-Ju is survived by his wife and two teenage daughters.

Many MMORPG fans played his games as a kid

How are the reactions? Nexon USA CEO Owen Mahoney said in a statement he has lost a friend and mentor, a man who had an immeasurably positive impact on the world.

Many fans in English-speaking countries remember NEXUS: The Kingdom of the Winds, a 1996 MMORPG that many considered “their first MMORPG” and that was from an innocent time, with no microtransactions or subscription fees. They said they played this MMORPG as a child redditwhere one indulges in nostalgic feelings.

Many list online games that they associate with Nexon and their own youth, such as Combat Arms, Mabinogi, Vindictus or MapleStory.

Owen Mahoney, the head of Nexon in the USA.

Who was Kim Jung Ju? The Korean founded Nexon in his 20s and had enormous success with MMORPGs. In 2003, MapleStory was released, probably Nexon’s most famous MMORPG. It was the first major Free2Play MMORPG.

Since 2006, Kim Jung-Ju has withdrawn from everyday business and in recent years has mainly worked on charitable projects. He has invested $93 million in children’s hospitals and start-ups.

Free2Play MMORPG has been lying to players for years with the random system, is in real trouble

Kim Jung-Ju was embroiled in a scandal in 2016. He was accused of bribing a college friend who later became a prosecutor. While Kim Jung-Ju has not been shown to derive any benefit from the relationship, he resigned from other senior positions at Nexon at the time and continued to withdraw.

In 2019, Kim Jung-Ju planned to sell his shares in Nexon for around $9 billion, apparently preferably to Disney because he thought his company was in good hands there. However, Kim Jung-Ju could not find a suitable buyer.

However, he vowed never to pass his shares in Nexon on to his daughters.

Kim Jung-Ju’s fortune is estimated at almost 7 billion US dollars, he was considered one of the richest men in South Korea. Even if his company got into turmoil in 2021:

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If you are plagued by dark thoughts, you can contact the telephone counseling service on 0800/111 0 111 and 0800/11 0 22 – this is nationwide and free of charge.

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