NCsoft Q2 2017 financials: Guild Wars 2 drops to new all-time low, Blade and Soul heads to console

Ready to take high Asian fantasy to your home console? You’d better because NCsoft recently announced that it is working on adapting Blade and Soul to such platforms. The video game developer and publisher didn’t specify which consoles, exactly, are due to get the full Blade and Soul treatment, but during its investor call this morning, it did reveal that this version would get the same updates as the PC edition and is being made in North America. Bringing Blade and Soul to consoles is only the start of a major initiative by NCsoft to bring more MMOs to that slice of the gaming market. Blade and Soul recently announced a round of server merges while rolling out a series of high-profile patches this summer and fall.

It also saw another drop in revenue for the quarter, along with all of the company’s other MMORPGs, including Lineage and Guild Wars 2, the latter of which saw its fifth straight quarter of dropping sales, marking its worst quarter ever. NCsoft doesn’t appear to be too worried, however, as it’s now reporting its mobile games division as an IP, where it’s making up those losses in large part because of Lineage M (which is likely where a lot of those missing Lineage 1 sales went).

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

142 Comments on "NCsoft Q2 2017 financials: Guild Wars 2 drops to new all-time low, Blade and Soul heads to console"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

to put this in context (the graphs are pretty shitty):

+ GW2 lost 2 billion won over one year

+ AION 7 billion

+ B&S 10 billion

+ Lineage II 2,5 billion

+ Lineage 61 billion

and dont forget all the other games listed are more popular in asia than in the west. GW2 is the only western mmo with a strong western and a very little asian playerbase.

the mmo market in asia is way bigger than in the west.

GW2 will spike to 28-30 billion again with PoF and then decline to 12-13 billion again before the next xpac. its a normal cycle for an b2p mmo.

Reader
Terren Bruce

This isn’t really a problem given we have an expansion coming out soon and mount skins will spike gem sales coming up. The real take away from this is how steady GW2 is doing compared to all of their other PC games. Everything else is all over the place, spiking and then dipping drastically, but GW2 has been fairly steady despite it’s last expansion being almost two years ago.

I’m not saying there isn’t any cause for concern but really given how HoT’s was received we already knew it was all up to PoF to turn things around with the wider MMO player base and the jury is still out on that.

It’s Q1 and Q2 of 2018 that I’m more interested in. Not this last quarter before the expansion announcement which you would sort of expect to be the lowest anyway.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

gw2’s numbers are now lower than when wildstar was last reported btw.

miol
Reader
miol

nope, below you can find some provided sources…

Reader
Mr_Planthead

Stop arguing about GW2!! I, like most of us, just want to know one thing, is Wildstar turning a corner and will it be making a profit soon??

miol
Reader
miol

Enough is enough! (click to enlarge)

NCSoft.png
deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

pretty sure this graph is incorrect as i distinctly remember wildstar being at 13+ the last time they reported it.

wildstar also launched in 2013 which that graph doesn’t show data for it that far back. it also doesn’t show wildstar’s upwards trends with f2p relaunch.

it also shows gw2’s peak as being lineage case which is simply not even remotely ever been the case in teh life time of gw2. lineage 1 has been a power house for ncsoft for a fair number of years now.

miol
Reader
miol

it also shows gw2’s peak as being lineage case which is simply not even remotely ever been the case in teh life time of gw2. lineage 1 has been a power house for ncsoft for a fair number of years now.

4Q12: GW2 earned 119 billion KRW compared to L1 with 65 billion KRW

But please, be my guest: http://global.ncsoft.com/global/ir/prfile.aspx?ID=FC9870E1-B7D6-4FB5-88BD-BC624943769A

I know we aren’t on the best of terms, but there is no need to overlook the numbers! :(

ice_screenshot_20170826-014808.jpg
miol
Reader
miol

pretty sure this graph is incorrect as i distinctly remember wildstar being at 13+ the last time they reported it. … it also doesn’t show wildstar’s upwards trends with f2p relaunch.

…instead of looking it up first, through the link provided by this article! :/

Just open the pdf of the right quarter: http://global.ncsoft.com/global/ir/quarterly.aspx

You can see the uptick in my above gragh, if you click on the image to enlarge, as previously recommended, but compared to the other games in this scale it’s barely noticeable.

Since f2p launch was end of September 2015, here are the numbers from 3Q15 to 4Q15: 1.727 billion KRW >> 2.668 billion KRW, compared to B&S for instance: 24.919 billion KRW >> 32.414 billion KRW in the same period of time has a factor of ~10

wildstar also launched in 2013 which that graph doesn’t show data

Again, not looking up first! :/

Launch was June 2014!

http://massivelyop.com/tag/wildstar/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WildStar_(video_game)

ice_screenshot_20170826-013923.jpg
miol
Reader
miol

Or if you prefer bars and only for the last 5 quarters, like NCsoft:

NCSoft2.png
Reader
Sally Bowls

1) Whether $13M is good or bad is determined by ANet’s expenses which I don’t know. If there are 50 people in Anet, that is good. If there are 500 people, oops/bye. A quick glance seems that labor is about 20% of revenue at NCSoft so $55M a year could support idk a hundredish devs?

2) NCSoft is committed to the West. The chairman’s wife and children moved here to run and try to turn around NCWest. They quickly grew Iron Tiger Studios to over 150 people. “NCSoft West is also working on building better Westernizations of its existing Korean games” “NCSOFT’s first mobile game for the West (Aion: Legions of War)” “The company’s newest franchise, a multiplayer online battle-arena game called Master X Master, is currently under development by NCSoft’s lead studio in Seoul but will make its global debut in North America later this year. “It’s U.S. first, developed in Korea, with all our feedback from the Western regions,” Yoon says.” This does not mean NCWest is allocating resources in a way you approve of, but it is getting a lot of resources.

3) “Disappointing” has nothing to do with absolutes and everything to do with expectations. If people expect you to lose a billion and you lose 900M your stock goes up. Expect you to make a bil and make 900M and your stock declines. So if NCSoft execs and/or stock analysts were expecting 12, this is good news from GW2. Expecting 14 would make this disappointing.

4) FYI: Scope: Roughly, market capitalization NCSoft is worth US$B 7. In the last quarter, Activision-Blizzard’s market cap increased by that amount. Ten cent is worth fifty times that and paid 8.6 for the 180-person mobile dev SuperCell.

Reader
Duane Does not check email

feels like a good time to throw another product under the bus

Reader
Sally Bowls

GW2 is too valuable to throw under the bus. The analogy from business is milking the cash cow

Cash Cow – a business unit that has a large market share in a mature, slow growing industry. Cash cows require little investment and generate cash that can be used to invest in other business units.

BCGMatrix.png
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Bhima Jenkins

And here you have it folks, the absolute reason why so many new games are moving to casino-style cash shops to exploit our flawed psychology, because it pays. GW2, whether you like the game or not gives IMMENSE value to the player. It is probably the best bang-for-buck MMO in the market right now, by a great margin. Of course, the problem with that is, its sales numbers won’t ever look that spectacular, because once you buy the box, you have no need to buy anything in the cash shop. Compound that with a cash shop that offers very little in terms of interesting things to buy, and you have these numbers.

The moral of the story is clearly, design more gates in your content to push to buy RNG-based lockbox crap if you want your sales numbers to look good. I hope this trend dies a horrible, fiery death, but its the reality right now.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Its sales numbers were great during vanilla, your post is inaccurate. GW2’s revenue problems have more to due with HoT’s very “meh” reception, followed by issues with supporting the game post-launch and a lack of compelling store content.

The cash shop lacking compelling purchases has been an issue for years, but it’s just hitting harder now that they’ve got a smaller and smaller playerbase that’s playing and spending money less frequently with this new release schedule.

Reader
Sally Bowls

Except NCSoft announced a while ago that most of GW2’s revenue comes from the cash shop. GW2, like most other MMOs, can’t exist without a vibrant cash shop.

Reader
rafterman

Sally is right, GW2 lives off of it’s cash shop, just like every other F2P game. People buy outfits, bag slots, bank slots, harvesting tools, BL keys, etc. all the time from their store. I don’t know if you just haven’t been paying attention, but there are plenty of things on GW2’s cash shop that people want to buy, it’s really no different than any other F2P game in that regard.

In truth, the “absolute” reason why GW2 is in decline has nothing to do with its poor cash shop or no monthly fee, it’s because the game hasn’t been all that interesting for quite a while, and HoT was an absolute clusterfuck for all but the most diehard fans of the game.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

It’s here folks. Here’s the solid proof that NCSoft could use to justify pouring all resources creating new mobile games, and you can’t refute the hard numbers with the nonsensical “mobile games are saturated” bullshit :D

Reader
Sally Bowls

They haven’t needed justification in quite some time. Back in 2015, NCSoft said in an earnings conference call they were reducing PC devs to be able to focus more on mobile.

From Forbes “NCSoft Goes West: How The Korean Video Game Giant Is Translating Success”

In May 2015, Yoon launched Iron Tiger Studios, a new mobile-gaming division, based in San Mateo, California. NCSoft had only dabbled in mobile games before. The company’s main products were games that were huge, complex and expensive to make, a far cry from the small and inexpensive games that dominate the mobile market.

It’s a risky strategy. Plenty of game companies in the U.S. have tried and failed to translate their products to the mobile market. But mobile is also an “untapped frontier with fewer built-in biases,” says Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities. “I think that some of their properties will work better in the West on mobile.”

Americans also like being heroes, she says, and are more likely to play solo.

Lineage M launched in June and its sales for the day of July 1 were US$11.3M which is nearly GW2’s quarterly revenue.

Reader
Dystopiq

So GW2 made $12,023,161.02 in Q2 17. That’s not too bad.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I believe they’re roughly to half of what they were making during their yearlong content drought before HoT.

To put that number in context.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

It’s the 2nd newest game on that chart and makes the 2nd lowest sales among all their games. I consider it disappointing.

kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

lol. its the only western based mmo from NCsoft (dont speaking about W*), all the others are asian based mmos and the mmo market in asia is WAY bigger than in the west.

Reader
Dystopiq

It only operates in 3 regions. Compared to other to games which operate in more.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Compared to my salary, yeah, not too bad at all. Its actually freaking amazing :P

Compared to past years, and compared to other games though, its actually something to be concerned about.

Reader
Arktouros

I quit playing GW2 because I got tired of constantly having my character rebalanced and messed with for game modes I don’t even play. No one is going to enjoy feeling weaker because their character is considered OP in some other game mode. More importantly OP compared to what? There’s no fractal/dungeon/raid leaderboards. Who honestly cares if characters feel and are strong? Whole situation just became frustrating and I don’t have time for frustration.

We’ll see how they handle this expansion and what they’re about. I like the shift back to living story we saw last year and this one. I like some of the expansion of the WvW systems. Just not quite convinced they’re done mucking with balance but so far the seemingly strong new specializations look promising.

Reader
Bryan Turner

They have started splitting skills between game modes to help prevent that from happening. So other than an arbitrary Leaders Board for measurement comparisons (which WoW doesn’t even have) what’s holding you back now that your concerns are no longer relevant?

Reader
Arktouros

You’re like literally everything wrong wrapped up in a comment package.

First of all, they’re splitting the skills between game modes like SPvP and WvW but not subdividing game modes like PvE such as Fractals/Raids. So when my class gets nerfed because it’s “over performing” in a raid environment nothing is going to be different.

Second of all, my entire point was that there isn’t some sort of leaderboard not some sort of arbitrary request for one. If there’s no leaderboard, then there’s no competition. If there’s no competition, then what does over performing even mean in an environment where there’s no competition?

Reader
draugris

There are only Skill Splits between SPvP and PvE, and only on some Skills. WvW is considered PvE by Arenanet and one of the reasons why almost any competitive WvW Players / Guilds left.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I still have no clue why they don’t split abilities into PvE/PvP functionality. Didn’t they do that in GW1? Didn’t GW2 initially do that? >.>

I must have totally missed when this changed, but it just makes no sense whatsoever to me that a game that’s “supposed” to treat both halves (PvP and PvE) of the game equally isn’t giving the devs the tools to tune them without potentially screwing players who play the other side of things.

Reader
Arktouros

They 100% did in GW1 and it (along with EverQuest 2) were some of my favorite PvP games for it because PvP was balanced for PvP and PvE was balanced for PvE.

For GW2 there was the mission statement early on that they wanted a character to always feel the same regardless of game mode you go play. So if the effect of skill X in SPvP was 3 seconds long then you can rely on it lasting 3 seconds in all game modes. Even then, there was always some level of split among various game modes such as many Elementalist heals were reduced (repeatedly) in SPvP compared to other game modes.

The problem with class balance now in GW2 is there’s multiple levels of PvE. Raid Balance. Fractal Balance. Open world Balance. So while they hack away at balancing characters for raiding, you get weaker in environments like Fractals or Open world content. The argument then usually tends to go that this is unimportant but since they also don’t separate WvW and PvE most of the time any changes there in also end up affecting the other.

So as much as they’ve said they will start doing these things better, there’s still a lot to untangle with the current mess of a system they have.

Siphaed
Reader
Siphaed
Reader
TomTurtle

Oh god, PvE/PvP skill balance is such a frustration in MMOs. It’s kind of even more of a headache in GW2 since technically it’s PvE/WvW/sPvP skill balance.

From what we’ve heard from the developers, they will only tune numbers per gamemode but they want to avoid changing skill functionality enough so that it’d behave too differently. ArenaNet has improved on splitting the balance as of late at the very least so there’s some good there.

Supposedly we’re getting the big pre-expansion balance patch tomorrow so we’ll see what that brings.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Yeah, I get not wanting to change how abilities function, but base damage/modifiers etc. should all be easy nobs to turn in the respective modes, same goes for certain stats etc.

Curious to see what the balance patch brings, I still need to play through the last two episodes of this chapter of living story, so maybe it will be a good test for the changes.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Looking at GW2…as much as I think Anet has done a good job since they started the LS back up, I think it’s pretty clear that this isn’t working for them/the game. HoT was a massive gut punch to its earnings (not too much of a bump for an expansion release followed by earnings that were lower than they were during its long content drought of before HoT) and nothing they’ve really done since it launch has changed that.

Given the reactions I’ve seen to PoF, which trend positive but are still largely neutral, they’re going to have an uphill battle selling the expansion in greater quantities than HoT IMO. And if they can’t figure out how to get the store stocked with stuff people actually want to buy, and figure out a content release schedule that’s keeping folks engaged, playing, and spending (quarterly doesn’t seem to be working at all for them, which isn’t surprising) they’re just going to see continued declines throughout PoF.

This is the continuation of a long, bad trend for GW2’s revenue. Not a great way to head into the next expansions launch : /

Edit: B&S will probably do alright on consoles. Probably not the best thematic fit for Western console audiences (though hey, JRPG’s are hype as shit this gen and selling well) but likely will perform well. Makes me wonder what other titles they’re considering, I know GW2 has been considered for a port for a while but other than that…MxM? I can’t see Lineage 1/2 or Aion making the jump. At least not without massive amounts of work overhauling the games.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Living Story has been a horrible method for keeping sales high. It caters waaaaaay to much to just the existing players, and not new, or even ex-players (who could come back). The whole mindset of originally making it a “Be here or lose out” thing was just so completely obtuse.

Even now, with the ability to allow people to go back and play old chapters is still not smooth and accessible to new and returning players. Requiring either 1. a purchase of some sort (either with gold or real money), or 2. having another person who owns them, play through the content with you.

No matter how you look at it, its not a door wide open system, and the only people who are getting anything out of it, are those who have ALREADY given their money to Anet,. IE: They arent making any more money off it.

Any other mmorpg, someone can jump in as a new player, or returning player, and play past content without any speed bumps or hitches getting in the way.

More importantly, in most other mmorpgs, you dont feel like you are missing out on a ton by NOT playing through past content. With GW2, I feel like im so far behind with the story, that I feel like im not going to enjoy Path of Fire much because the last Living Story I experienced was a few months into Season 1.

Reader
Emperor Caligula

This. I just felt I had no idea what was going on, after trying to come back to GW2. That so drove me off.

Reader
Terren Bruce

The inconsistent story from the personal story, the missing living world season 1, ect is a huge problem for the game. I’m not sure what they can do about it, but if they are one of the “other properties moving to console” they’ll really have to find a way to fix it. It’s too awkward to “launch” a game like that.

It may be time to create an alternate start and introductory story to the game that bypasses all that.

Reader
Mattia Belletti

Let’s look at how much (in percentage) each game has lost:

Lineage: 34%
Lineage 2: 9%
Aion: 19%
Blade & Souls: 12%
Guild Wars 2: 5%

I’ve put the worst offender and best performer in bolds. Now it looks a bit different.

I haven’t given a look at the pixels, but it seems to me that the GW2 graph is the only with a seriously wrong proportion.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

A game like Lineage has been around since 1998, far older than even WoW. That’s pretty phenomenal numbers vs today’s games like Guild Wars 2. No one expects a 20 year old video game to be doing anywhere near that well. At this point, Lineage is OVER-performing even with a 34% loss.

On the contrary GW2, a game that is five years old (launch 2012), has been steadily losing players since launch and according to that chart, has never improved once since 2016.

Losing 5% on a fairly (by today’s standards) brand new game is highly alarming; mainly because content needed to be produced for GW2 costs far more than content to be produced for something like Lineage.

Reader
Dave

How can you tell GW2 is “losing” players? There is no subscription model. The Core game is Free to Play with HoT and PoF expansions being paid upgrades. Once you buy you don’t have to spend more money if you don’t want to. Those numbers only show sales, so the steady income of a sub fee that you see with WoW, Lineage, etc is not going to show up. All you see are combined expansion purchases and gem store revenue (and gems can be bought with Gold as well, not just real money).

There’s also no way to tell how many players log in daily. I can definitely tell you as a daily player that the amount of players online seems to have shot up significantly since the expansion announcement. I say “seems” as only ArenaNet/NCSoft know how many players login daily.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

I guess I base it on sales. If sales are down, that usually means no (or fewer) new players are playing vs how many have played in the past.

I know I bought GW2 and played for about a year and haven’t touched it since. Now I can log in tomorrow and play for a week, and you will count me as one of those many who have ‘shot up significantly’ but in reality, that doesn’t mean that actually happened.

When your sales are dropping consistently, that isn’t a good thing.

Occasional player activity does not necessarily equal income or interest.

Line
Reader
Line

Lineage saw a massive surge in revenue only a few years ago… when they added extremely predatory cash shop mechanics, and it suddenly exploded.

Now that they’re going back on that the game is crashing, and the new mobile game exploiting as much as possible out of its players is flourishing.
Age is completely irrelevant.
WoW is also old, but was a big success with Legion, after failing for years.
You need a name, and/or to rip off your players. That’s where the money is.

Losing a bit of steam years after an expansion is just normal, especially when everything else is doing worse.
On an interesting note, Stormblood didn’t reach the highs of Heavensward either.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

lineage exploded again in korea well before they changed it’s revenue model there.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

except legion doesnt really exploit players. It just offers a shitload of content for a sub fee.

Lack of sub fees is what leads to predatory practices, cuz without one, you need some way to ensure content keeps getting bought

Line
Reader
Line

Oh yeah, “and/or” I said, a name is faaar bigger than anything else.
The sub still comes with a ton of cash shop items and services, though.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

welcome to massaging the numbers because your bread and butter with investors is Lineage, not the stupid americans.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah. To be clear, these are NCsoft’s graphs from its own presentation. I really don’t get why they are making GW2 look so much worse QOQ this year than it really is.

Now, when you consider that GW2 has lost almost two-thirds of its sales by quarter since HOT, it’s still something to worry about.

Reader
Sally Bowls

I am missing the point here. What graph/bar are we talking about?

dixa
Reader
dixa

It’s not hard to figure out. NcSoft has a track record of favoring its native games over western developed games in the past, especially when their western property remains more profitable or has less player turnover. The company appears to be ramping up an early campaign of painting their remaining western property in a bad light to investors in case the new expansion isn’t gangbusters. They NcSoft can give it the CoH treatment and with a little sleight of hand their investors won’t know any better

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

wut?

gw2 is performing about the same this quarter as wildstar was the last time numbers were posted for that game.

Reader
Anastasis Kontostergios

I noticed that too, someone is seriously bad at making graphs or doesnt like GW2 at all…

Reader
Nathan Aldana

My personal guess its its intentional because as a korean company that deals largely in the korean market, looking bad in sales in a home country focused game hurts their image a lot more than throwing GW2 to the wolves like they did CoH

Reader
Mikey's Bored

To be fair, GW2 hasn’t really had anything to sell since the last expansion, and as others have stated, many of their outfits are not must-have’s like in some other games. I really doubt it has anything to do with lacking a trinity system, nobody really complains about that in the game, and it makes the game much more accessible. The sales will spike up after the new expansion, and slowly trickle down again until the next one unless they improve the design of the outfits they put up, and possibly provide a variety of other things people actually want in the shop. Also, I’m pretty sure the new mounts will have skins they can sell in the shop, and I’m sure that will generate a lot of sales. Lastly, it’s approaching 5 years of age, and the game has sustained itself as a supremely popular game in the way of a very active, constantly growing player base. They need to improve what they offer to sell, at this point that’s all I can really think of that will actually stop the dips between expansions.

Reader
TomTurtle

I really think they’re heavily relying on the expansion model for income because even the gem store options have suffered some in their focus to get the expansion out. For the longest time they didn’t offer any new character customization options through makeover kits until recently and even that was only for one race.
Like many MMO developers, ArenaNet has been holding off on addressing things because of its upcoming expansion. Not to say they haven’t gotten better with incremental updates to various game modes and systems, but there’s still a feeling of having to wait for the expansion to get some much needed changes.
Like you said, it doesn’t hurt that they’re introducing a feature that can easily tie into the gem store. I have to wonder how well mount customization will do though. When they introduced gliders, I got one glider skin so I wouldn’t have to look at the base ugly skin and that was it. I didn’t feel compelled enough to grab another glider skin from then on. (It didn’t help that many of the glider skins haven’t appealed to me.)

Line
Reader
Line

I wonder if they’ll add mount customisation in the cash shop. Something akin to auras and mount outfits?
They’re already dye-able, so that’s a big chunk of the mount collection gone unlike other games.

I’d like to add trinkets and baubles to my glider, instead of replacing it for that hideous Abaddon one…

Reader
TomTurtle

That’s one of the ongoing theories: mounts will have custom armors and such. I’d be surprised if they go beyond that and make custom creature skins, such as making a horse model for the raptor.

When directly asked about gem store stuff and mounts, so far the developers have avoided talking about specifics.

Chris_P_Bacon
Reader
Chris_P_Bacon

I’d imagine them making new skins that fit the existing mount skeletons, like using the jackel skeleton to make a mistfire wolf mount. Perhaps even taking old creature skeletons and making mounts out of them, like a hound of Balthazar mount, perhaps. I don’t think we’ll see anything 100% new like a horse, but there’s still a lot of potential there.

Reader
blah blazh

The reality is that GW2 doesn’t have a reliable and consistent monetization scheme. One, their cash shop doesn’t really provide any must have items to purchase, and two, even if they did have attractive items you can just buy them with in game gold. So the bulk of their revenue is from big buy items such as expansions.

Reader
Nater

Honestly, I was quite happy to throw money at GW1 for costumes as I knew they needed the money to keep going. There was no monthly fee and I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted in the game. It was hardly ever down in the beginning stages and never down about three years on to the release and subsequent exodus to GW2. I never felt that there was a lack of content because there was just so much to do.

Now, there’s a serious content drought. I feel like the only reason they put raids in the game was to combat the drought. There’s something seriously wrong with the current cash shop as well. This whole thing of converting gems to cash and gold to gems and gems to gold, I just can’t be bothered. I liked having a flat rate cost and only a few items on the GW1 store to buy, no conversion necessary. Look at the cash shop in GW2. There’s way too much stuff in it and it’s a mess!

Little ranty, all very opinionated. I don’t know. I really hope they can turn it around. I have been playing Guild Wars since 2005. I mean. Come on! It was such a safe game to return to when I got bored with all the other MMO’s that were out and active at the time.

Reader
blah blazh

I don’t think there is a content drought but to each their own

Reader
TomTurtle

That’s a good point you brought up about the messiness of the gem store. They somewhat improved the UI recently, but I know it can still be confusing. I imagine that frustration can hurt sales somewhat, especially when people have issues realizing there’s new stuff to buy, which is an actual problem I saw recently.

Line
Reader
Line

Buying gems with gold still brings money (from other people).

But they certainly need to take a good hard look at their cash shop, because shitty outfits and complete garbage convenience items is not exactly a good recipe.
Mounts will help, but there’s more than that to be done.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

I think one good idea, especially if they weant to tour elite specs so much as “new classes” is think about putting levelkboost potions in the shop. The fact as someone whio doesnt play regularly, if I say, see a cool new elite spec for a class I dont have levelled, well, theres this huge wall in my way of being excited for that class.

Line
Reader
Line

Problem being… you have XP boosters in the shop.
But if you play the game, you already have several characters worth of instant max level.

Almost everything in the cash shop can be found as a far superior version, for free.
Except the salvage-o-matic I guess.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

and if you dont play the game often , like me, you absolutely do not have several characters worth of free exp.

I have a grand total of 3 levelup scrolls to my name, I can take a new character to level 4.

Joy.

My point, was that to a completely new player, elite specs are goddamn meaningless because theyre so far afield from your current levelling progress that they may as wlel not exist as features to entice you to buy an expac.

Line
Reader
Line

But will new players bring more money than the very invested ones spending gold for gems?
Probably not.

And good thing for you, the expansion comes with a level max boost.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

yes. for one class.

thweres still 6 classes that if I wanna try an elite spec for, im looking at grinding 80 levels.

Reader
George Sweatman

If you aren’t playing enough to have those classes at 80 or the Tomes to get them there, you aren’t playing enough to get the hundreds of extra skill points needed to play the PoF specs anyway.

Assuming they follow the same formula HoT did.

borghive
Reader
borghive

I think this is a reflection of the overall market really, the themepark MMO landscape is flooded with games now. I also think people are tired of playing these games now, a lot of the themepark MMOs are having population issues currently.

velimirius
Reader
velimirius

Well GW2 has no1 else to blame but itself, how game can thrive when devs themselves have no idea what to do, made mess with no holy trinity system but designed content for it resulting in abandoning dungeons, making more jumping puzzles instead, abandoning wvw but making an esport out of spvp lol

But hey, lets make raids as well, fail… But hey we can give them mounts next, that might make ppl happy. lol ok

Just unbelievable that the same studio made GW1 and that went full ****** for sequel.

Reader
Bryan Turner

You’re absolutely right with clear defined teams releasing content like clock work including a massive overhaul to WvWvW these guys surely have no idea what they’re doing.

Yeah that was sarcasm, sorry if the facts are inconvenient to your perception.

Reader
Bruno Brito

You call that a overhaul?

Your whiteknighting got to brainwashing levels, my friend.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Boy, you’re the best PR GW could ever have for how accepting and friendly their community is.

That was also sarcasm

Reader
Bryan Turner

I’m only here to refute liars, odds are pretty strong none of you give a damn about GW2 and only seek to harm it while ruining it for any one that actually plays the game; the important thing is for the truth to be made available for any one that doesn’t comment that may still be undecided.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Your “truth” is a whitewashed, pie in the sky dream thats just as misleading as any of the “lies” criticis of the game are saying. That doeant make GW2 a bad game, I consider it a rather good game., it makes GW2 a game with flaws, sometimes glaring flaws, that need to be addressed , same as my own favorite MMos have their own glaring flaws and I do those games no service by pretending they don;t exist.

You’re just deciding that anyone and everyone who doesnt worship arenanet is some sort of malicious evildoer and not a person with potentially valid opinions because thats easier for you.

Stop acting like a 5 year old who got told Sailor Moon is stronger than Goku.

borghive
Reader
borghive

I think the lack of trinity is what is hurting this game, sure it has it’s loyal followers that champion the no trinity, but it the long run, the bulk of themepark MMO players like having the trinity.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Nah. The problem isnt the lack of trinity so much as how hard it is to explain the combat systems depths to newbies. GW2 works fine, but new player who hasnt had years to refine their build is goiing to see even the first dungeon as daunting as hell because of how many traits and tweaks you have to unlock to build something workable.

Reader
TomTurtle

New player experience in general is a problem with GW2. Many systems are not explained well enough, if at all. And that doesn’t just apply to what you first encounter when starting up but also to systems at the endgame as well.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Yep. The game is I think, best compared to Dungeons and Dragons Online. A blast once you understand what youre doing, but before that point you’re going to think you;re doing great, hit your first piece of content with any challenge in and and proceed to die repeatedly in what will feel like completely unfair ways

Reader
David Spake

This. I brought a dozen experienced DDO players over to GW2 when it released, and I’ll never forget that first dungeon we rolled through. 3 hours and still never completed. Those experienced group players turned their back in utter frustration and never returned (the guild roster is empty). To this day, I’ve never done another dungeon and have mostly left the game. Making content tough? Sure, great, more power to the Devs. That level of petty, nit-picky ridiculousness? Never.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Lmao you mean the same 5 Mans we curb stomp as a diversion from Fractals, even the first two tiers of Fractals are face roll easy; not sure what game you folks were playing.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

The ones where half the mobs are silver or higher grade, require debuffs and use of fields and blast finishers which are never clearly explained by the game and half the groups players just wanna bumrush past everything via stealth mechanics newbies might not understand causing massive aggro pulls and everyone dying., or where the dungeons never clearly label which path is which difficulty.

Or where “vet” players with fully geared out fractal builds come by to tell us how shit we are for not being as gloriously powerful as they are because thatll get new players to sign up

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

They need a new IP, something hot that all the kids like.

Maybe they could get into the superhero genre?

>.>

Reader
A Dad Supreme

They need a new IP, something hot that all the kids like.”
===
All the kids like MOBAs and Overwatch-type things. They are already doing that. It’s not IPs; it’s types of gameplay that is selling.

Line
Reader
Line

I know it’s about CoH and all, but superhero sub-genre in an abomination from a market perspective.
Nobody gives a shit about them outside of the US.

They like Marvel movies (especially China), but not other products.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

It has always been interesting seeing how the best known comics from the US are about superheroes, while the best known comics from just about everywhere else avoid superheroes. There’s been a small change recently with two superheroes manga doing really well (One Punch Man and My Hero Academy) but those focus on aspects of superhero stories that are seldom approached in the US.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

and we know NCsoft doesnt give the slightest shit about the US

Reader
Sray

GW2 abandoned their open to everyone design, adopted the cookie cutter “raid or GTFO” design, and their players chose option two. Now their problem is that they can’t just flat out drop that and return the original plans because the the whiplash will drive away the faithful. This next expansion is going to have walk a very thin line with no room for errors if they want to reverse the trend.

Reader
TomTurtle

That the game has become raid or die is a perception problem. As someone who solos in GW2 and doesn’t even bother with raids at all, the game has absolutely not become raid or die. Unfortunately that stint during the content drought where a raid came out without much else has colored people’s perception of what the game is about.

ArenaNet bungled on that, among other things since HoT, and that’s something they need to recover from. I don’t know how they could manage that though I am hoping that the expansion restores the game’s credibility after what HoT did to many players’ enjoyment of the game. Like you said, they need to get it right.

Reader
Annoyed badger

Its not why I stopped playing, that was down to a protest against lockbox RNG hell that Anet went into. But I dislike they even went the raid route.

GW2 was supposed to be about open world content, not instanced raids. If somethign happens, it should happen in the open world. That was the key selling point of the game for me. And thats gone.

Reader
Terren Bruce

In the last year there has been 6 open world patches and only 1 raid patch. The only reason that it seemed raid focused after HoT’s launch was because the raid team was already formed pre-HoT’s launch. The Living World teams were all put on the expansion and it took ANet time to reformat the entire company to the current team setup.

In the current setup that they seem very happy with there is a raid team, a fractal team, a sPvP team, a WvW team, and then the main bulk of the company is part of the Living World team or the Expansion team. The Living World team is split into three different teams. This setup means that every 2-3 months a living world episode comes out (usually closer to 2 months). This setup is also why the expansion is coming so close after the season finale and why the start of Season 4 will be 2-3 months after the expansion’s launch.

Every 2-3 months new open world content comes out. Whenever the other teams have something for us we get a new raid, fractal, or SPvP or WvW thing. But it’s the open world stuff that is the main focus because that’s what we get on a constant basis.

The open world has never been more supported that it is now even while the other game modes are getting some support as well.

Reader
TomTurtle

On some level, I still loathe that raids became a thing in GW2. I really dislike what kind of community raids bring to an MMO.

I don’t feel that open world content has been abandoned. It’s still a strong focus in the game. This past season of the living world gave us six new maps and the expansion is said to bring five maps that are cumulatively larger than those six AND HoT’s maps.

If you just dislike the existence of raids at all, that’s fine, but the open world content is certainly not gone.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah, definitely not raid or die. Maybe raid or miss out. Raid or struggle more everywhere else. But still a huge perception and powercreep problem Anet needs to correct.

Reader
TomTurtle

Struggle more how? Are you talking about legendary armor? If so, that is the same stat allocation as ascended armor. I could somewhat see if you meant the stat and rune-swapping functionality but that really is more about convenience than powercreep, similar to legendary weapons.

Even that’s being lessened for PvPers as nearly equivalent legendary armor is being added to WvW and sPVP tomorrow, minus the skins. (Though I’d totally also love a non-raiding PvE equivalent, but I’d probably be burned at the stake for suggesting that. /sigh)

Reader
Sray

Whether it’s true or not in the strictest sense doesn’t really matter. The fact is that by bringing in raiding and its associated forced reliance on other players (as opppsed to encouraging grouping), that brought the “check the gear score/must know the fights/gamez iz serious biznez” mentalities, they effectively did introduce “raid or die” to the game.

Reader
Nater

Raiding in GW2 is very non-traditional though. The elitist mindset of being focused on GS and content completion and things like that is lost on this game. I do see a slight trend in forums and on reddit about knowing the fights and raids and all that, but that’s also why GW2 is seeing that slow decline in it’s playerbase. There are honestly very low requirements to get into raiding. And if you coupled them to WoW which has a serious raiding scene, it’s quite laughable the differences.

Reader
TomTurtle

That mentality is not new to GW2 as it’s been happening since the beginning back when dungeons were still relevant. I’d say it’s more that ArenaNet made it more problematic by subsequently emphasizing it even more with raiding, intentionally or not.

It’s not so much an introduction as it is fanning the flames even more.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

The dungeons were doable by a small group of friends that just happened to be online at the same time. Raids aren’t really, both because they are tuned harder (and, thus, are not accommodating to groups that favor friendship above skill) and because the required number of players makes unscheduled runs far harder to pull off.

So, in effect a line has been crossed.

I, for my part, doubt I will ever again do any scheduled run in a MMO. I schedule real world activities, while I expect games to be available for whichever chunks of time I have left.

Reader
TomTurtle

Tangentially, that scheduling issue is a problem HoT brought with open world content. It’s been alleviated to a degree, though not enough in my opinion.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

It wasn’t nearly as large a problem with open world events because while you sometimes needed an organized group taking part to have a good chance of success, you didn’t need to be a part of that group to do the content and get the rewards. Yeah, it would have been better if your random group of players converging to the event could beat it, but at least those of us that either dislike joining an organized group or aren’t able to keep up with the scheduling weren’t locked out.

Instanced raids remove that. An organized group does them, and no one else gets to see that content run or share in the rewards. So either you join an organized raiding group or you simply don’t do the content.

borghive
Reader
borghive

I think what you are seeing is just tough competition in the market, I really don’t think those changes had that much impact.

Reader
Sray

Tough competition to be the same cookie cutter game? The vast majority of complaints I saw about GW2 post HoT were in regards to rhe pivot to being the same “raid or get out” design that virtually every other MMORPG does, minus the trinity class design that makes that workable.

There are so many cookie cutter MMORPGs out there doing the four Rs (raid, ranked, roll an alt, or run away) that GW2 had carved out a niche as being something at least marginally different. Doing the same old thing as everyone else absolutely harms them in an overcrowded market.

Reader
Terren Bruce

I don’t really get that. I came to GW2 because I’m not a raider and I was tired of playing games catering to them and I don’t feel that GW2 is catering to raiders. I feel I have more to do now as an open world and story player than I did back during Season 1 and 2 when we didn’t have raiding at all.

Yes we have raids. No it isn’t a “raid or die” game. Not even close. I challenge anyone here to name me a theme park MMO that is less raider centric.

Chris_P_Bacon
Reader
Chris_P_Bacon

I agree there. Raids are treated as another thing to do, not THE thing to do. It’s one thing among many, as opposed to WoW, where it feels like almost every piece of content that isn’t PVP is designed to funnel players into raiding.

sauldo
Reader
sauldo

Seconding this. In terms of the importance they hold in the endgame, raids in GW2 are as optional as the elite missions were in GW (Urgoz, FoW, etc.). With a caveat, however: the story bits given by the raids are not as anecdotal as some make it out to be.
That was particularly obvious with the latest installment of the Living story (the existence of the Eye of Jhantir was first revealed in the Bastion of the Penitent raid) but there’s no denying that, up to this point, all existing raids in GW2 were tied to the ongoing story (the white mantle rise leading up to Lazarus’ resurrection in Forsaken thicket), making them much less optional if you’re interested in the story.
Even though I had the chance to experience that content with my static group, I still think Anet’s refusal to implement an easier version of the raids was a mistake as it contributed to reinforce even more the (arguably flawed) perception that the game went raid-or-die.

Reader
Eliandal

Lineages popularity is still a shock. GW2..not so much, unfortunately, “feels” are worth a lot in the gaming industry, and for a long time, Anet seemed willing to toss entire subsets of their population under the bus. This expansion needs to be right and not another HoT to draw us back in (It’s still going to show a nice bump for the quarter it gets reported in though :D)

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

For me after reading how mounts work i will be passing on the new expansion. Think Hot mushroom hopping and gliding. This is how mounts will work.

Reader
Bryan Turner

That’s the only deal breaker, seriously; I mean I’m still pissed off about no easy version of Raids but even I didn’t use that as an be all end all line in the sand when you look at the whole game as a gestalt.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Not from any lack of spending on my part, the amount I spend on gems monthly could easily cover half a dozen subscriptions.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Hah! Still worries me that the seasons don’t seem to be holding people over time.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

I mean. heres the problem with seasons for me as as casual who pops in and out of GW2. I wanna play the whole story in order. I havent even started my copy of HoT because I keep stalling on LW season 2. I like the idea of living world, but the fact that I have so much ground to cover just to catch up is kind of daunting when all I want is to experience the plot, not so much all the side content till after I clear the story?

Reader
Bryan Turner

The side content is directly tied to the plot.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

thats true in all games, sure. But that doesnt mean I wanna spend 3 days grinding repeateable hearts so I can unlock enough masteries to continue the supposedly super-urgent plot.

Reader
Terren Bruce

Well it’s a lot quicker than catching up on FFXIV’s story. ;)

And less mind numbing than catching up on SWTOR’s story.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

To get to the new seasons I would have to purchase HoT.

I flat out refuse to spend money on an expansion that paints us players that don’t want to raid as second class citizens. More so because one of the main reasons I even started playing GW2 was due to it not having traditional raids.

Reader
Nater

I would LOVE them to do a revamp like FFXIV and SWL. I’d like more traditional quests, missions and dungeons. No utility skills and less of a focus on temp content such as Living World. Also the skill/attributes system could use a lot of work. Oh well. Here’s hoping it gets worked out.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

What MMORPG do you play that doesn’t treat non-raiders that way? Serious question. Maybe this should be a daily grind too.

Reader
Sally Bowls

/StillSalty The press release, but not the released software, for the latest SWTOR expansion didn’t treat non-raiders that way.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Pre-HoT GW2 was that way, you never needed an organized large group to get anything, even if it helped.

GW1 (after Heroes and Henchmen were added) allows players to do all group content, including its large group content, in as small a group as they want, including solo if the player so desires.

Trove doesn’t require organized large groups, you can do most things solo or with small groups, even PUGs.

My issue with HoT isn’t exactly that raids exist, though. I play some other games with raids (though I tend to stop playing any game the first time it requires me to join an organized group to progress). My issue with GW2 and HoT is that GW2 was sold as a game that wasn’t supposed to have organized raiding at all, so adding those conventional raids felt like a huge betrayal. It would take, at the very least, making non-raider players able to obtain equivalent (same power and usability) rewards to everything raiders can get, and see every single piece of content raiders got to see, before I will consider going back to the game or recommending it again to new players. And I don’t mean just for upcoming content, but also for already existing HoT content.

Reader
Terren Bruce

There isn’t anything in raids you need, unless you MUST have the legendary armor skins. Even the stat and rune swapping is available from the sPvP and WvW legendary armors. All legendary armors have the same stats as ascended armor by the way in case you didn’t realize that.

While the raids do have a story, they’re all side stories. And it’s not even really a story, it’s just raid bosses with some lore attached and occasionally something in the main story gets some foreshadowing.

You’re making a big deal out of something that really isn’t a big deal at all.

The open world and story players already get a ton of content, asking the raiders who only get content once or twice a year to wait even longer just so ANet can create solo versions of the raids for a player group who already gets tons of content is unfair.

Reader
Carebear

FFXIV :P Raider has just 10ilvl more than non raider in every given patch!

sauldo
Reader
sauldo

And in GW2, both raiders and non-raiders have access to the exact same BiS gear… which hasn’t changed since 2013.
I think that when people are feeling treated like “second-class citizens” because they cannot raid (which I incidentally doubt they are, but this is another debate), I think they are more speaking about content accessibility than gear progression.

Reader
Carebear

well honesty, there should be some very hard content as a motivation and also “immersion” in a way… For example in TBC when I was playing I felt an awe when passing outside of Black Temple…

I knew I would never ever get inside there… but it was good that it existed imo. I wouldnt want to kill an “easy version” of illidan as this would destroy the image I had about him.

On the other hand, MMORPG are RPG games and as this people want to progress their characters. So it is also important that not all best rewards are locked behind hardcore content (something that wow failed to do after cataclysm where you could buy Tier gear with valor points from dungeons).

So for me, I feel like a second class citizen when I cannot progress my character further unless I join x hardcore content and the power level disparity is huge. In FFXIV I never did Extreme or savage mode, yet I never felt a second class citized.

Reader
TomTurtle

Justin would know more, but doesn’t Rift have solo versions of raids? I don’t know if they treat non-raiders well enough though. I haven’t played since vanilla.

borghive
Reader
borghive

I think ESO and Warcraft do a pretty good job at providing a lot of content for non raiders. Warcraft has an entire raid mode for casual players that let them see the same raids as top end raiders. ESO as well has a huge amount of content for casual players, in fact their trials (raids) are barely touched by the bulk of the population there due to them not being the primary focus of the game.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Ff14 really doesnt. given within 3 months or so of raid content the non raiders get catchups to where the raiders barely have a slight ilvl lead and not a massive gap, really all there is to gain from raiding on ff14 is a temporary ilvl lead and or bragging rights,

And it shows, because the raid community on ff14 doesnt seem to be nearly as elitist or condescending to non raiders

Line
Reader
Line

The entirety of FFXIV is only about raiding.

They add easy raids, hard raids, primal raids, more difficulty modes for raids, new catch up mechanics like relics for raids, new dungeons with gear for raids, and push everyone to raid by force, as you actually need to play most of the easy ones to see the story or just get access to the next expansion.

You don’t raid in GW2, whatever, you won’t get the skins.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Uh no, you dont. Alexander, binding coil of bahamut and omega are the raids and are utterly optional to main plot progress.. if you wanna count story mode trials as raid content, sure, but even those are easily pugged within a day or so and then ignored. And my point was more savage raiding doesnt give you a huge advantage over others in the long term

Line
Reader
Line

They’re raids, big instances with 8 players, but I would very much agree that you pretty much never play them after the first time.
And it also bites the game in the ass, because it has such shallow endgame content after that… only three relevant endgame dungeons in Stormblood with one difficulty mode, and a 4 bosses raid.

Savage raiding is not a massive stat increase, but it brings one.
And everything revolves around being raid ready. The frequent catch-up mechanics are made to raid, not to faceroll Copperbell even harder.
Crafting is also made almost irrelevant by raiding.

That’s just how themeparks are made, really.

Reader
Bryan Turner

As long as we meet at a higher plateau with profits from the box sales then we get into a stable two year financial cycle.

Besides selling Mount Skins would be like printing money.

If they were really hurting for money they wouldn’t be growing their staff, they don’t lay off their work force because these teams are always working, as soon as PoF releases that whole expansion team starts on the next expansion to keep up that cadence.

Line
Reader
Line

Interesting that everything not mobile is down YoY, GW2 less than others.
It’s crazy how irrelevant NCSoft is becoming in the PC space.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

I like how Aion is still such a quiet achiever.

miol
Reader
miol

?

The bars are totally deceiving!

Aion dropped 3x faster in only half a year, than GW2 did in a whole year!
Now even 20% below GW2!

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

Aion is also a game from 2008, almost ten years vs Guild Wars 2 from 2012. So in a way GW2’s fall off might be seen as more dramatic.

Compared to most other games like Wildstar or even perhaps EverQuest 2, Aion doesn’t make much buzz at all, hardly anyone talks about it. Yet here it is, still turning a profit with updates.

Unlike many other MMO’s right now, Aion isn’t at a sudden risk of closure.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

My husband was reading over my shoulder and said the same thing. Whoever at NCsoft is making those bar graphics is making the games look worse than they need to by making the scale out of whack. It’s puzzling.

Reader
Sally Bowls

scale out of whack

I dislike and am suspicious with all sorts of scale shenanigans one encounters.

That being said, I think this is better for GW2 than one scale. If all the products were shown side by side, then I think a natural reaction from investors and especially stock analysts would be: why waste money and executive bandwidth on an irrelevantly small product with 5 straight worst-quarters-ever – halve the ANet budget and give a quarter of it the savings to B&S and the rest to mobile. I am not sure ANet benefits from direct comparisons with many other NCSoft games.

miol
Reader
miol

What are you talking about?! o.O

Of course with the above presentation “all the products were shown side by side”, and with the use of those deceiving bars the thought of “an irrelevantly small product with 5 straight worst-quarters-ever looks worse” is even emphasized more here in a suggestive way!

Than instead of showing the actual amounts on the bars and seeing the decline is way more stable and way less dramatic than AION, for instance!

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i didn’t even look at the bars adn went straight to the numbers.

comparing gw2 to the other game that ncosft no longer reports on’s last reported numbers looks bad enough as it is.

miol
Reader
miol

As previously said above, there is a misunderstanding by a factor of ~10…

Reader
Nathan Aldana

That might be intentional, though. Its not like Ncsoft has ever shown itself to give a shit about the US market compared to their precious korean investors.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

Likely nearly all of the revenue is from Asia though

wpDiscuz