Nexon invests $400M in Russo brothers’ film company at $1.1B valuation

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The film and entertainment company AGBO, made by Nexon, has invested 400 million Avenger Directors Anthony and Joe Russo.

Tokyo-based Nexon’s minority investment AGBO is worth $ 1.1 billion, a vote of confidence in the Russo brothers who made the films. Avengers: Infinite War And Avengers: Endgame, Which was one of the most successful Marvel movies ever.

AGBO is a production studio set up in 2017 by the Russo brothers and their production partner Mike Laroca to innovate and advance the next generation of storytelling.

Nexon’s online games like Kart Rider and Dungeon & Fighter have generated billions of dollars in revenue over the years, and Nexon is using the money to make big investments in companies like Hasbro, Bandai Namco, Konami and Sega Sammy. But the investment coincides with the trend of game companies moving to Hollywood, as Sony showed yesterday with a preview of its uncharted film and HBO TV show The Last of Us. Microsoft is also making Hello TV shows and Gearbox Borderslands movies.


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In an interview with Gamesbeat, the leaders of the companies said that they believe that this relationship will become closer.

While the Russo brothers worked on the Avengers for over a decade, Nexon does the same with its Games-a-Service online games, as some of Nexon’s games are still making money after 15 years, said Oxon Mahoney, CEO of Nexon. Interview with Gamesbeat.

Above: AGBO focuses on creating the entertainment universe.

Image Credit: AGBO

“We are seeing secular integration between different forms of entertainment media, and the winners will be the ones who can think deeply about this,” Mahoney said. “We believe in the theme of secular conversions, about creating deeply immersive virtual worlds, and about your experience or your intellectual property. And you have to think about them holistically. We don’t think there are many people who are thinking deeply about this, but we have worked very hard to find people who are creative, who care a lot about this. “

The company creates and produces film and television projects for streaming and theatrical distribution with partners including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NBC Universal, Disney, Apple TV +, A24 and Roku.

AGBO plans to specialize in creating cinematic “universes”. AGBO wants to create a franchise with significant scope and scale – film, episode series, digital media and gaming / interactive experiences. Where Nexon comes from helps both game-based and original intellectual property ideas that could turn into new types of reverse transmedia, where gaming movies inspire.

“We are definitely excited to explore opportunities to work together,” AGBO CEO Jason Bergsman said in an interview with Gamesbeat. “We are in the early stages of experiencing it. I like to think we’re going to do something new.

The Writing Team of the Russo Brothers and the Writing Team of Christopher Marcus and Stephen McPhilly (AGBO Story Co-Presidents) – Partnered to direct and write four Marvel films that grossed કુલ 7 billion at the box office.

Nexon’s investment will support AGBO’s development, production and ownership of intellectual property that appeals to a global audience while enabling AGBO to aggressively advance the development of gaming and virtual world experiences that expand storytelling and interactive audience engagement around its IP.

“All the good things that come into our industry and the entertainment industry come from very capable, highly competent creators who insist on creating something interesting and new and fresh,” Mahoney said. “My job is to really empower such people because I know that good things will come to the world and certainly to our shareholders. It’s very difficult to do that. “

Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

Above: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

Image Credit: Nexon

AGBO is an independent company economically and creatively controlled by Russos and AGBO management and will now continue to work on a variety of entertainment projects, with the added benefit of a strategic relationship with Nexon.

The partnership also accelerates Nexon’s film and television strategy and expands Nexon’s gaming IP into US markets. Nexon is a Tokyo-listed leader in online games and the virtual world with an 18 billion equity market capitalization.

“The AGBO is run by creatives who want to work on a cosmic basis,” the Russo brothers said in a statement. “AGBO’s partnership with Nexon represents an important chain of entertainment, advancing franchise filmmaking and sports integration with a global reach. Our collaboration is based on our shared vision of the future of storytelling and utilizes the unique talents of both companies. ”

Nexon’s top franchise, Dungeon & Fighter, is especially popular in China and Korea, Nexon’s home market, and has generated over $ 18 billion in lifetime revenue.

Nexon is invested in AGBO by Nexon Studios, Nexon’s newly launched US-based film and television division, led by Nick Van Dyke, the entertainment industry giant and Nexon’s chief strategy officer. Nexon is committed to investing an additional $ 100 million in the first six months of 2022, if requested by AGBO.

There have been many failed projects between Hollywood and game companies.

“We all believe it will be brighter than most historical references,” Van Dyke said in an interview with Gamesbeat. “Video games, based solely on their popularity and engagement, are the most unused reserve of the franchise IP in the world. [Collaborations] They have worked, but they are not as successful as we would like them to be and perhaps not as successful as their creators want them to be. “

In the past, moviemakers licensed after a hit movie came out, and then game makers start with an idea where there are already a lot of movie principles. That means they have limited creativity in extending that franchise to sports, Van Dyke said.

“What makes a great game is the gameplay,” he said. “And there were elements of the story. And what makes a great television program, iis the story and the character, is really a different kind of storytelling. “

Bergsman said Nexon’s investment would help the AGBO think long-term and maintain its rights, but he said he believed other parties would help finance the AGBO’s various projects. So Nexon’s money doesn’t mean AGBO has raised money.

Nexon's Embark Studio is creating ambitious virtual worlds.

Above: Nexon’s Embark Studio is creating ambitious virtual worlds.

Image Credit: Nexon

In this case, Van Dyke said the two companies have a lot of respect for each other’s abilities.

“We’re really looking forward to working in two directions,” Bergsman said. “Hollywood has a more established process of adapting gaming franchises to film and television.”

Van Dyke also said that companies could adopt a collaborative approach to the original idea. Given that kind of collaboration, Bergsman said AGBO could think of designing the universe differently so that it could be expressed as a world of sport or a world of film.

“We’re just as excited about the possibility of expanding our linear-based descriptive universe into interactive experiences,” Bergsman said.


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