Nexon America has begun taking applications for a second round of its Nexon iNitiative program, which will fund $1 million worth of independent free-to-play games with a North American focus “that align with Nexon’s focus on community building and long-term user engagement.”

Primarily known for major free-to-play MMOs including Maple Story, Mabinogi and Dungeon Fighter Online!, the initiative is part of Nexon America’s effort to branch out to new genres and new platforms, with a specific focus on the North American audience.

“I think there are types of games that are just more popular here in the U.S. than in other markets,” Won Il Sue, Nexon America’s vice president of business development, told Gamasutra in a new interview. “A great example is the tower defense type of games — they’re hugely popular here in the U.S., not so much popular in the East.”

That doesn’t mean the company is focused exclusively on American developers and Western-targeted games for the contest, however. “We could have a studio from Singapore that has a great idea for the Western market,” Sue said.

“Generally, though, the people here know the market better. … If we find something that we think will work globally, we’ll be very interested in that as well.”

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