GRAVITY Co., Ltd. (also known as Gravity Corporation) NASDAQ: GRVY (Korean: 그라비티 주식회사) is a South Korean videogame corporation primarily known for the development of the MMORPG Ragnarok Online.
The corporation started as a small business in Shinsa-dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul, South Korea and has expanded to an international corporate interest with several subsidiary divisions. On 8 February 2005, Gravity Corporation made their IPO and traded $108 million US dollars on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol GRVY.
The company has had a rather turbulent history initially involving internal political conflicts between CEO (Kim Hakkyu (who eventually left the company), and company president Jung Ryool Kim (who later assumed control as CEO), but has since stabilised and expanded operations to all of north and south-east Asia through supervised partnerships with native corporate entities. However, while Gravity Corporation's flagship product Ragnarok Online is considered a success in Asia, operations are not as well developed in Europe and the United States in comparison to similar products marketed and developed there.
On 30 August 2005, Jung Ryool Kim, the controlling shareholder, sold his 52% stake and set plans to quit as a director. The buyers of his shares were Ezer and Techno Groove of Japan, a pair of technology ventures controlled by Il Young Ryu and Taizo and Masayoshi Son. After becoming the new majority shareholder, on 13 September 2005, Il Young Ryu was named by Gravity as its new chairman and joint chief executive. Il Young Ryu is also the founder of Area Network Limited and the CEO of Internet Japan. In December, 2006, Techno Groove merged into Asian Groove, and ceased to exist. EZER subsequently returned Techno Groove's investment of 9.9 billion yen to Asian Groove, which gave up any interest in Gravity. On 19 October 2007, EZER sold their interest in Gravity to Son Assets Management or SAM.
On 22 May 2006, Gravity announced it had invested $9 Million in US game developer Perpetual Entertainment. Consequently, Gravity received a position on Perpetual's board of directors. Gravity also received "priority rights for future access to contents and other intellectual property rights of Perpetual Entertainment." On 21 November 2007, Gravity announced they had lost their investment after Perpetual cancelled its development of the MMORPG Gods and Heroes. The loss would be reflected in their financial statement for 2007.
On 5 December 2007, Gravity announced they had formed a new US-based game developer, L5 Games. L5 is a subsidiary of Gravity Interactive, Inc. and is based in San Mateo, California. The company is composed of former Blizzard Entertainment employees.
On 14 February 2008, GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. obtained 52.4% stake of Gravity