Nexon, the online gaming giant that went public in December, plans to publish A Bit Lucky‘s Lucky Space social game in Korea.

The move is a boost for A Bit Lucky, a game startup in San Mateo, Calif., and it shows that American games can migrate eastward. Tokyo-based Nexon was formerly based in Seoul, and it has a huge reach in the Korean market. Lucky Space is a sci-fi-styled social network game that debuted originally on Facebook. Now it will be available on Nexon’s Korean portal.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Lucky Space to reach a new audience,” said Frederic Descamps, chief executive of A Bit Lucky.  “It is a vibrant, engaging, and high-end game that we believe will be incredibly successful in Korea.  We are thrilled to be partnered with a veteran of the online games business like Nexon.”

Nexon invested $5 million in A Bit Lucky a year ago as part of an expansion into the West and into social gaming.

A Bit Lucky, formed by some hardcore industry game veterans including Descamps and Jordan Maynard, started relatively late in November, 2009. Descamps and Maynard worked together on hardcore online games at Trion Worlds. They struck out on their own, raised money in February 2010, and launched their first game, Lucky Train, in June 2010. Then they launched Lucky Space last September. In the game, you build a space colony on an alien planet and manage your resources.

“We are very excited to partner with A Bit Lucky to bring this popular title to Korean audiences,” said Junam Kim, director of the portal division at Nexon Korea.  “This partnership leverages the strength of the Nexon platform, enables us to further diversify our game portfolio, and furthers our proven strategy of partnering with globally successful IP developers.  We look forward to working with A Bit Lucky to provide players with an even richer gaming experience.”

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