Two of Korea’s biggest games publishers, Nexon and NCsoft, are reportedly in talks to complete a deal that would see them acquire game developer Valve.
An anonymous industry source reported the claim, stating that NCsoft’s Taek Jin Kim and Nexon’s Kim Jung-ju held talks at a private summit in Hawaii back in September.
Mentioned with the report is the two firms’ discussion of moving stock and selling off of real estate as a way of fronting the necessary cash required by such a takeover.
No price was mentioned, however, it is estimated by a recent Forbes report that Valve’s estimated value is close to $3 billion.
Nexon is the current licensee of Valve’s Counter Strike franchise for its micro transaction-based title Counter-Strike Online. The firm’s titles also includes other success stories such as Maple Story and Combat Arms, both of which are available through Valve’s digital distribution service Steam.
The report is a little hard to believe, considering Valve’s dominance of the games market and previous comments made by boss Gabe Newell.
EA was recently reported to have interest in purchasing the firm for a price tag of $1 million, however, Newell lashed out that these claims, stating that he would rather see Valve disintegrate than be bought out.
Valve’s standing as an independently held company would arguably make the report even more far-fetched.
Considering the success of its titles and digital distribution platform Steam, it is unlikely that Valve would consider switching from its independent business model and work ethic, both of which have largely contributed to the firm’s huge success.
Representative’s from both NCsoft and Valve have hit back at the report, dismissing it as simply a rumour.
However, it will be interesting to see if Newell himself responds to the report.
As a man who’s never too shy to voice his opinion, I find it surprising that, of time of publication, he is still yet to respond to the report personally.[UPDATE]: Following the release of this story, an NCsoft representative has stated that: "There are no grounds to this rumour."
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