Nexon Co., Ltd has for over the last five years worked with CCP Games to jointly distribute EVE Online for the Japanese market. This partnership will soon come to an end following a post published by CCP Falcon on the 2nd of March in the Japanese section of the EVE Online forum.

Nexon Co., Ltd was founded in South Korea and is a global leader in online games for PC and mobile, publishing around 100 titles in over 190 countries. Nexon’s headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan. It employs over 5,000 people worldwide and generates a revenue of ¥152.68 billion, approximately $1.34 billion US dollars, as of 2016, with Japan making up 11% of Nexon’s total revenue. Nexon sells games in Japan through its portal site, www.nexon.co.jp.

The original partnership between CCP and Nexon Co., Ltd was announced on the 7th of July 2011 as part of CCP’s ongoing plans to make EVE Online more accessible and available across the globe. Hillmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games, said as part of the original announcement:

Having considered Nexon’s excellent reputation as Asia’s leading game developer and publisher, they were the obvious choice in who the best possible partner would be to help us make the game more accessible to our growing fan base in Japan.

Nexon took over the roles of not only distribution of EVE in Japan but also localizing the EVE Client, managing payment services for subscriptions & PLEX, and all associated marketing.

The contract between CCP and Nexon will come to an end on the 31st of March, 2017, according to the announcement posted on the EVE Online forums.

In short, all Japanese accounts currently using a NEXON ID will be transferred from the Nexon platform to CCP and will be managed directly via the EVE Online website. Japanese players use NEXON points to purchase games through the site and have been advised that if they wish to use these points for any EVE Online related items, they will need to redeem them before the 31st of March as they will not be able to use them once the platforms have been switched.

CCP have indicated in the announcement that the Japanese community will continue to receive support where possible via support tickets in account management and they will continue to provide customer support for all its Japanese customers and the Japanese website, but the entire language localization for Japanese will no longer be.

It may be coincidental that only three months before this announcement Walter Islands posted an impassioned open letter plea to CCP in which he explains his frustrations with the current state of the localization of the Japanese client.

…the quality of localization is decreasing. Clearly, some translators of Japanese client don’t know EVE. For example, previous translator translated “Heavy Interdiction Cruisers” as “ワープ妨害型巡洋艦”. This Japanese means “Warp disruption type cruiser”. He or she understands game system, and this is a proper translation. However, current translator translated this as “補給線重爆撃型巡洋艦”. This Japanese means “Supply line heavy bombing type cruiser”. We can understand why current translater translated in this way, but this is not a translation that should be applied to EVE. In addition, there are some text that we doubt translater use machine translation. Some description is completely wrong. We hope that person who know EVE will be in charge of translation.

There was also a discussion that appeared on Reddit back on the 19th February 2016 indicating that many of the services that other players had access to around the world, including the recently released Skill Injectors, weren’t available to Japanese players. In the post on Reddit zeropointcorp writes;

When you go to https://secure.eveonline.com/ from an IP located in Japan, you get shown a different page than what’s shown to users outside, with different (worse) options for Aurum packs etc.

The reason is that CCP have a contract with Nexon that essentially guarantees CCP will do its utmost to ensure players in Japan have to go via Nexon for payment – and the result is that we don’t get all the PLEX sales, Aurum specials and so on, but more importantly, there’s no way for players here to obtain extractors other than via the ingame market – which leaves us victims economically speaking.

This indicates that there is a double-edged sword to the cancellation of this contract. While Japanese players will be losing the localized client, they will in turn be gaining access to services that have previously been unavailable to them. With only 12% of the Japanese population able to speak and read English the major worry for the Japanese community is currently what effect this will have on the existing player base and in attracting new Japanese players to what is already a small niche community.