NCsoft has hired 1000 employees in the past few years, considers VR and ARG titles

    
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Everybody saw NCsoft’s financials last month, I’m sure – Guild Wars 2 bouncing back thanks to Path of Fire, Lineage M driving revenue, and Blade & Soul outperforming almost everything, pretty good news all around.

What we didn’t cover was the associated conference call and Q&A, which has only recently been fully transcribed in English and has a few nuggets worth highlighting

  • CFO Jae-Soo Yoon told listeners the company is working on 13 new titles, of which the largest are Blade & Soul II, Aion Tempest, and Lineage II Mobile, all mobile titles, and Project TL for PC.
  • To make those happen, the company’s hired “around 1000” new employees over the last two years. One analyst was skeptical about those numbers, suggesting that NCsoft is overspending on labor compared to an unnamed smaller company launching far more games; Yoon counters with some polite shade by suggesting NCsoft is going to for quality over quantity.

  • Yoon also explains that NCsoft won’t limit itself to just MMOs on mobile. “In addition to the MMO games that we are developing, we are also developing games that will be using virtual reality or maybe augmented reality type of technology.”
  • Project TL, formerly known as Lineage Eternal, is “going very smoothly” right now; a test phase this year may be possible.
  • Regarding the Japanese and western markets, NCsoft plans to “develop content that is most fitting or maybe custom-made for those local markets” with “internal development teams in these locations.”
Source: Yahoo. Thanks, Sally!
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dixa
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dixa

It’s hard for me to care. NcSoft will not see a dime from me until/unless the city of heroes IP in its entirety is given to someone else to bring back. Guild wars 2 could suddenly usurp eso and wow financially and they will still never see a dime from me given their track record with city of heroes and hell even Tabula Rasa

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Dan Broadbent

The west remembers #CoH

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Morgan

Good on them for hiring a suitable workforce and keeping it, unlike Valve that would prefer hamsters run things! :D I am also very down with ARG’s and Project TL.

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McGuffn

Fine use of a black hole! Hawking would be proud.

Line
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Line

Not thinking in terms of global success, laser focus on mobile and VR, overextending their already bloated workforce, years late projects still not seeing the light?

The have Lineage, I’m not too worried for them.
But… they haven’t exactly made the best decisions in… pretty much ever? They have crazy brand recognition in Korea.
And that’s about it.

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Sally Bowls

That narrative went away a couple of quarters ago. Mobile is doing about 1000% of Lineage.

In terms of profitability, “Lineage M” generated 10.7 billion won in sales on the first day of its launch and posted 13 billion won in daily sales on July 1, which is the largest daily sales record in the Korean mobile game market.

So in one day, one of their new mobile titles did twice the first six months of box sales of GW2 HoT while setting a mobile record for Korea. NCSoft has been doing quite well recently.

(chart is from report referenced in http://massivelyop.com/2018/02/19/analysts-see-potential-for-earnings-growth-in-ncsofts-trio-of-upcoming-titles/)

MiraeNcsoft2018.JPG
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Line

Mobile is doing just that indeed.
Mobile for NCSoft also happens to be… Lineage.
Kind of the point.
They have Lineage, they’ll survive.

But that definitely isn’t the way to go if you want global success. Especially not in VR.

To each their own of course, but the Korean market, not unlike the Japanese market, bet all on mobile, because, frankly, that’s what makes money there.
Except it doesn’t work everywhere, and that’s how you get stuck on a single, fickle market.

Which is their entire history. NCSoft never had a breakout hit in the West, their games are faltering outside of Korea and China, so they dump everything on what works, instead of what could be.

They could have been Blizzard long before Blizzard. But they weren’t. And they won’t be. They’ll make plenty of money from their Lineage mobile games though.

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Dobablo

NC don’t want to be Blizzard and neither could they ever be. Their approaches are fundamentally different.
Blizzard are refiners who slowly iterate on rival designs in an attempt to hit the sweat spot. They have limited releases because the expectation is that every game must go huge and be sustainable in the long run because they they’d be expected to support it long term.
NC have been more about innovation. They try more things, throwing ideas up against the wall to see what sticks willing to kill games that don’t quite work.

Line
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Line

They did buy some oddballs and weird developpers back in the day but… innovation from the main team?
Not at all.
Lineage 2 is very iterative, Aion even more so, Blade&Soul is about the same with half baked action combat that became popular at the time… and their next Lineage… well, it’s Lineage but more hack’n’slash.

They definitely weren’t the ones going for full on sandbox, the ones that made survival, card games or battle royale a big thing.
But they totally did try to surf the wave of MOBAs after it was gone.

NCSoft make the most cookie cutter games that you can think of, even their mobile games are remakes of their old classics.
Super conservative company.

serariron
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serariron

It’s interesting to see how hard mobile MMORPS seem to boom in Korea (or in Asia in general). I am sure the mobile MMO genre is decently successful in the West but hiring over 1000 people, where the vast majority are working on the big mobile MMORPGs I assume, is quite impressive.

Meanwhile on PC basically nothing big is coming out in the future and hasn’t in the past since 2014 (minus Black Desert). Sure Bless, if you want to count it but Camelot Unchained and Crowfall (the 2 biggest names) are targeting much more niche markets than MMOs in the past.

Probably too crowded on the PC, so mobile it is, at least for NC Soft, that is, which makes me a bit sad.

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rafael12104

So, some schmuck analyst pipes up and says NCsoft is over spending on labor? I wish I had a giant fly swatter that could reach through inner space arrive at Mr. Schmucks location and smack him so hard it leaves my swatter brand on his cheek for posterity.

It’s just like anything else. This reporter analyst tried to shine his bull shit comment without knowing the details.

I’m not a big fan of NCsoft, but corporate shenanigans are often preceded by an analysts vanility.

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Sally Bowls

And IMO that was not the schmuck-iest analyst question: One of them had in their (translation of their) question:

“I think that there is a lot of discussion that maybe mobile MMORPG games have run its course.”

FFS dude, I am trying to get companies to think PC MMOs still have some life. And you have mobile MMOs headed to hospice care? Cold.

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Dobablo

If you aren’t on the Augmented Reality First Person Shooter hype-train you should just retire to your care home!

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BigAngry

Oooh, new and exciting properties to sunset!

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Dan Broadbent

The North Remembers! #CoH