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.
If you walked away confused by NCsoft’s most recent quarterly financial report, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. might be able to sort it out for you.
The Seoul-based analyst firm suggests that the Lineage series, which appeared strong at first glance, actually turned in weaker than expected revenue, in spite of the fact that Lineage M was the top-grossing game on Android and iOS. “The biggest surprise was marketing spend, which jumped 10% QoQ and 69% YoY, despite the absence of any new major titles,” the firm notes. “We believe this suggests the company spent as much on promoting Lineage M’s massive updates as it typically does on promoting new titles.”
That said, the firm still calls the company a buy: “We see little reason for concern in terms of profit and valuation in 1H18 and see potential for earnings growth and a re-rating in 2H18, driven by new releases.” What new releases would those be? Blade & Soul II (first half of the year) and Aion Tempest and Lineage II M (last half of the year).
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree wrassle a mess of eastern mobile MMOs that are leaping onto the scene, imagine a world full of Harry Potter gamers wandering about, discuss SWTOR’s server merges, and take Guild Wars 2 to task for lockbox missteps.
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NCsoft tipped its hand on its upcoming Project TL/Lineage Eternal do-over, Blade & Soul 2, and Aion Tempest, but it’s far from the only East Asian company pumping out new games.
As Steparu chronicles, Bluehole is indeed still working on Project W. We don’t know a whole lot, but there are a few snippets in the company’s G-Star trailer showing this MMORPG’s decidedly steampunk aesthetic.
ChangYou, which I still can’t forgive for killing off Zentia in the west, has a codenamed MMO of its own on the way: Project Z Online. According to Steparu, it’s a classic tab-target PC MMORPG that eschews gender-locked characters.
Finally, there’s God Slayer Online, also from ChangYou, which we’ve covered before during its looooooong beta testing and in its current iteration is much more focused on combat and customization.
We’ve tucked the relevant videos down below. Anything you’re looking forward to porting westward?
Do you feel the need for another mobile MMORPG from NCsoft? That’s what’s coming with Aion Tempest, a prequel to the current Aion set some 900 years before the game’s current events. There’s no hints of release date or anything of the sort, of course, but there is a trailer for the title just below, so that’s something.
The mobile title is supposedly going to feature large-scale battles, exciting combat, and cinematic gameplay, although actual details are scarce at this point. Regardless, it’s good to see that Aion and its world haven’t been forgotten by the publisher. Check out the trailer below to get a vague sense of what’s coming.