Microsoft

Microsoft CEO discusses collaboration with SK, NCSoft chiefs



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft’s developer conference in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met on Tuesday with the leaders of SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, and NCSoft, the country’s gaming giant, to discuss future collaboration.

According to industry sources familiar with the matter, Nadella sat down in Seoul with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Square CEO Park Jung-ho and NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin.

The meeting of the Microsoft chief with SK leaders was a sign of the continued cooperation between the two sides. In 2019, Park, who was then the CEO of SK Telecom, signed a strategic alliance with Nadella’s Microsoft to collaborate in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud, gaming and the Internet of Things. SK Square was spun off from SK Telecom in November last year as an investment company with a focus on the semiconductor and ICT industry.

“SK Telecom has launched a game for Xbox. (Microsoft) has shares in app market operator One Store. Such collaborations have been happening all the time. You would assume (Nadella and SK leaders) discussed something further down the road,” an IT industry official said.

Microsoft owns and operates Xbox, one of the most popular video game consoles in the world. SK Square is the largest shareholder in One Store.

As for the sit-down with the head of NCSoft, industry insiders said that Nadella and Kim have likely been discussing console game companies as the Korean game maker is looking for a new game for the console. It was the second meeting between Nadella and Kim since they met in Korea in November 2018.

NCSoft’s upcoming titles for the console include Throne and Liberty, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game due out next year, and LLL, a third-person shooting game scheduled to launch in 2024.

Later in the day, Microsoft’s CEO gave his keynote speech at the company’s developer conference about how digital has become necessary. The trip to Korea marked Nadella’s first visit in four years.

Nadella was also expected to meet Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Jae-yong during his time in Seoul, but no details of such an in-person meeting were disclosed.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)

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