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Nexon shares hit record high after strong start for Nintendo karting rival
[TOKYO] Nexon Co Ltd's shares hit a record high on Tuesday following the strong start for a mobile version of its hit karting franchise.
Fast-paced racer KartRider Rush+ was downloaded more than 10 million times in its first two weeks and met with positive reviews, which drew contrast with the early lack of a multi-player option that hobbled Nintendo Co Ltd's Mario Kart Tour.
Shares in Tokyo-listed Nexon, founded by South Korea billionaire Jungju Kim who retains the largest stake, were up 1.6 per cent at the midday break on Tuesday, extending this year's rise to 63 per cent.
The gains come as Nexon last month reported an 80 per cent jump in first-quarter revenue in Korea with titles like long-running online roleplaying game MapleStory benefiting from consumers staying home due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While the virus is boosting gaming demand, for Nexon that result was offset by a fall in revenue in its other largest market China, which it attributed to the shutdown of PC cafes.
The release of a mobile version of its hit title Dungeon&Fighter being made with China's top gaming company Tencent Holdings Ltd has been pushed back to the summer.
Nexon, a pioneer of the in-game purchases that have become a major earner for cross-platform hits like Fortnite from Epic Games, has more than 380 million registered users for KartRider on the PC.