Jung-ju Kim, who founded Korean game publisher Nexon in 1994 and led it through the development of several early MMOs including The Kingdom of the Winds, MapleStory, and Mabinogi, has died at age 54.
“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,” Nexon President and CEO Owen Mahoney said in a statement. “As a founder and visionary leader, Jay encouraged those around him to ignore the skeptics and trust their creative instincts. He will be deeply missed by his Nexon family and many friends.”
Kim moved away from Nexon management following the company’s listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2011, and left its board of directors in 2016. He continued to pursue “investment and philanthropic activities” through Nexon’s parent company, the global investment first NXC Corporation. He stepped down as CEO of NXC, and as a member of its board, in 2021.
A cause of death wasn’t provided, but NXC told the Korea Times that he “had been receiving treatment for depression, and we are sad that it seemed to have worsened recently.” He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
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