NCsoft shifts attention to western and mobile markets

    
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Are you excited about the future of (mobile) gaming? NCsoft sure is! The South Korean gaming giant blasted out a press release this afternoon announcing that it is “doubling down on its existing portfolio of products,” “laying the groundwork to increase NCSOFT West’s investment and prominence in the West,” and establishing a new mobile studio in San Mateo, California.

“We are expanding our product pipeline via more products from our Korean HQ, from M&A activity, and via a heavy focus on mobile development,” senior VP of publishing John Burns says, referring to WildStar and Blade & Soul’s recent developments. “We also continue to accelerate by building on the existing great teams and people we have here at NCSOFT West and by adding additional areas of expertise that support our expanding cross-platform initiatives.”

The company invested in Canadian mobile devhouse This Game Studio in April and has suffered multiple rounds of layoffs in its western studios in the last several years. In recent weeks, it’s announced it’s bringing the nearly three-year-old Korean MMO Blade & Soul westward and turning WildStar into a free-to-play title.

Source: NCsoft press release
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Goronmon
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Goronmon

Zuji Cromica1 
Well, gaming is supposed to be entertaining and enjoyable.
Mobile gaming is just a bunch of poorly disguised digital slot machines.

srmalloy
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srmalloy

Shermanx If the give me a refund for auto assault, Tabula rasa, and city of heroes. I do not trust them.
 I think this gives definition to what NCsoft meant with their statement that City of Heroes “didn’t fit with our plans for the future of the company”.

demonxaphan
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demonxaphan

amkosh Any gaming mega company will always go where the gaming trends are projecting to increase profits, no matter how there mmo’s are doing they are still making lots of money than mobile gaming platforms will ever make.

demonxaphan
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demonxaphan

The problem i see in the long run with mobile games is the casual mobile player, they don’t stick with just one or three main mobile games, they are all over the place, it’s like the new shiney, something new to play with and after a while these type of games tend to die or become niche.

amkosh
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amkosh

NCSoft is going into mobile because its less and less seeing revenue in other sectors.  Face it Wildstar was a debacle.  GuildWars 2 had a great start but is not really a ongoing money maker when compared to other titles in the sector.  In order to grow they need to do something that gives revenue.  Mobile is good for two reasons.  First Mobile typically has much less production costs than their used to in the west.  And second is that mobile has broad appeal (or more accurately they can make so many mobile games they will have a broad appeal)  

The reason why this is happening is because prod costs are high, and most games are fairly narrow in their appeal.  And companies are used to revenue growth.  Couple those together, and they have to do something to keep their owners happy.  

You want to do something?  Buy something that NC makes.  Get your friends to do so.  You don’t support an NC game, it likely will end.  So do it now.  Because guess what:  Even a closing property has value to a company.  If you wait til NC announces their killing of game X, it is way too late.

Ekphrasis
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Ekphrasis

If they’re just wanting to get in on the mobile gaming action and take a slice of the pie then i hope they bring something compelling and different.
Many dislike the various WoW clones over the years but that’s all I see in mobile gaming. Variations of the same game over and over.
Seriously, some studios devote entire teams to just focus on quickly reverse engineering/copying existing games and bringing them to market as soon as possible. Saturation point is high because almost anyone can create mobile games these days too.
If NCSoft created mobile games that are well designed companions to MMOs across their games but made them microtransactions (initial purchase only) then I think that’d be great and something I’d probably pay for. What seems more likely though, is yet another (bleh) mobile studio doing exactly the same things as all the others – which is also fine i guess – it just means i may not be their target market with mobile games.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

This is not the first or last of these articles.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/29/8683239/konami-will-continue-to-support-console-games-moving-forward

Mobile is the growth segment and not just gaming companies are scrambling to address that.  If you only do PC, then it is not good for you that Intel, Microsoft, chip companies, software companies are spending so much on mobile.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

You could say that in any area of the world about any other area.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

What “good” mmo was forced to go f2p?

TehAcidBaron
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TehAcidBaron

Why has the article picture changed from a NCsoft one to a wildstar one?