NCsoft has money to cheer about this past financial quarter, as it posted another year of solid growth. Revenue and operating profit were up 87% and 86% respectively year-over-year, though of course the quarter doesn’t quite compare to the blockbuster that was Q3 last year when Lineage M hit Asia.
Lineage M continued to drive good mobile sales for the company even after its shine wore off, accompanied by Aion, Lineage, and Lineage II, which are down YOY for the quarter and the year. Blade and Soul is outperforming everything but mobile at this point and this quarter held even YOY, at least globally.
And as for Guild Wars 2? Well, no surprise there: The Path of Fire expansion was quite a boon, more than doubling the game’s quarterly revenue YOY and pushing total revenue past 2016’s (though not past 2015’s, when Heart of Thorns launched at a price two-thirds higher). (Recall that SuperData just included GW2 on its top 10 list of premium PC games by revenue [at an annual figure slightly higher than what’s represented here] and that Q2 last year was the game’s worst quarter ever, so this is a comfortable comeback.)
If you were expecting big news out of Activision-Blizzard’s Q3 2017 financial report… sorry to disappoint you, but you’ve probably heard the big news before, and that’s the news that Destiny 2 is doing pretty well. All told, D2’s console launch helped drive the corporation’s revenues to a record $1.62B for the quarter, a slight boost QoQ.
“Activision had the biggest third-quarter online player community in its history, with a record 49 million MAUs,” boasts the company. “Launched in September, Destiny 2 is the best-selling console game year-to-date in the U.S. Digital mix was over 50% of console full game sell-through, a new record for the company.”
On the Blizzard side, it’s Overwatch and Hearthstone taking home strong report cards, thanks to the former’s late summer and fall events and the latter’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. World of Warcraft got a nod for its last patch too, which the company says led “to stable MAUs for the franchise quarter-over-quarter and continued participation in value added services.” Stable, well then.
We could practically copypasta last quarter’s Activision-Blizzard report to this one and nobody would notice. That’s because once again, it’s the Blizzard segment of the company driving the revenue flow; Blizz’s incomes rose 4% year-over-year to account for 42% of the revenue (with King and Activision itself trailing behind).
“Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUsB, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAUB record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUsB grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.”
Blizz is also talking up its “time spent” metric and claiming that it’s increased in World of Warcraft year-over-year, which should shock absolutely no one given Legion:
Activision-Blizzard can’t claim “biggest quarter ever” for the quarter ending March 2017, but it continues to rake in huge sums of money, enough to at least claim “biggest first quarter ever” on multiple counts with the $1.73 billion it made during the period. But you’re here for the MMOs, which is good, because it’s Blizzard’s titles making all the bank.
“Activision Blizzard had 431 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)A in the quarter. Blizzard had the biggest Q1 online player community in its history with MAUsA of 41 million, up 58% year-over-year. Overwatch continues to be Blizzard’s fastest growing new franchise, reaching over 30 million players globally less than a year after launch. Overwatch is now the 8th billion-dollar franchise in Activision Blizzard’s portfolio. Hearthstone® MAUsA grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, despite no content releases in the first quarter, and recently surpassed the 70 million registered player milestone life-to-date.”
World of Warcraft managed this bit: “With a regular content and feature update cadence, World of Warcraft® time spent grew year-over-year in the first quarter.” Rah-rah.
Notably, 80% of the revenue comes from digital sales — including subs, online and lootboxes, as Gamasutra has rightly pointed out.
It’s gonna be a big week for studio financial reporting. Nexon has kicked it off with its fourth quarter and full 2015 report, and the news is pretty good.
Nexon itself had predicted back in November that its Q4 revenues would drop, but the company says its Q4 revenues were up 7% year-over-year, exceeding outlook, “primarily driven by higher-than-expected sales from Dungeon&Fighter in China and the successful launch of HIT in Korea.” Net income for the quarter was 4.4 billion yen, below expectations.
2015 revenues were up 10% year-over-year; yearly operating income was up 37% year-over-year. Net income clocked in at 55.1 billion yen, up 88% year-over-year, partly thanks to its sale of its stake in NCsoft last year.
Square-Enix’s fiscal results for the last three-quarters of 2015
are in, and it’s good news all around. Net sales were up almost 30% year-over-year, resulting in profits boosted by a nearly quarter compared to 2014.
The company attributed its success to multiple franchises and console launches. MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is named twice as a strong performer.
“During the nine-month period ended December 31, 2015, sales of character goods derived from the Group’s own IPs increased, primarily thanks to the release of the first expansion disc of FINAL FANTASY XIV.”
“Revenues from operation and expansion disc sales of massively multiplayer online role playing games such as FINAL FANTASY XIV and DRAGON QUEST X are sustaining their strong performances.”
The bad news for the most recent NCsoft financial report is that once again, profits from WildStar were down slightly from the previous quarter — but this round, even Guild Wars 2‘s profits were down a bit. In fact, sales dipped for all of NCsoft’s big games, and profit for the company was down on the whole, quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, so the takeway isn’t that specific games are underperforming relative to the others but that NCsoft had a bad quarter overall. Decreased profits are attributed to a lack of in-game promotions with the company’s highest-earning titles.
Of note is that the third quarter report stretches only to the end of September, thus predating both WildStar‘s shift in business model and Guild Wars 2‘s first expansion release. During the conference call, NCsoft said it has been focused on cost-efficiency and expects fourth quarter revenues to improve, referencing Guild Wars 2 specifically. Fans of the aforementioned games should keep their eyes peeled for next quarter’s results.
Update: We’ve included transcripts of excerpts from the translated conference call below.
financials are looking “great,” the company boasted in its latest quarterly report
, thanks in part to its sports franchises, Star Wars Battlefront
, and even Star Wars: The Old Republic
“Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers increased 33% since the announcement of
the latest expansion at E3, Knights of the Fallen Empire,” the gaming giant told shareholders. Those numbers would refer to the fiscal quarter that ended September 30th, so KOTFE profits from October, when it actually launched, aren’t yet reflected.
Still considering whether to jump in and beat the inevitable Force Awakens deluge this winter? Massively OP delivered first impressions, spoilery impressions, and video criticism of the expansion.
NCsoft has published its second quarter 2015 financial report, and it’s basically a repeat of quarter one.
The company attributes its quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year boosts primarily to Blade & Soul’s “strong performance” in East Asia and momentum in Taiwan as well as the Lineage series’ continued dominance.
Western sales for the company rose slightly over last quarter but are down year-over-year, probably because its major expected releases, expansions, and conversions in 2015 haven’t happened yet. Guild Wars 2 and Aion are both up on the quarter and year. WildStar, on the other hand, continues to struggle, having lost a fifth of its sales since the May report.