NCsoft Q3 2019: Another flat financial quarter as NCsoft pumps money into NCWest

All while talking up mobile and console in the west

    
19

Given the strange financial quarters that Blizzard, Funcom, Square-Enix, and Nexon had, you’re surely wondering how NCsoft fared. And the answer is… about the same as usual, actually. In its third quarter 2019 investor report, NCsoft announced that its revenues were down slightly, by 3% quarter-over-quarter and 1% year-over-year. In fact, the company’s sales have maintained pretty steadily all year, save for that blip in the first quarter.

But it’s the games you likely care about. In spite of NCsoft’s increasing focus on mobile, its mobile sector actually suffered declines this quarter, compared to its quartet of PC titles. Lineage, Lineage II, Aion, and Blade & Soul all saw modest revenue increases, while Guild Wars 2 declined slightly in spite of the release of the Bound by Blood prelude episode (but again it’s right in line with revenues all year). “Mobile games declined 5%, due to limited in-game item promotions, in light of the Lineage M large-scale update in 4Q,” NCsoft says. Before you get too excited, recall that all five of NCsoft’s PC MMORPGs together bring in only slightly more than half what mobile alone does, and of course most of that revenue comes from Korea itself.

Reddit, mind you, is all abuzz right now because of the revelation that NCsoft just pumped a $112M US in investment into NCWest. We don’t know what for, though we’ve certainly got a few ideas (and not just build slots!), chief among them the mobile game ArenaNet is supposedly working on (or working on again) – a theory boosted by the fact that NCsoft talked up the western console and mobile market during the Q&A portion of the call. We wouldn’t be sad about Guild Wars 3 or a new expansion, either.

19
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
rafael12104

Hmm. It is interesting. So mobile may be declining, but it is a bit of an ebb and flow until they get the right mix. Hell, they have three BnS mobile titles in the works as we speak and one of them as a licensing agreement. I doubt they believe all three will survive, right?

I’m curious about the big spend in NCwest and if BnS will see any of it. Yes, I’m biased that way. Heh.

Here is the skinny as a BnS player though. We are weeks away from UE4 going live in Korea. So, BnS is getting a huge refresh and obviously some money. And details are starting to emerge that in conjunction with UE4, they are going to launch UE4 servers. From the details gathered so far, these are going to function like fresh start servers so new players and old will start on the same UE4 playing field. Pretty smart, IMO.

So, obviously, NCsoft is not moving away from PC gaming entirely. They are reinvesting to improve the longevity of BnS. I wonder if there might not be a similar strategy for GW2?

I think NCsoft learned the CoH lesson well.

Reader
Anton Mochalin

That would be so cool if they did the same thing with GW2. Not sure fresh start servers would matter much for GW2 though.

Reader
partiesplayin

All of those mmorpg’s are more then 5 years old. How old are the mobile games ? People like to spend money on new games it’s what we do. Now with that said mobile is always gonna outsell 5+ year old PC games

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

https://sensortower.com/blog/lineage-mobile-games-revenue-4-billion

Lineage on MOBILE has grossed over $4B since late 2016, with more of that coming from the 2017 Lineage M release.

Yeah, new games make more money, but mobile prints money if you’re big enough. Extremely different markets (mobile players have fewer issues with predatory cash shops and super aggressive monetization, and the games are built to be far more heavily monetized) plus the audience size simply can’t compare between the two, even if we limit it down to folks with mid-high end mobile devices.

There’s still money on PC/console, but if you can hit it big on mobile you’re going to stand to make absurd amounts of money, especially since it’s often far cheaper to produce games for. It’s just tough to hit it big, even if you’re one of the big boys, given the glut of mobile games vying for everyone’s attention.

Reader
Anton Mochalin

I really really want ArenaNet make Guild Wars 3 a mobile title with the same level of asset quality and creativity. Mobile gaming needs such a game.

Reader
Bruno Brito

lol

miol
Reader
miol

As always, for better comparison: (click to zoom)
On the first one are the values stacked upon each other.
And the second one is without the mobile numbers! ;P
(Sorry for not providing that the last 2 times! /bow)

ice_screenshot_20191114-211355.jpg
ice_screenshot_20191114-211647.jpg
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Honestly…given the bad year Anet had those numbers aren’t bad.

I imagine most of that additional funding is for mobile, but damn I hope they have another western studio working on a PC/console MMO. That and Anet is working on spinoff titles, even if they’re not full-fledged MMO’s.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

It’s for Mobile development, that’s the only thing NCSoft is excited about these days.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

I don’t see this as strange at all. Gaming is in decline. In two years it will be in steep decline. We will all be having a different conversation then.

All of the upward trajectories done by analysts? It’s bullshit. It’s a pump and dump.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

But not mobile cell games!

Clash of King Clan Rush Crusher is the best game evar!

Reader
Bryan Correll

I just wish it had more in-game item promotions so that I could more fully enjoy the experience.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Cue the bullshit reports I mentioned. Earnings reports, which are watched by the SEC – a real accounting organization – paint a much different picture.

But I found your report by the video game commission, whatever in the fuck that paid organization is, was very charming. The ESA “We Are The Video Game Industry. Christ, open your eyes – that’s like linking a 1959 report about how cigarettes are good for you sponsored by Phillip Morris.

2 years. Watch it.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Why is the report “bullshit”? Should we look at annual revenue for some of the big players, for example?

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/EA/electronic-arts/revenue

EA’s doing fine and there’s no indication of a downward trend.

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/UBSFY/ubisoft-entertainment/revenue

Looks like Ubisoft is similarly doing alright, steady growth over the years.

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/ATVI/activision-blizzard/revenue

Activision is trending donwards in recent years after some huge growth, still not terribly worrying yet.

So the big boys that signal how AAA is doing are doing just fine, while we’re seeing a resurgence of AA publishers/developers growing after they went mostly quiet last generation. They’re more than making up for any losses from folks like Activision.

What do you base this doomsaying you seem to be gleefully sharing at literally any opportunity in the comments section?

Reader
Bruno Brito

Oh boy, i need this.

Reader
Matthäus Wey

And this statement of yours is based on what exactly?

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Earning reports. Decline in MAUs. Decline in revenue.

Reader
cykelbud

I think the ArenaNet devs would be sad about GW3 or expansion.
At this time they must be quite fed up with Guild Wars stuff.