Two Korean game publishers attempt Valve acquisition

ncsoft and nexon team up for valve acquisition guild wars 2 publisher acquires

More reports of a potential Valve acquisition, this time involving some of Korea’s biggest game companies.

Valve co-founder and digital entertainment industry maverick Gabe Newell aims to keep his company independent or he’ll die trying. Newell said recently that the likelihood that Valve will be sold is slim indeed. He would rather “disintegrate” Valve than see it sell out to a larger technology company or video game publisher. That doesn’t mean that other companies aren’t trying to acquire the Steam studio. Enter Korean video game giants Nexon and NCSoft.

Korean outlet Joonang News (via MCV) claims that Valve met with both companies in Hawaii on Wednesday to discuss a potential merger. The pooled offer for Valve from Nexon and NCSoft is 1 trillion won, or around $893 million.

Nexon and NCSoft would certainly benefit from owning, or at least partnering with, Valve on a large scale. NCSoft sits right behind Blizzard as the world’s leading MMORPG company, publishing and hosting games like the recently released Guild Wars 2 amongst many successes in the genre like City of Heroes, Lineage and others. Nexon, meanwhile, is one of the biggest mobile and online game providers throughout Japan, China, and Korea. It’s currently valued around $5.9 billion. Steam, being the leading digital PC game retail platform in the US, would strengthen those companies’ interests outside Asia.

NCSoft could use the steady income. The publisher is having difficulty maintaining profits now that the MMO industry has moved away from paid subscriptions in favor of free-to-play revenue models. Its second quarter earnings saw revenue fall 12 percent year-on-year to around $130 million. (By comparison, Electronic Arts pulled in $276 million from its PC operation alone over the same period.

Nexon on the other hand is thriving, with revenue earnings in the first quarter of 2012 up 46 percent to around $480 million, and net income up 60 percent to nearly $154 million. It also already enjoys a partnership with Valve, with plans to host Asia’s Counter Strike Online community.

The long and short of it: Yes, it would make sense that these companies want Valve. The purchase price of $893 million rings false though. Electronic Arts reportedly made informal advances on Valve offering a cool $1 billion and Newell and company were unmoved. That was in the past as well. Today, Valve is valued at around $2.5 billion. With the company plotting major expansions in the next few years—branching out into non-gaming apps and hardware—Valve’s business is on the cusp of growing in value even more.

For any Korean readers out there getting pumped up, our apologies: That Team Fortress 2 MMORPG will have to remain a fantasy.

Health & Fitness

JLABS injects some tech into the medical industry

Innovating health care is expensive, risky, and complicated legally. One company is trying to remove these barriers with clever and altruistic approach.

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

‘Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers’ to launch next summer with gunblades, Viera

Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will be released in summer 2019. The third expansion of the MMORPG will include new story content, dungeons, and raids, in addition to gunblades and the Viera.

The Fix PUBG campaign is over: What’s next for ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’?

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team declared that the Fix PUBG campaign was over. Here are the results of the three-month campaign, as well as the future plans for the multiplayer Battle Royale shooter.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

Get an Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 for just $200 at GameStop starting Sunday

GameStop is currently running an early Black Friday sale that offers an Xbox One S or a PlayStation 4 slim model for just $200 apiece. Both consoles come with a free game, and other games are also on sale.

Original ‘Diablo’ developer calls out Blizzard for disrespecting its employees

In a Twitch rant, an original creator of Diablo has said that Blizzard is more interested in caring for its shareholders and the elite one percent of the company than looking after its workers.

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

PlayStation 5 release date in 2020 confirmed? PSVR 2 also on the way

A Redditor who correctly claimed that Sony will be skipping E3 2019 revealed several details about the PlayStation 5 and the PSVR 2. The PlayStation 5 release date will be in 2020, while the PSVR 2 will ditch the breaker box.

Triple nuke strike crashes ‘Fallout 76’ server, leaves unanswered questions

The group of Fallout 76 players who summoned the Scorchbeast Queen by dropping a nuke on a fissure site took the next step, launching three nukes on a single target. They did not find out what happens next, as the game's server crashed.

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…