NCsoft full-year results fly on Aion

Korean MMOG publisher sees 2009 revenue rise 83% to $546 million, as Q4 profit rockets up more than 1,000%.

NCsoft's finances have been riding the wings of angels (and maybe a few demons) all year long. Thanks largely to the success of its celestial massively multiplayer online role-playing game Aion, the Korean publisher has posted quarterly profit jumps of 315 percent, 451 percent, and 836 percent. Those building profit margins have left NCsoft's full-year results in divine shape.

Aion's angels apparently lay golden eggs.

Reporting on its fiscal-year end results today, NCsoft announced revenues of KRW634.7 billion ($546 million), up 83 percent year-over-year. Net income for the period settled at KRW185.4 billion ($160 million), up an impressive 623 percent from the same period a year ago. The Korean company's year-end results were bolstered by a strong fourth-quarter performance, in which profits soared 1,009 percent to KRW72.1 billion ($62 million) on revenues up 99 percent to KRW197.3 billion ($170 million).

Aion contributed most heavily to NCsoft's stellar fiscal year. The game, which saw first release in Korea in 2008 before eventually debuting in the west in September 2009, brought in KRW252 billion ($217 million), 43 percent of NCsoft's total game revenues during the year.

Lineage II followed with 26 percent of revenues, while its predecessor contributed 23 percent to NCsoft's bottom line. City of Heroes/Villains and Guild Wars fell in at 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, while "Other" titles filled in the remaining 1 percent.

While NCsoft doesn't expect to match that profit growth during its current fiscal year, it doesn't expect to lose any ground either. Forecasting the results for its current fiscal year ending December 31, 2010, NCsoft said revenue should come in between KRW650 billion and KRW700 billion ($560 million to $603 million). The publisher expects operating profit to also see a slight rise to KRW235 billion to KRW250 billion ($202 million to $215 million).

Unsurprisingly, NCsoft predicts that Aion will continue to bring in the lion's share of its revenue, with the game's earnings expected to grow by 31 percent to KRW330 billion ($284 million) during the year. Lineage II revenues are expected to contract by 8 percent this year, while Lineage sales slide 4 percent, the company projects.

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60 comments
1SnowTiger1
1SnowTiger1

Also don't forget there is a company called "NEXON", which ALSO sports more fanbase than Blizzard (more current MMOG population than WOW worldwide), which has been selected the top 5 most innovative companies in the world 2010 by Fast Company. :P

Moop69
Moop69

Its true... This game does not have that much exciting endgame content.. I still play because I've heard many promising things coming from korea, and I want to have a good charecter for when the time comes.

106473
106473

Compared to most Korean MMO's ( ex. Rohan:Blood feud) this game is not a grinder. How does one make them self strong? By working out, right? In any MMO you shouldn't expect to level to the top in a couple days. Aion provides a ton a options to appreciate friends and challenge yourself with the chance surprise attack of an enemy while trying to get a quest completed or diving threw a rift into another factions homeland to spike some revenge of a comrade. Before you attack me on how World of Warcraft is better then Aion let me tell you that I have never played that cartoonish slop of a game and never will it disgusts me to even watch it. Besides the fact is was an attempt to make a warhammer game that got flopped to that piece of garbage. Could care less if a lot of people play it, get some taste. Congratz on the money NCsoft.

BloodMist
BloodMist

@oldpraetor You gotta work to advance in any MMO, pal.I've played enough of them to know that.The difference is whether it's fun to do or not.WoW makes it absurdly fun, streamlined, and polished.Aion makes it a pain in the ass.BIG difference.If you can't see that, well that's simply your problem.

1SnowTiger1
1SnowTiger1

Losers will always keep on criticising other's successes focusing solely on the negative side of the IPs hoping what they wish will finally come true (the company in question losing all the market share- hate mostly sprouted by feeling threatened and insecure of losing the market share or being dominated to some foreign companies - especially from a country they don't accept). Failing to notice the reasons behind successes and failures behind the already dead MMOG IPs. Criticising won't get the asian market share, it will just paint negative light over the losers who continues to be cinical - while the company in question continues to dominate by knowing what appeals to the players and what repels them from it.

tjcochran01
tjcochran01

Most of the money was made by asian companies buying accounts to sell gold and spam. LOL If they estimate profits up from a 31% increase in AION they are soarly mistaken. This will not hold up, and all of the grinders will move on to something else, and everyone else that was tired of the gold sellers and lack of content have already given up. Game has flash but no substance and it will die a gradual death like many of the MMO's before it.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

I had fun on this game for 2-3 months! Still no MMO has been able to get me really hooked besides ULTIMA ONLINE! Hopefully the new KOTOR MMO from Bioware will change that!

1SnowTiger1
1SnowTiger1

I'm sorry but this game is 10000x better than playing the entire game by yourself until you reach freakin LEVEL 80.

wexorian
wexorian

played aion like 1 month they need to improve game and maybe i'l return to game again. they could do better game than it's.

oldpraetor
oldpraetor

As I said before, not being spoon fed. If your brother only had 3 quests at level 41 then he missed some other chain quests earlier in the game. Yes its a grind but what grinding does is weed out lazy people who don't want to learn the mechanics of the game. If you want to rush to 50 then yes you will be broke. Unlike WoW where it really does not matter what gear you have you can still level. You will get your backside handed to you in an instance. I went back and read your reviews. I am unsure if your ever going to be happy with a game. Games much like life are not perfect! Thats what makes them fun. Besides MMO's are more about building a group of friends and conquering instances and named monsters. its supposed to be fun?

Red_Signal
Red_Signal

I can't wait for Guild Wars 2, especially since there is no monthly charge like Guild Wars 1!

Bazackward
Bazackward

Just because people hated Aion (like me) doesn't mean they're not going to play FFXIV. You can read my Aion review if you want to know why, but it has nothing to do with WoW or spoon-feeding.

oldpraetor
oldpraetor

By the comments listed its very clear that most players are so lazy that they don't want to have to work for something. I enjoy the fact that the quest lines are not spoon fed to me like WoW. I also enjoy the fact that there are not hundreds of add on's. The mere fact that there are hundreds of complaints about this game makes me grin thinking of all the players who are not going to play FFXIV. Aion contains lots of content you have to work for it. The gold farmers are almost none existent now. There are more and more players coming back to Aion. Old

Evilnator
Evilnator

I think it's just the WoW players are playing both WoW and Aion.. Im quite happy with Aion getting money, since this means more money to feed Guild wars 2

mongoose90
mongoose90

ROFL! Everybody HATES Aion. How the hell is it making money??

WNxUSA
WNxUSA

Aion was a very Mediocare MMORPG that failed to make anything fantastic and kept the same insane grind fest with over rampant gold farmers with NCSoft Unwilling to do much of anything about it. For a game that looks pretty good graphics wise it failed to deliver on gameplay. Had potential but of course NCSoft Screwed the pooch.

velimirius
velimirius

@Janus Hm i have played both Aion and Lotro and i can tell for sure that Lotro has a lot more content between lvl 1 and 50 then Aion,so whats your point then?

shadowfoxza
shadowfoxza

"They will have great profits for there first 3 months, but that will fall off greatly. End game just ain't that great, nor is the grind to get there. " First 3 months eh? The game's been running for 6 months already, and an additional year in Korea. Some more thought before you speak, please?

mf1986
mf1986

i hate this game cuz it made ncsoft be less supportive about GW2

daryo
daryo

they must bring more content to the game (from lvl35 to 50 at least)...the grind is just too much...the lack of quests hurts and fortress raids in abyss are way too laggy (it's unplayable) two things that made me stop playing AION

mf1986
mf1986

it isnt even that good

jknight5422
jknight5422

Wow. Lot of people waste money on boring grinder games.

f00dking
f00dking

cant believe i wasted my money on this game, they should have been working on GW2 instead of this

fatpumba3
fatpumba3

I know you guys have heard this a million times but: World of Warcraft seriously owns Aion. And yes I have played both. Perhaps WoW more extensively but only because it's better.

JanusStormsword
JanusStormsword

How much content do some of you expect? If you're going to play a game 8-12 hours a day for a month, chances are you're going to max out and run out of things to do. Why does everyone expect these games to have unlimited content? Play it for what it's worth and then move on like you would any other game. Quit looking for permanent virtual homes.

snaggleoooo
snaggleoooo

Hopefully these large cash flows will help Guild Wars 2 to be even better than the original (and I loved GW1).

Zloth2
Zloth2

So now maybe they will have the funds to bankroll Guild Wars 2?

drokmore
drokmore

So true bloodmist. They will have great profits for there first 3 months, but that will fall off greatly. End game just ain't that great, nor is the grind to get there.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Hah, anyone notice how once everybody realized Aion is just another crap Korean style MMO, it totally went off every gameplay hour tallying chart?

velimirius
velimirius

aion clearly has lack of content what they tried to silence with grind,many left before they even came to 50 and others left after because there is no enough end lvl content. how much content can game have if you can hit 50 in 1 month hm...

TheProfileth
TheProfileth

Speaking of Grindfests WoW seems to be doing fine so unfortunately another MMO will probably survive, but on the bright side atleast another 3rd party developer is doing well

Oloryn
Oloryn

I wanted to like Aion, its gorgeous, has fun moments and I gave it an honest shot, and even though I don't usually mind the whole "grind" thing, I just couldn't put up with this...and no, I don't try to justify grinds with "well if you can't put up with the grind, then you're not hardcore" because for every massive chunk of time killing the same crap over and over and over again, I could be knocking out masterpieces like Uncharted 2, Assassins Creed 2, Demon's Souls, Mass Effect 2, and so on. Doesn't mean I'll drop NCSoft, they can still make great stuff, congrats on success and I'll keep an eye on Guild Wars 2.

lllCamballl
lllCamballl

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

GhoX
GhoX

I doubt Aion will last. It managed to get its profits during the rush of its release, but people eventually get bored from the grindfest it is.

Megamanx266
Megamanx266

Too bad that extra profit is gonna dry up fast on another MMO people will play for a few months then get bored.

DarKage13
DarKage13

It looks so pretty, but I play GW... well not so much anymore due to a laggy comp, and servers, but I have all 4 installments thus far.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

If the company needs more money, why don't they just go collect 20 cheetah rectums and turn them in?

Shardz7
Shardz7

Let's just hope they don't do something stupid and merge with Activision or something crazy. *cough*

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

Unless they did what WoW did to keep going and milk Aion via expansions, then after several months, it's all gonna die down drastically. Then again, GW2 is coming,so............

Dematrix
Dematrix

maybe they can take some of that money and start up on a full title Exteel 2, then i might actually have respect for the company.

Exia2004
Exia2004

yeah after 2 month i got bored

kevy619
kevy619

aion was a really good game, but after a few months theres not much reason to keep playing.

voods07
voods07

Hooray, more budget money for ArenaNet!

Windblade91
Windblade91

those that havent quit yet, will when SC2 and Cata come out to dominate the PC markets

Dsolow5
Dsolow5

sadly, it will more likely go to NCsoft's next awful MMO, Blade & Soul