NCsoft Q2 profits soar 451% with Aion

South Korean publisher's latest MMOG continues paying dividends, boosting April-June revenues 70% to $111.6 million.

The massively multiplayer online role-playing game business can be a risky one, but NCsoft appears to have scored a hit with its latest entrant into the genre, Aion: Tower of Eternity. Following on from the game's launch in Asia late last year, the South Korean publisher saw revenues spike 51 percent to KRW133.4 billion ($107.9 million) during its January-March quarter. Profit rocketed skyward 315 percent to KRW33.5 billion ($27 million).

Angels aren't exactly angelic in Aion.

NCsoft has reprised those gains during its April-June financial period. Reporting on its second-quarter results, NCsoft has said that sales grew to KRW138 billion ($111.6 million) during the three-month period, a 70 percent year-over-year rise. Net income continued its steep climb as well, jumping 451 percent during the quarter to KRW33.7 billion ($27 million).

Aion is expected to launch in North America on September 22, with the European rollout due September 25. But even with just the Asian market, the game was already NCsoft's top contributor during the quarter, amounting to 34 percent of all sales. Lineage 2 fell in behind Aion with 31 percent of revenues and was trailed by Lineage (23 percent), City of Heroes/Villains' (6 percent), and Guild Wars (4 percent).

When Aion does debut in the West next month, it will do so under new management. Earlier this week, NCsoft West announced that president of product development, ArenaNet cofounder, and Guild Wars cocreator Jeff Strain had departed the company. NCsoft West also said that publishing president David Reid had also left the company, though it noted that the two departures were unrelated.

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Discussion

39 comments
drokmore
drokmore

Im going to give this game a try. It's nice it's already had some time in overseas markets to help with balancing/bug issues so hopefully there will be less. The key to longevity is a decent end game which I haven't heard much about. PVP is fun, but the instances are what suck me in, I love the challenge of organizing group fights...

mitch7236
mitch7236

to Invictuslemming. This is not a dig at you mate, but they had to make WOW easier, otherwise new players would not be able to complete the game, or compete with long term members. The second, is to make more money they had to adjust the game so that players could play solo. A lot of high level players have become too elitist. Everywhere I go I come across the us and them attitude. Between the players who want to play the rpg wow, and the high level instance players. You won't be allowed to join a lot of groups unless you have already got the achievement. The gap is getting wider. They are trying to combine three different game types. RPG, PVP and Team play. Something that is very difficult to achieve, and satisfy everybody. I do not like pvp games as you get people camping at respawn points, or noob hunting. I have difficulty with team play because of the time I play at, and in the case of some of wow's instances, I can't spare that much time. If you only have time for one or two parts of an instance it is almost impossible to gat a group. I have been playing rpgs for years, and wow is one of the better ones. However it frustrates me at times. A game that is as long as wow is, does not need silly added time penalties. I was looking at enjoying wow for years. Playing different classes and races. However, after experiencing the attitudes of some of the players, once I have completed the quests (less instances) I will move to another game. Mitch or Hairyox lvl 79 rogue

Zoldaire
Zoldaire

One more month, just one... more... month and I get to play this sweet, sweet game.

zekezagura
zekezagura

@spoc101 um i have no idea where you got that information but its monthly pay just like pretty much all mmos please dont post things like that when it is false it hurts an amazing game. unless you were meaning cheap as in less money as a good thing sorry.

spoc101
spoc101

@Merl57 this game is hourly pay. 8 bucks will get you 100 hours and you dont use that time up when your not playing. its a cheap game xD

Tuco_Ramires
Tuco_Ramires

NCSoft, Number One in Game Design,as always. Hope it's not 500% PvP as advertised though,I hate that.

NuKkU
NuKkU

Woah i really wasnt expecting this to be honest this is good :D

jazilla
jazilla

NCSoft and ANet really have a solid stable of on-line games. I am speaking from a financial standpoint.

superkoolstud
superkoolstud

Lineage 2 still is the best mmo ever made (yes I played WoW for 3 years) Here is hoping Aion can be better or just as good.

mf1986
mf1986

aion is a meh, BRING GUILD WARS 2 ASAP

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I am greatly looking forward to Aion. Champions Online also looks very cool. -I won't pay for two MMO's at the same time forever....

Merl57
Merl57

sad by the NCsoft lead quitting and angry that this has a monthly fee, I really don't have time anymore to play an MMO so, maybe sometime in the future I'll play, but I really wish i could kick it old school like I did with Guild Wars

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

that's good for them, the only reason to be in the business is to make money, find a nitch

Nocturnal_Speed
Nocturnal_Speed

2bitsmokey - I never really played WoW, tryed for a bit with a friend account and was completely turned off. The graphics and gameplay were pretty whack compared to L2 imo. Lineage 2 was a pretty sweet game overall, how the pvp was set up and the classes you could join. I checked on Aion, but it just seems there are way less classes then L2 wth?? Anyways, I probably jump in the beta like others say to see for myself. I'll probably just save up and wait for Lineage 3 in the future I assume haha thx though dude.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Nocturnal_Speed. Its like a 50/50 split between l2 and WoW. Literally, for everything I found that obviously came from l2, there was something that was blatantly from WoW. I think its safe to say if you enjoyed lineage 2, you will probably enjoy Aion.

insideinstead
insideinstead

I've been in the beta. It's a nice change if you're tired of WoW, but I doubt it's going to be very competitive with WoW in the NA market. The graphics are excellent, but Aion relies on GameGuard, which conflicts with a lot of common drivers/software. The interface is also awkward compared to WoW and isn't very customizable. It's fine for soloing but becomes clunky if you try healing in groups (for example). There's also a weird split between PvE (the first levels) and PvP (the rest of the game). Anyone thinking of buying this might want to get into the beta and make sure that their system works with GameGuard, especially gaming mice/keyboards. People have reported issues with Razer drivers and some anti-virus software (there are a lot of anti-GameGuard threads on the beta boards).

Nocturnal_Speed
Nocturnal_Speed

Hey guys, is it similar to Lineage 2?? the whole concept, world, pvp, trees or not nearly as big? I played L2 for quite sometime, but stopped due to college etc.. I plan on going back into MMO after I build a pc soon, but I don't wanna jump back into L2; try a fresh start. Any answers would be appreciated.

Ntdg1
Ntdg1

@Celeste You have a point and I had considered how one gets pigeon holed into certain talents at end game in WoW. But I also wanted to mention that some of the most fun I had in WoW during raids was debating with other members of my class the validity of certain talents. You always have that one raid member who SWEARS up and down a talent you see as useless has some merit. I suppose it was just the total absence of a talent tree that bothered me. Just shocked me that it wasn't there when I had become so accustomed to it through WoW and AoC. One thing I will say about Aion that was really cool was the flying. I think they got it right. Being able to hit a key and take off from standing is a really cool and liberating feeling. I haven't played a game yet that could emulate that experience.

invictuslemming
invictuslemming

I hope this game is more challenging than WoW, at least when you get to the top you can feel like you've accomplished something. Blizzard has been continuously making the game easier and easier over the past few years, taking away all challenges to the point where being in the instance is the only real skill required. At one point you had to know what you were doing to succeed, now as soon as a failure occurs people sprint for the forum and cry. WoW isn't what it used to be, thats for sure. As for the grind fest, if theres enough content leveling slowly isnt a bad thing, as long as its not kill 10,000 of monster A. Mix it up a bit and I wouldn't care if it takes 10x longer than WoW to get to the top. Because really, what do you do if you get to the top in WoW, start right over at the bottom again :P As a side note people are way too hard on MMOs at launch, if youre one of the old school WoW players youll remember that when the game started LBRS was the end game, UBRS was added in a patch, and the game WAS quite buggy in the beginning, its easy to draw comparisons against a game has been in the market for 5 years, but hard to remember what it originally was like when it first came out.

JrSlacker
JrSlacker

Was in the beta and it reminded me of RF Online, and couldn't get into it. The game is too cute, the combat is nothing out of the ordinary that you could find in any other MMO, the flying is over rated to be honest. Other then that it is a beautiful game, the background story is semi interesting, on the bright side of the cute things, nothing better then killing bunnies on steroids. Just another Korean MMO to be honest. (One thing I didn't understand was the purpose of some of the cinematics, they really felt unnecessary in a few places.)

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

@k0r3aN_pR1d3 I agree, if 1 hour per level is a grind fest, then wow is a grind fast. Once you pass 60, you're not getting 500k exp an hour to level. WoW is quick at the beginning but tapers off considerablly at the end. Even with the WotLK quests giving 10-20k exp each, you were still doing a max of about 12-15 quests per hours especially if they were kill X mob for Y item quests. Go play RO and experience a real grindfest ... getting to 99 was and is PITA ... then doing it again once you're transcended is a bigger PITA.

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

@Ntdg1 Even in WoW with 3 talent trees, there were always 3 specs and thats it. Its the same as pigeon holing someone into a specific class. Argue all you want about "flexibility" that WoW offers but that flexibility is quickly gone when you hit raiding. And its also gone when efficiency comes into play. The same thing happens all the time when games try to provide "variety" in terms of what you can do with your character. There always becomes the cookiecutter spec thats accepted and wanted by people. Being different only alienates you. I will agree with the grinding tho; however, i will disagree that casual gamers are turned off by grinds. Casual gamers are turned off by games that require a continual time sink. Even if there is a long grind, if the rewards happen often enough and you can grind solo for 30-60m then grinds become moot. The biggest drawback of hardcore grind games is more the length between levels and its dependancy on groups to get to the end.

Ntdg1
Ntdg1

I have been on the beta for a few months now and I really do enjoy the game. IMO it has some MAJOR faults that may hamper its long term success but I had a blast for awhile. A few big issues- it is a major grind, far more than WoW and the key to WoW's success was it's appeal to casual gamers. Nothing turns off the casual gamer more than a grind. Also, no rested EXP. See above for casual appeal. No talent trees/points. The real game breaker for me. You're telling me that not only are all of us going for the same gear but we have NO way to distinguish ourselves with multiple talent trees? NO THANKS. But like I said, it was fun while I played. The reasons above are why I will not be buying it this September.

sircyrus
sircyrus

It's not more meaningful to have done the same thing repeatedly for so many hours, with your only reward being a miniscule character increase and another many hours of grinding ahead of you. The game doesn't suck, but it comes extremely close. It's population will be a reasonable size once it launches, and within 3 months it will have shrunk dramatically. Grindfests don't fly in the North American market anymore. Not since Everquest.

k0r3aN_pR1d3
k0r3aN_pR1d3

lol at people calling 5-6 hours for 5 levels a grindfest. A real grindfest is 30+ hours for 1 level. Silly americans. Plus, when you level up after grinding for that long, it is all that more meaningful.

LightR
LightR

I think I'll wait for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I just don't want to get started then leave it when Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out.

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

@cfwin: so it took you an hour per level and you call that a grindfest? I call that pretty fast.

Plaidboy1
Plaidboy1

While I doubt this will be a WoW killer, I think I may want to try out this game. It looks fairly original in many ways and eveyrthing I hear about seems to indicate that it's a good game.

cfwin
cfwin

@Inconnux: It is a total grindfest. Have been playing some closed-beta, took 5-6 hours to lvl 19 - 24. Will not be buying...

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

I don't know about others but I'm really sick of the medieval theme in MMOs. I can't wait for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

BUCK3TM4N
BUCK3TM4N

ugh i want this but im to cheap to pay a subscription

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

ive been playing AION for a few weeks now. Its a blast even If I dont speak korean. I cant wait to see the launch size in the US. With this kind of revenue they can do a whole lot to the game. It has almost 5million users in Asia now and already 2mill preordered in the US and thats coming from statistics provided early July.

Lethargika
Lethargika

Its hard to believe that any MMO can survive while "The Big One" is still alive and kicking. It seems that if any other game has a chance, it's this one.

Inconnux
Inconnux

looks just like another generic mmo grindfest... hopefully the hardware requirements are decent and it is relatively bug free... if not expect it to be another 'flash in the pan' initial sales and to drop off drastically in the following months.