In a press conference on March 19, Nexon (Maple Story, Kart Rider) revealed its official sponsorship of popular Korean baseball team the Lotte Giants. How popular is "popular," you ask? If the figures in this article from last year are correct, the Lotte Giants' popularity is Batman serious business, and here's the kicker: Starting from the 2012 season, all uniforms will bear the Nexon logo. In addition to the logo, the Lotte Giants' home stadium will have special seating called the "Nexon Zone," and Nexon will begin to promote upcoming games with the Lotte Giants.
Sports teams in Korea are owned by big conglomerates, which means you have teams with names like the Lotte Giants, the Samsung Lions, and the Kia Tigers. The scale at which these companies work are on a cosmically expansive level, which is why you couldn't imagine a game company doing this ten years ago.
Video games in Korea have become a phenomenon in itself, and big businesses in Korea, to quote Jurassic Park, move in herds. The partnership of two of Korea's biggest brands is like watching the birth of some monster from geek mythology. Cue the "We're going to make a fortune" greedy lawyer, because it's true that both Lotte and Nexon will benefit from the others' help with promotional material alone—which a Nexon spokesperson sugarcoated by using the word "promote" in the sense that they would try to promote a healthy gaming culture. I'm trying to find even a molecule of a silver lining here, a.k.a. the Jeff Goldblum molecule, in this news, because we all know how Jurassic Park ends.
Lotte to Play with Nexon Logo [edaily]