NCsoft sales continue downward slide while online PC sales trend up

    
52

Slides may be fun when you’re a kid, but they’re not something you want to see when you’re a multinational games corporation that’s operating several online properties. Unfortunately for NCsoft, the company saw its fourth straight decline in sales in a row and a marked dip in net income from the previous quarters. The Q3 2018 earnings report shows a 33% drop in net income from the past quarter (and 66% down from a year ago.

Mobile games sales were slightly up and made up for a great deal of the company’s income. And while Lineage and Blade and Soul dipped slightly, Lineage II, Aion, and Guild Wars 2 all saw modest increases in the third quarter.

NCsoft noted that Taiwan Aion’s free-to-play conversion saw a huge bump in sales and PC online sales grew collectively by about 1.5% from the previous quarter. As we’ve previously noted, NCsoft has a number of new mobile MMORPGs lined up on the horizon.

52
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Dragon Whimsy

I find it surprising and impressive that Guild Wars 2 managed to increase profits rather than lose them more than a year after PoF’s release.

Reader
Songs for Children

I’m not particularly surprised…it’s a fun MMORPG that has new content at relatively regular intervals and that has one of the fairest microtransaction systems out there.

Reader
yoh_sl

Well, when all their products are designed from the ground up to squeeze players for as much money as possible, rather then provide a worthwhile and entertaining experience, I lose all sympathy when it stops working.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

It’s worse in the mobile space. The gall of the companies is unbelievable too. Games come out with these packages you can buy for like $99 to $200 and do things like say “Limit – Only 5 per month!”

They literally have the gall to sell packages that high and say they’re such a great deal they’re going to have to limit you to only spending $1,000 per month on that specific package. That tells you what they’re expecting the whales to spend, which is a lot more than that but at least 5 of those packs…

They’re made so if you don’t spend at least multiple hundreds, you don’t get a very great experience and you’re weak in the games. Then they have a power creep that invalidates that money you spent every so often making what you did buy weak and make it so people need to keep spending.

I get why there is sometimes such backlash against mobile titles, even though not every mobile game does this and it’s easy to make them differently. This practice did start on PC, even though mobile is currently the worst offender.

Some of the games start out pretty high quality, but have very short stories and are just made to pit people against each other in the end where they feel people spend more money to get a leg up against each other. I just woke up so I’m not thinking completely clearly but I could go on and on when my mind clears up :P

Reader
yoh_sl

So is it any wonder that NCsoft are diving in head first into the mobile scam market?

miol
Reader
miol

And again without the mobile numbers:

ice_screenshot_20181111-002530.jpg
Reader
rafael12104

Yup. Yup. Trend line going down. Slowly but surely without mobile.

Reader
Dragon Whimsy

But most of those mobile sales would be Lineage sales on PC if they didn’t have Lineage on mobile. All that is happening here is that NCSoft’s largest IP by far is now being played on mobile instead of on PC.

miol
Reader
miol

As always, for less visual distortion:

ice_screenshot_20181111-002332.jpg
Reader
Duane_Does_not_check_email

It’s very hard to invest your time in any mmo game if its going to get the axe.

Ncsoft has a bad reputation trampling products and customers trying the find their “wow-killer” mmo.

Reader
Dragon Whimsy

Only in the west does it have that reputation. Which hurt Wildstar maybe when it had a bad launch and no one trusted NCSoft would stick with it. But it hurt Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2 not at all.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Good to see the mobile games are doing so well. What with mobile being the future of gaming.

smulb
Reader
smulb

Didn’t Arenanet break away from NCSoft?

Reader
Bryan Correll

Nope. They changed the stated publisher of GW2 from NCSoft to ArenaNet, but ArenaNet is still a fully owned subsidiary of NCSoft.

smulb
Reader
smulb

thanks for clarifying that but i wonder what difference that shift makes.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

In reality, nothing.
It’s just branding, NCSoft is a poisoned brand and I suppose they figure GW2 would be better off without the logo in front of it.

Reader
Drago

They turn every PC game in to PTW junk and then wonder why they make no profit!! Yeah wonder why…

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

Which part of GW2 is pay to win, I only ask because I play a non meta class and I’d gladly pay a fee to not only get to raid but top DPS meters as well to upset the players that act like the gate keepers of raiding.

Reader
kvlt_vonnegut

Between WvW server linkings scattering guilds to the wind overnight and raiding with sanctioned DPS meters they managed to butcher what was one of the best communities on the internet. It’s painful to look back at what it used to be vs. now.

Reader
Drago

Oh one game come on..

dixa
Reader
dixa

You can turn real money into in game currency and *nearly* everything of substance can be bought with that in game currency.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

So what, it doesn’t help you win anything it just helps out with some cosmetic items, all Ascended gear is able to be crafted or recurved through in game activities. What are you winning exactly?

Reader
sonyeo

Ah yes, the p2w apologist. Good god man, at what point is it p2w to you? When they have a button that says “You win!” which costs $4.99 per press? “It’s not p2w, you don’t win anything/it’s only pay for convenience/you don’t have to pay, you can spend 500 hours farming for it as well/it just speeds up the process”.

Get out of here.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

I’ve done both actually, if it’s a cosmetic skin I’ve farmed for gold tomconvert to Gems, I’ve also bought the items directly on pay day, my first set of Ascended armor I swiped on a credit card, the second set of Ascended armor I farmed. I’m on no leader boards for PVP, never been World first in a raid (or even completed it for that matter.)

Reader
John Kiser

He’s not a p2w apologist. Your just the type that makes anything that uses micro-transactions at all into P2W and it is honestly freaking nauseating at this point watching your little wormy types constantly push this BS ideology that you seem to twist to mean something else every time something pops up you don’t like.

P2W has one and only one meaning and none of this “it’s a matter of opinion” type of bullshit. The definition is this – An edge that you can only acquire through RMT purchases that are not obtainable in game (sometimes adding in a timely manner into the mix at most). If you can buy items with RMT that you can get in game as well and it doesn’t take you an OBSCENE amount of time to get it it is NOT by definition pay to win. Paying to advance a little bit faster, getting XP pots, getting gear a little bit earlier (particularly if you’ve been away from a game for awhile are not things that are pay to win.

This whole trying to twist and contort bullshit where you make everything p2w is just obnoxious at this point and real p2w games would probably make you shit yourself at this point.

Reader
Bruno Brito

First, pipe down. No one is obligated to deal with your attacks.

Second:

If you can buy items with RMT that you can get in game as well and it doesn’t take you an OBSCENE amount of time to get it it is NOT by definition pay to win. Paying to advance a little bit faster, getting XP pots, getting gear a little bit earlier (particularly if you’ve been away from a game for awhile are not things that are pay to win.

Yeah…no. XP pots allow you to achieve endgame earlier, giving you economic control over endgame mats. Gear a bit earlier allows you the same: Early advancement of progression and subsequent control of the market.

EVERYTHING THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BUY ADVANCEMENT IS PAY TO WIN. Now, the DEGREE of p2w, is always debatable. It’s impossible to have a monetized game that’s not p2w, but you can control a lot of it.

GW2 has a decently fair system, if you disconsider them selling literal powercreep with their expansions.

Everything you said after:

P2W has one and only one meaning and none of this “it’s a matter of opinion” type of bullshit. The definition is this – An edge that you can only acquire through RMT purchases that are not obtainable in game (sometimes adding in a timely manner into the mix at most).

Is complete opinion. You presenting opinion as fact is not just naive, is dishonest. You are not the be-all end-all knowledge on this pretty long debacle already. Spare us.

Reader
John Kiser

We in fact have strict definitions of the term that are not opinion. I was around when the phrase was literally coined so can we just stop with foisting your opinion of its definition please and stop stretching it to mean anything. The term came about as a PVP advantage and has nothing to do with any sort of economical edge because you simply could level faster.

You fit in with this crowd that wants to skew the meaning. Saying “everything you can buy is p2w” just proves the narcissism that you have that anyone gaining any sort of early edge over you that you eventually attain in game is somehow also p2w is absurd and not backed up by anyone that was around when the phrase was first uttered. We used it in games like silkroad and the early days of the heavily f2p marketplace with games like MU and the like.

Those are real pay to win and were called it for VERY good reason. I’ve seen P2W pop up as being anything people don’t like being added in in games and it’s frankly getting to a point of absurdity. An XP pot only gains you an advantage for a short while and doesn’t really help you in almost ANY MMORPG out there particularly ones that implement PVP stats or have the same sort of end game raid treadmill as WoW.

XP pots are also often given in game for free in those games and while they may not be as big a boost or last as long. The whole ideology that you get to dictate it and try and say mine is fully opinion is laughable to me. It isn’t opinion when I give what the literal meaning was and has been since the phrase was quite literally coined.

It’s why you don’t see many older MMORPG players whine as much about this kind of crap. We’ve lived through REAL P2W and know what it looks like. And I’m not attacking anyone at all I’m simply stating that the whole skewing bullshit to fit everyone’s narrative of what P2W is needs to end because it is getting nauseating. Mine is the original meaning behind the term and that’s a point of fact.

You can argue all you want that it isn’t, but were you around when it was coined? Were you playing MMORPGs early enough to know what the original intent and meaning were? Very few games people love to scream P2W at are in fact actual p2w. XP pots were never considered P2W until the last few years when people had to get on something because a lot of the f2p games stopped selling literal gear and the whiners needed to complain about other crap.

There is a group of people out there that are so fervently against F2P that they will skew any F2P title to be P2W in any way shape or form because they want to move back to a sub only model.

Reader
J

Well you could have left the half dozen titles you killed in maintenance mode NCSoft. Some profit is better than none eh!

Reader
Denice J. Cook

Three cheers for that: City of Heroes, City of Villains, and Going Rogue! :P Okay, so they were all only one game…so let me change that to CoX, Tabula Rasa, and Wildstar! (Never mind that they shut down a whole bunch others like Auto Assault, Master X Master and Dungeon Runners too, but I digress.)

Reader
John Kiser

Tabula Rasa was a buggy mess that Richard Garriot ended up rehashing so many times that when it didn’t meet any expectations it was canned. It was sort of fun at the time, but so many problems, not anywhere near enough content and a direct of the game that literally ended up rehashing the damn thing at least 3 separate times. It was bound to fail because of him period.

Reader
Bruno Brito

To be fair, they gave Wildstar a ungodly ammount of chances.

Reader
rafael12104

There is the seasonal variation to consider, but there is no denying the trend is down and continues in that trajectory.

*Sigh* I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face or whatever. They could improve their situation by truly going global with all their games. Let the region customize games to best fit their customers. No, I’m not talking about changing games wholesale, but allow each region to manage loot tables, difficulty, grind, and the introduction of ready-made features.

Stop just localizing. Be truly global and I bet the numbers would improve.

There is no question mobile is a focal point and understandably so. But, to be honest, the strategy of permeating the mobile market with three BnS mobile games releasing at about the same time is a detriment to itself.

And sadly, we now understand why Wildstar could not hang on any longer. NCsoft is slashing operating expenses to improve these damn slides. Heh.

I predict this holiday season is not going to be a boon for NCsoft. They may see a turn for the better next year, but right now, that trend downward will continue unless they pay attention to their current offerings.