NCsoft full-year revs rise 5%

Guild Wars publisher sees growing sales during 2008, profits drop 40% on marketing spend; Aion exceeds expectations in Korea.

In an economic climate where "well enough" is more than a lot of companies can say, NCsoft today turned in decidedly decent results for its full fiscal year. Through December, the massively multiplayer online gaming company saw revenues rise 5 percent year-over-year to KRW 346.6 billion ($247 million). Unfortunately, the Korean publisher saw a significant dip in profits, which fell 40 percent during the fiscal year to KRW 27.2 billion ($19.4 million).

NCsoft attributed its profit shortfall to the November launch of Aion: Tower of Eternity in Korea, saying that the MMOG had not been on the market long enough to recoup marketing spend on the game. The publisher did say, however, that the title has exceeded its internal expectations, which, along with Lineage's strong performance in Japan and a favorable exchange rate, helped grow revenues.

For the fourth quarter alone, NCsoft pulled in KRW 8 billion ($5.7 million) in profit on revenue of KRW 99 billion ($70.6 million). Lineage and Lineage 2 accounted for the bulk of NCsoft's sales during the period, bringing in a respective 29 percent and 42 percent of quarterly sales. The recently launched Aion amounted to 10 percent of that breakdown, followed by City of Heroes/City of Villains with 7 percent and Guild Wars with 5 percent.

The year has been fraught with turbulence for NCsoft. NCsoft fired one of the opening shots in what would turn out to be a game-industry-wide reckoning, canceling Spacetime Studios' unannounced MMOG in January. Along with several others, the publisher opted to skip the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit, exiting the Entertainment Software Association entirely in December. NCsoft also reorganized its Western operations under the NCsoft West label in September and saw the departure of celebrity game designer Richard Garriott after the publisher pulled the plug on his sci-fi MMOG, Tabula Rasa.

Looking to its next fiscal year, NCsoft expects to grow revenues by 36 percent to 44 percent, realizing sales of KRW 470 billion ($335 million) to KRW 500 billion ($356 million). The publisher gave no estimate on net income but did say it expects operating profit to spike 137 percent on the year to KRW 100 billion ($71.3 million). "We anticipate full scale growth in 2009 based on the successful launch of Aion in Korea and the upcoming launch of the product in territories worldwide," NCsoft's CFO Jaeho Lee said in a statement.

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28 comments
Brother_of_bit
Brother_of_bit

well they are taking their time now matter what i want to know if they are even still making it at least

Hem0philiac
Hem0philiac

i know it's disapointing not hearing any real news about GW2, but Aion: The Tower of Eternity has been looking extremely promising to me, so i'll let them take as long as they want making GW2 to make it as good as possible. In the meantime, i'll be playing Aion a whole bunch, and i'll wait patiently for the masterpiece that will be GW2

Gater29
Gater29

@ DenisG Thanks for the info. At least its something with GW2 in it directly from NC Soft.

DenisG
DenisG

Here's the latest news from the main website. A Letter to Our Fans To our fans, There have been some published rumors over the past few days about Guild Wars 2 delays, and I'm writing you today to set the record straight. You've all seen announcements about restructuring at NCsoft West, and it's natural to wonder whether that restructuring impacts ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 development. In fact, the reason NCsoft West is restructuring itself is so that the company can put all of its focus into its top-tier games like Guild Wars 2. Our team continues to grow, and has the strong support and financial backing we need to achieve our goal of making Guild Wars 2 the best online role-playing game ever created. On Friday, NCsoft released investor materials that showed a very broad release window for Guild Wars 2, with the explanation that release timing is still "to be announced." ArenaNet has never given a release date for Guild Wars 2 other than "when it's done." NCsoft's investor materials are a reflection of that philosophy. I know some fans had hoped for a smaller gap between the launch of Guild Wars: Eye of the North and the start of beta testing for Guild Wars 2, but we communicated last summer that it would be some time before we could commit to any beta or launch dates. Guild Wars 2 is a large and ambitious game, and we're going to take the time to do it right. I'm immensely proud of what our team has accomplished and continues to accomplish with the development of Guild Wars 2. We'll have a lot more to say when we're closer to release. Until then, we thank you for your continued interest and ask you to stay tuned. Mike O'Brien

runstalker
runstalker

GW2 is built in a new engine, a generation ahead of GW1's tech and somewhat future-proofed. With about UE3 grade rendering power and ArenaNet's awesome artwork, Guild Wars 2 will look just fine in 2010.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

Dunno. Usually MMO's don't have 14-day trials/buddy-passes when they first come out. Besides, most MMO's also have a lot of changes early on, so you're looking for a good, solid game, you might want to wait a little first.

ghostydrifta
ghostydrifta

when is it going to be released, i want to try it out, or can a demo be downloaded from any where??

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@ TrueIori Yep. Why turn away potential customers, right? The number of people who will upgrade their computer (or get a new one!) just for a new, untried MMO is pretty low. Blizzard always does games with reasonable hardware requirements, and I've never heard of them hurting for money! And any game that depends on having a large customer base (like microtransaction or ad based MMO's) needs to have as large a base as possible.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

It's good to see some good news coming out of the gaming industry

TrueIori
TrueIori

to munseyw The new trend is to make mmo that can run on a lot of different machines instead of the high ends one because only a few percentage of people have high end computers. A great example is WoW. IMO not the greatest mmo like people like to think but it had a good things going for it when it launch. 1) It already had a fan base 2)it Blizzard, 3)easy to pick up 4)and the most important IMO can be played on almost any computer.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@ munseyw MMO's usually take 4-6 years to make, though, so that really isn't a major problem. Plus, a less cutting edge engine will be less demanding so it can run on more computers which works out in NCSoft/ArenaNet's favor. Besides, even now? Guild Wars itself is gorgeous, and that's got a lot more to do with the art style than anything else.

munseyw
munseyw

Problem with delaying GW2 is, the engine they r building it on is going on 4 years old and a later release date may put them way behind the power-curve. Plus for old GW1 gamers, GW1 is getting stale and with the new group MMORPGs coming out they could lose their base. If they are going to delay GW2, then they better spice up GW1. AND START POLICING JQ for the bots, leavers, and lechers.

Chao_Of_Blades
Chao_Of_Blades

Needs GW2 news....just hope the first news i hear about it is not "well we're actually going to charge 15$ a month for GW2" I would faint.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

http://www.massively.com/2009/02/13/ncsoft-2008-profits-down-and-guild-wars-2-tba-in-2010-2011/ Supposedly GW2 will be pushed back to 2010, maybe 2011, so it doesn't interfere with Aion's release. With the amount of things that could change between now and then, I can understand them wanting to keep quiet. Better to do that than pull a Fable 1 where the hype/promises got completely out of control during development. Probably *not* what you wanted to hear, I'm sure. But, its just rumor for now, so we'll see.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Good to hear, but I want to see something about GW2

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

So long as COH is profitable, hey, great by me! That's the real goal a MMO should have, not trying to beat WOW. Right now I'm loving the fact the Hero genre isn't going to be such a small niche - regardless if I end up liking DCUO or CO, the increased competition and new ideas will definitely help all three games and their players. Better yet, from what I've been reading each game will have its own unique flavor/take on the genre/feel-of-play, so chances are anyone looking for a super-hero MMO will find one they like. And no rush on Guild Wars 2! Take time to make it as good as can be! After all, look at the recent MMO's that had rough launches and how they're doing now... massive player loss, server consolidations and, oh, shut-downs. Nobody can afford to have a rough start anymore - players aren't willing to put up with it.

jfpime
jfpime

Give us news about GW2 :(

Zloth2
Zloth2

"It pisses me off that City Of Heroe's/Villains doesnt do much better." It's been around for about five years now and will hopefully pick up steam in a few months when player-made missions hit the streets. That's an impressive showing in the "you mean there's other MMOs besides WoW?" era.

sidneyisaac
sidneyisaac

GW 2!!!! I love this company and man am happy that guild wars will be going strong for a long while!!! w00t for GW and NCSoft!!!

CrazyJoe24
CrazyJoe24

This is nice 'n all but every time i see NCsoft news i am wishing for something about GW2.

Wolfcp11
Wolfcp11

guildwars 2, guildwars 2!

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

still no news of guild wars 2 :(

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

It pisses me off that City Of Heroe's/Villains doesnt do much better.

Inconnux
Inconnux

Aion looks like a sterotypical eastern MMO.

Karstux
Karstux

Aion looks good from the concept art I have seen. First Post!