Kim Jung-Ju, Founder of MapleStory and KartRider, Dies at 54

Kim Jung-Ju, the billionaire founder of Korean online game developer Nexon Co. has died at the end of last month in the US, according to his private investment firm NXC Corp. He was 54.

Kim had received treatment for depression but his condition had recently deteriorated, NXC Corp., said in a statement, without giving a cause of death. Kim’s family members are “devastated”.

Nexon got listed in Japan in 2011, for which he owned 47% of the company. Kim contributed to establishing one of the world’s hottest gaming hubs, with hit online games like “MapleStory and “KartRider”. His firm reported revenue of $2.4 billion last year.

In recent years, Nexon increased its investment in cryptocurrencies and digital-asset exchanges. The video game company joined a growing list of firms directly investing in crypto when it bought 1,717 Bitcoins at an average price of $58,226 per coin in April of last year.

As part of its gaming investments, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, purchased a 5% interest in Nexon in January.

Last year, Kim stepped back from running NXC and remained a director at the company. 

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Kim was worth $7.7 billion excluding shares pledged as collateral.