South Korea

Junhyuk Bang, Founder and Chairman, Netmarble

The man behind South Korea’s largest mobile-gaming company has charted an unlikely path from high school dropout, born in a textile factory slum, to one of South Korea’s most respected business leaders. Junhyuk Bang founded Netmarble in 2000 with just US$84,000 and eight employees. Today it is a gaming empire with 5,000 employees and 68 million monthly active users. Netmarble’s action-packed role-playing games such as Lineage 2: Revolution and MARVEL Future Fight have become hits around the world.

Junhyuk has been a pioneer in the industry, creating the world’s first game portal and then devising the world’s first “free to play” revenue model. In 2011, he was a first mover in transforming the business from PC gaming into mobile games, winning industry plaudits and millions of new customers. By 2017, Junhyuk was ready to take Netmarble public, raising US$2.4b in what became South Korea’s largest listing in seven years.

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