NCsoft Q1 profits jump 315%

Aion: Tower of Eternity lifts Korean publisher's quarterly earnings to $107.7 million, a 51 percent year-over-year rise.

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NCsoft's newest massively multiplayer online role-playing game is paying significant dividends for the South Korean publisher. Having launched Aion: Tower of Eternity in Korea late last year, the publisher said today that the supernatural-themed MMORPG helped push first-quarter revenues to KRW133.4 billion ($107.7 million), a substantial 51 percent leap over the same period a year ago.

Aion is soaring.
Aion is soaring.

Across the board, NCsoft saw its margins increase. Net profit for the period rocketed skyward 315 percent year-over-year to KRW33.5 billion ($27 million), and operating profit jumped 128 percent to KRW42.5 billion ($34.3 million). Breaking down sales figures by game, NCsoft said that Aion accounted for 34 percent of revenues, followed by Lineage II at 33 percent, Lineage at 23 percent, City of Heroes at 5 percent, and Guild Wars at 3 percent during the quarter.

"Aion has solidified its position as a new growth force without encroaching sales of the Lineage series," said NCsoft CFO Jaeho Lee in a statement. "Starting with its service in China in Q2, we are ready for a successful launch of this triple-A franchise in Japan, Taiwan, North America, and Europe within the second half of the year."

NCsoft went on to note that the sharp uptick in profits could be attributed to continued strong sales of Lineage and Lineage II.

One game that did not contribute to the publisher's quarter was Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, which was officially taken offline at the end of February. Last week, the game's titular designer filed a $24 million suit against NCsoft, charging the publisher with breach of contract and fraud in relation to his "involuntary" departure from the company in November.

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