Why He's Powerful

Nexon hasn't made a huge splash in America compared to some—although 21 million players in North America is nothing to sneeze at—but the Korean company's free-to-play titles were years ahead from a revenue standpoint.


Thirty-nine-year-old CEO Daniel Kim came from a design background (he worked with the original team that helped design the groundbreaking Handspring Treo smartphone at Ideo) but moved to Nexon in 2006 at the Korean HQ.

Giants like Maple Story are contributing to the company's year-on-year revenue growth—29% as of third quarter 2011—and Kim is helping shepherd at least one new property like the role-playing Dragon Nest online each year.