Analysts consider NCsoft’s 2016 prospects: Guild Wars 2, WildStar earnings dip predictions

Last March, Korean investment firm KDB Daewoo Securities wasn’t that hopeful on the financial future of WildStar. Little has changed in the firm’s opinion for 2016, as it predicted that WildStar’s profits will drop almost to nothing this year, even after its free-to-play transition in the fall of 2015.

Guild Wars 2 isn’t off the hook in the firm’s eyes, either. The studio says that it expects NCsoft to report “slightly disappointing earnings” for last quarter due in part to weaker sales of Heart of Thorns.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. KDB thinks that 2016 will be an overall strong year for NCsoft and most of its games, with a revenue bump of 11.4%. It points to the release of some of NCsoft’s mobile titles to thank for that and predicts that Lineage Eternal will be unveiled and go into beta in the second half of this year.

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mrcaptainpants
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mrcaptainpants

Rednill Yep. And what sealed it for me was their sleazy decision to not even include a character slot for the $50 price tag. Eventually, they backpeddled slightly and offered a character slot if you agreed to pre-purchase the game, but that, frankly, ticked me off even more. 

I do *not* pre-purchase games anymore, ever. I’ve been burned too many times. And I was not about to be manipulated to pre-purchase an expansion to get something that should have already been included in the ridiculous price. It really created a strong feeling of ill-will on my part towards ANet.

Needless to say, I didn’t buy HoT.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Serrenity Sorenthaz “As for Guild Wars 2, who knows what they are thinking.”

That’s been my thought for awhile now.  I haven’t played HoT, have no reason or interest in doing so, but I was around long enough to tell that ArenaNet really didn’t seem to know what they were doing half the time.   Or rather, they keep using their playerbase as live guinea pigs while they keep trying out new directions and shift design philosophies on an annual basis, if not more frequently.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Line with more hugs Sorenthaz Eh the indies are tried out and get niche followings as they’re supposed to.  The AAA MMO model is definitely dying though.
And Blade and Soul is only a WoW Clone in terms of its endgame and generic questing/world design.   It’s a game that revolves heavily around its combat system to shape how PvP and PvE play out, especially at endgame where the PvE content is apparently super challenging and requires mastery of combos/active damage mitigation/avoidance skills.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Serrenity Tridus Utakata Sorenthaz
“But it’s harder to do, and has greater risk, so we don’t see very many attempts”
Yeah because it requires intricately designed systems that give people enough freedom to do what they want but at the same time limits them in how far they can reach to where they require others to help enable them to reach further.  I.e. in Tree of Life you can only max out up to 8 skills and thus it creates a dependence on others.  Yet you can still be out on your own if you truly want to be; it’s just that it’s much more beneficial to ally or join up with a guild to get resources/equipment/etc. from.  so you don’t have to mish-mash skills so much.

mmonerd
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mmonerd

Rumm Design flay and mismanagement both is responsible for Wildstars downfall.

Father Xmas
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Father Xmas

Only reason anyone listen to these guys is they put out their analysis of NCSOFT for free.  They thought NCSOFT stock was going to hit 600,000 KrW per share in 2012 which was extremely wishful thinking.
But what the article ignored was the other three reasons, lower growth of Lineage revenue in 4Q, marketing costs due to the annual G-STAR (think E3 for Korea) and their baseball team.  And even with all of that, KDB’s latest estimate has NCSOFT’s revenue down from 839 last year to 837 billion KrW and net profits down from 228 to 186 billion KrW, which is still higher profits than 2014.
As for Wildstar, yes they figure by 4Q16 Wildstar will have revenues below 1/2 billion KrW that quarter.  I think that’s due to the lack of a fluff cash shop.

DelusionalRogue
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DelusionalRogue

Ekphrasis With gw2 they talked big but the reality of development costs set in. People thought they could play for nothing disregarding that F2P requires “whales” to pay for the cheapskates. Wildstar catered to the hardcore in a time when the market has changed and people can no longer devote a part-time job’s worth of time playing. And money… well it’s a lot harder to come by these days.

AthieV
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AthieV

It’s worse than that: these are revenue forecasts, not profit forecasts. WildStar probably hasn’t been profitable since its first quarter, sadly.

blackcat7k
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blackcat7k

Now that they’re both F2P there’s almost nothing they can hack apart to sell anymore since  they’ve already comprised the product. I hope more developers realize that you should probably be working strongly on changing the core mechanics of your game rather than spending tons of time on creative monetization schemes. 

People will pay you money for your product, if actually worth it. The thing is that these MMO experiences are like different coats of paint on the same design, and it seems like these companies are in a race to the bottom to find out how much more they can sell out before they’re really hurting.

thatchefdude
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thatchefdude

Ekphrasis FFXIV is probably the only MMO post-WoW to build on the WoW-ish model (with some holdovers from XI) and really dominate overall…. It’s got between 1 1/2 to 2 M subs, and it has a large following in JP, EU and NA…. It’s also the only major MMO I can think of that allows joint play on console and PC.