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Nexon Founder Kim Jung-Ju Passes Away At 54, His Company Developed Games Like MapleStory

Founder Of Nexon Company Behind Games Like MapleStory Passes Away

In an age where virtual games are easily accessible, we can play them anytime on our smartphones, PCs, or Nintendo Switch.

However, today’s vibrant gaming scene is only possible through pioneers whose creations defined our childhood. Recently, gamers around the world were saddened by the passing of Nexon founder Kim Jung-Ju.


For those who are unfamiliar, Nexon is a major South Korean video game company that publishes online games for PC and mobile.

Avid players of MapleStory, the Kingdom of Winds, and the likes have Mr Kim to thank for developing these games after he founded the company in 1994.

Nexon founder passes away at 54

Nexon founder, Kim Jung-ju, passed away on Monday (28 Feb) in Hawaii, according to The Korea Herald.


Before his untimely death, he was reportedly receiving treatment for depression. Though his symptoms worsened, his cause of death was not released to the public.

Made big contributions to the gaming industry

Over the years, Nexon has cemented its status as a gaming powerhouse in South Korea, with a market capitalisation of $27 billion.

Some of its long-standing IP franchise hits include “The Kingdom of the Winds”, an online RPG launched in 1996.



MMORPG MapleStory is another classic title whose profits grew to $1.03 billion in 2020.


As of 2018, Nexon was in charge of more than 80 titles like Kartrider, Godzilla Defense Force, V4 among others.

Was a philanthropist

Besides his contributions to the gaming industry, the late Mr Kim made a lot of generous donations to hospitals across South Korea, noted Yahoo.

Some of his contributions included:

    • S$21.7 million to establish the Purme Foundation Nexon Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital
    • S$2.7 million to the Nexon Children’s Palliative Care Center at Seoul National University Hospital
    • S$4.2 million to the Daejeon Chung-nam Public Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital

Tributes pour in

As news of his untimely death spread, condolences poured in from his colleagues and friends. Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney told The Korea Herald,

It is difficult to express the tragedy of losing our friend and mentor Jay Kim, a man who had an immeasurably positive impact on the world.

Bang Jun-hyeok, chairman of Netmarble Coway, also said,

I pray for the late Kim Jung-ju, who contributed to the development of the Korean IT and game industries.

May he rest in peace

Mr Kim Jung-ju’s creations have been a huge source of inspiration and entertainment for gamers. His contributions have helped shape our present gaming industry.

MS News extends our sincerest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Otto Suwen on Twitter and Nexon

Monique Danao

When Monique's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and playing RPGs.

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