NCSoft and Nexon to buy Valve?

[UPDATE] Asian online game giants reportedly in talks to acquire Half-Life house; NCSoft representative squashes speculation, saying, "There are no grounds to this rumor"; Valve adds, "Total rumor."

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a NCSoft representative told GameSpot, "There are no grounds to this rumor." Additionally, a Valve spokesperson said, "Total rumor."

The original story follows below

Two of Asia's biggest online game companies, Nexon and NCSoft, are reportedly in talks to acquire Half-Life and Counter-Strike developer Valve Software. The news comes from a Korean news report at JoongAng Ilbo (translated by Polygon), which claims top executives at both companies met in Hawaii recently to discuss a deal.

Could Valve be bought out?

The report cites an anonymous industry source, which claims NCSoft CEO Jin Kim and Nexon CEO Kim Jung-ju are discussing moving stock and selling off real estate to gather the cash necessary to purchase Valve.

A price tag for the company was not mentioned, but a recent Forbes report estimated Valve's worth at $3 billion, half of which belongs to Gabe Newell.

Nexon is currently licensing Valve's Counter-Strike brand for its microtransaction-based Counter-Strike Online in Asian markets. A sequel is also in development. Additionally, numerous Nexon games, like Maple Story and Combat Arms, are presently available through Valve's digital distribution hub Steam.

Valve is an independently held company, and has reportedly fielded buyout offers before. A recent New York Times report suggested big-time United States publisher Electronic Arts was interested in purchasing the company for $1 billion. Newell, however, said he would rather see Valve disintegrate than be bought out.

A Nexon representative declined to comment on the rumor. Spokespersons from Valve and NCSoft were not immediately available.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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