NCsoft Q4 2019: It was a rough quarter for MMORPGs, especially Guild Wars 2

The core ArenaNet MMORPG saw its worst quarter ever


NCsoft corporate had a solid financial quarter for the last three months of 2019, with increases in revenue quarter over quarter and year over year of 34%, thought the year in full was down 1% over 2018. Unfortunately, several of the company’s core MMORPGs suffered through the quarter with drops in revenue.

NCsoft’s mobile unit finished the year with a 59% revenue increase since fourth quarter of 2018. And Lineage I and Lineage II finished the year with a revenue increases YOY: 24% for the older game and 25% for the younger.

But the three key MMOs that mark NCsoft’s presence here in the west – Guild Wars 2, Aion, and Blade & Soul – were all down revenue-wise for the year. Aion dropped 36% YOY, B&S dropped 28%, while Guild Wars 2 lost almost a quarter of its revenue YOY after holding relatively flat all throughout 2019. In fact, this marks Guild Wars 2’s worst quarter to date, in spite of the start of a new season of content last fall.

The Guild Wars 2 subreddit is awash with speculation about meaningful content and the saga announcement and last year’s layoffs, but given the fact that Blizzard’s only success last quarter was World of Warcraft Classic and it doubled WoW’s active playerbase with that launch, we note it might be useful to look there to understand where western MMO players may have gone over the period.

We’ve included the key charts, just bear in mind that the bar graphics appear designed to obscure relative values.

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