NEXON Arena, which was built in Seocho-gu, Seoul on December 28th, 2013, has reached its 4th year. Established in order to vitalize and expand the foundation of Esports, it gained attention for being the very first Esports stadium in the world run by a gaming company. The arena has been attempting to develop the Esports industry by opening 820 regular leagues for the last 4 years and is also donating all their profits from ticket sales and promotion.
According to the Factual Report of Esports 2017 by the Korea Creative Content Agency, the scale of the Esports industry in South Korea in 2016 was 83 billion won (approx. $77 million USD) in total, which increased by 14.9% from the year of 2015. Also, 48.2% of the total population answered that they are aware of Esports, and 45.1% of the respondents said that they enjoy Esports as a hobby.
As the industry is growing and becoming more popular, NEXON has opened 820 leagues in total, with 205 every year on average. The arena has featured not only NEXON’s own titles but also other popular Esports events in the league, contributing to the development of the Esports industry.
NEXON Arena held events for 17 titles, with 9 games from the title list including FIFA Online 3, Kartrider, Sudden Attack, and Dungeon and Fighter. The 8 games from other companies were popular games such as Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Tekken, and Street Fighter 5. The total prize pool of the leagues is 6.5 billion won (approx. $6.1 million USD).
The audience attendance for the NEXON Arena for the past 4 years is more than 240,000, and it held 170 non-Esports events as well. The NEXON Arena has become a place of communication and harmony for gamers thanks to the various events it actively holds every year.
It is also notable that, after its establishment, the NEXON Arena has been donating all profits from Esports leagues and promotions to those who need it the most every year.
In order to develop a more pleasant viewing culture, NEXON was the first among Korean gaming companies to implement a paid seat system. Due to the small capacity of the stadium, most people had to return whenever major matches occurred, and those who managed to enter the stadium also had to deal with a lot of inconvenience in the heated crowd. NEXON, in an attempt to resolve this issue, implemented the first paid seat system at the Action Tournament of Dungeon and Fighters and Cyphers held in 2014 and started to sell tickets of their own title leagues such as FIFA Online 3 afterward.
All profits from ticket sales were donated to further society. In 2015, NEXON Korea, SPOTV GAMES, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation cooperated and started a campaign called “Dreaming Children” in which children with incurable diseases have their wishes granted with help from various fundraisers and profits from selling Esports tickets. They once hosted a meeting between a child with a muscle disease who wanted to become a soccer player and Ja Cheol Koo, the national soccer player. They received a sponsorship from Adidas from May to October and provided the boy with the opportunity of touring with English premier soccer clubs. In December, they supported a child who wanted to become a game developer, helping him meet the NEXON Kartrider development team, and gave him a one-time developer experience.
Furthermore, in December 2015, NEXON donated around 100 million won (approx. $93,000 USD) from the ticket sales of Esports events including the FIFA Online 3 Adidas Championship and the Legion of Heroes Colosseum Challenge, along with profits from the NEXON Content Festival auction and Legion of Heroes Idol Concert.
In 2016, the company installed a donation machine at the NEXON Arena through which people could donate 1,000 won with a T-money transportation card and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) payments, and held a donation campaign with Esports audience. The full amount that had been gathered for one year was delivered to the PURME Foundation NEXON Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital for establishing an infant-concentrated treating room.
The company also donated all profits from Esports ticket sales of FIFA Online 3, Kartrider and other events, to the PURME Foundation NEXON Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital in order to support the treatment of children and management of the hospital.
“For the last 4 years, NEXON has put continuous efforts to share our profits with society while providing the space for developing and expanding the foundation of Esports in South Korea. We’ll do everything we can to have new Esports leagues with new online and mobile games in 2018, and deliver diverse entertainment to the fans,” said Seh Hwan Kim, the lead manager of NEXON Esports.
4-year-history of Nexon Arena
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