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%.


Lineage: The Blood Pledge
City of Heroes
Lineage II

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.
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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