Nexon, known in the U.S. as the home of MapleStory, is vying for attention with its international rival Zynga by a decision go public on Dec. 14 for a valuation in the same exalted financial neighborhood. The Tokyo-based but Korea-born game company set the price for its initial public offering at ¥1,300 (about $16.72) a share, a debut that could value the company at ¥560 billion, or $7.2 billion.

This puts Nexon in the running to be the biggest IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange this year. Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Goldman Sachs are the joint global coordinators for the offering.

At this price, the 75.36 million newly offered common shares will have a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.9 times the company’s projected earnings per share of ¥72.61 ($0.93) for the current fiscal year ending this month, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Nexon specializes in free-to-play games with revenue derived from sales of virtual goods and other in-game items. The New York Times determined that the company’s net profit has tripled during the last two years to ¥21.64 billion ($280 million) in 2010, with revenue has roughly doubling to ¥69.78 billion ($900 million) in the same time period.

Nexon said it will use the proceeds to pay off debt, construct a new building for its main subsidiary Nexon Korea Corp., and upgrade games systems, possibly by investing in third-party developers.

Related links:

Reuters – Nexon’s IPO on track after Nikko Asset cancels

Gamasutra – Nexon $1.2B IPO Listing On December 14

Wall Street Journal – Nexon Sets Premarket Price for IPO

New York Times’ Dealbook – Zynga Rival in Japan Prices $1.2 Billion I.P.O.

Reuters – Zynga rival Nexon’s Tokyo IPO set at $1.2 billion