South Korean games publisher Netmarble posted its financial report for the last quarter of 2017, ending the year on a bit of a down note. While revenues were up, net profits and operating profits saw a decline during that period.
The company continues to make inroads around the world with more revenue coming from outside Korea than within. South Korea only accounts for 32% of the revenue right now vs. 69% in the first quarter 2017. Mobile MMORPGs continue to be its biggest seller at 45%, with titles like Lineage 2 Revolution (39% of game revenue) and Tera M (5%) paving the way.
The studio hopes to have a strong 2018 with upcoming titles such as Magic: The Gathering Project M, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery for mobile, and Seven Knights for the Nintendo Switch.
NCsoft has money to cheer about this past financial quarter, as it posted another year of solid growth. Revenue and operating profit were up 87% and 86% respectively year-over-year, though of course the quarter doesn’t quite compare to the blockbuster that was Q3 last year when Lineage M hit Asia.
Lineage M continued to drive good mobile sales for the company even after its shine wore off, accompanied by Aion, Lineage, and Lineage II, which are down YOY for the quarter and the year. Blade and Soul is outperforming everything but mobile at this point and this quarter held even YOY, at least globally.
And as for Guild Wars 2? Well, no surprise there: The Path of Fire expansion was quite a boon, more than doubling the game’s quarterly revenue YOY and pushing total revenue past 2016’s (though not past 2015’s, when Heart of Thorns launched at a price two-thirds higher). (Recall that SuperData just included GW2 on its top 10 list of premium PC games by revenue [at an annual figure slightly higher than what’s represented here] and that Q2 last year was the game’s worst quarter ever, so this is a comfortable comeback.)
Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, those MMOs that obviously don’t count because they are played on a small screen instead of a massive screen, and we all know that’s what the M stands for.
First up is Lineage 2 Revolution. Netmarble’s new toy got a big update this week infusing the game with seasonal content for both its PvP modes. You’ll want to make sure you jot down the Fortress Siege and Open Siege start times in your calendar! For PvE players, note that
“the latest game update also expands the max level for players to 180, along with the expansion of Main Quests, Daily Quests, and Scroll Quests, providing more content for active and higher leveled players. New region, Giran Dominion, has been added, along with field expansion in Deathly Fog Shores, Devil’s isle, Haunted Necropolis, Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, and 3. Moreover, Elite Dungeon has additionally opened Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, 3, allowing players to gain even more EXP and Adenas.”
Read on for more mobile MMO news!
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Wakfu, Fortnite, Astroneer, Old School RuneScape, Overwatch, Pokemon Go, Lineage 2 Revolution, PUBG, Defiance, Battlerite, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
Still scoffing at the idea of mobile MMOs? They’re catching on anyway. Netmarble announced this week that five million people globally have signed up to play Lineage 2 Revolution in the last two months, a feat many MMORPGs on PC will never achieve, even in a free-to-play market.
To celebrate the milemarker, Netmarble is bestowing gifts on players (enhance scrollies) and kicked off multiple events:
- The Combine Equipment Event (through January 17th);
- Aymel’s School – Growth Mentor Event (through January 16th), which grants leveling bonuses and free dungeons clearances;
- and the New Year Celebration Everyday Log-in Event (through January 20th) – yeah, you pretty much just need to log in for free stuff on this one.
Did anyone give it a try over the holidays?
Former NCsoft Vice President and Blade & Soul lead producer Bae Jae Hyu has landed in legal hot water thanks to an ongoing insider trading inquiry.
The investigation began last summer when investors seemingly short-sold almost 200,000 shares in the company, a record that saw NCsoft’s stock values fall significantly. Swirling in the background were rumors that Lineage M would launch sans auction hall, which authorities believed might have provoked the move. Bae Jae-hyun, who sold 8000 shares in the company, immediately fell under suspicion, though NCsoft denied the allegations.
But last week, Korea’s Financial Services Commission formally turned the case over to prosecutors.
Insider trading scandals are nothing new to MMORPG gamers; you’ll recall that former Funcom executives were involved in a similar insider trading case following the original launch of The Secret World. The perpetrators in that case were convicted by the Norwegian courts last year.
Mobile MMO sensation Lineage 2 Revolution has rolled out a big update today. Netmarble says the patch includes plenty of content for fans of large-scale PvP in particular as well as new servers to spread out the apparently burgeoning playerbase (spread across 54 countries).
The first new bit is Fortress Siege, a Friday night 50v50 guild war that clans will have to bid to participate in. The other is called Open Siege, and that’s a 30v30 battle open for everyone level 11 and up.
“In celebration of the Open Siege update, the schedule for Open Siege will be adjusted for the first week of the update: A total of five Open Siege will be held – Wednesday (December 13) and Saturday (December 16) on the first week, and Tuesday (December 19), Thursday (December 21), and Saturday (December 23) on the second week. Schedule will resume to every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from the following week. (Schedule is subject to change with notice).”
Big things are afoot in the realm of Lineage 2 this week. Its European version just added “The Last Page — Salvation” update that concludes the current storyline saga, reworks several classes, adds the Shadow of the Tree hunting zone, and simplifies clan management.
The Lineage 2 EU Classic server also got its own update called Antharas, which brings out the titular dragon for an epic showdown. There’s also a new high-level Forgotten Island hunting zone as well as catacombs and necropolises sprinkled across the map. The team is preparing a free weekend to celebrate Classic’s second birthday from December 22nd through the 24th.
In other Lineage news, Netmarble put out a new video discussing the importance of resources in Lineage 2 Revolution. Are you playing this mobile MMO (which pretty much plays itself)?
Eager to have all of the gameplay of TERA in the palm of your hand with TERA M? You might want to be a little more cautious with that excitement. Steparu has been checking the game out and has concluded that however much fun the game may be, it relies very aggressively on pursuing microtransactions, to the point that level 40 on up is largely a paywall. You’ll be in a bad place if you haven’t bought anything, and that’ll make the game difficult if not impossible to keep playing.
Comparisons are made to the gameplay of Lineage 2 Revolution, and it is of course altogether possible that the business model will be tweaked or revised before the game launches in the west. Still, while we’ve embedded some videos past the break, this may serve to temper your enthusiasm slightly. Or it might instill with you the joy of knowing you shall be an ultra-whale. We’re not going to judge.
Last weekend, Brendan wrote a great column on how to stay safe from gankers in EVE Online, noting that the newbies are commonly given what he considers bad advice to just stay in high-sec; indeed, he smartly quoted Shedd: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
The article prompted a discussion in our work chat about risk-taking in MMORPGs. “After every one of Brendan’s (excellent!) tips, I keep mentally adding, ‘or alternatively, don’t play EVE,'” Eliot joked. And they’re both right. If you’re dead-set on being a “ship” in the risky gameworld of New Eden, staying in “harbor” defeats the purpose of playing EVE. But this is a real world where you don’t have to be a ship – you don’t have to play EVE. You don’t have to risk it all just for some pixel gratification.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writing staff to dish on risk-taking, in EVE or elsewhere. Are they into it? What kinds of risks are they willing to take, PvE or PvP? What do they think about risk-vs.-reward in MMOs?
may be fudging
, but it still sold a truckton of copies.
That’s according to Superdata, whose most recent revenue report shows Bungie’s new baby holding the #4 spot for PC and #3 spot for console in terms of global revenue for the month of October. “High attach rates for deluxe editions drove the average selling price up,” says the analysis firm, while digital games’ growth across the board “was underpinned by a 28% jump in premium PC thanks to Destiny 2’s successful BattleNet launch, and the continued blockbuster hit of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”
Indeed, PUBG blew past D2 on PC to claim the #2 spot, right behind League of Legends. The real competitor for PUBG, however, is Epic’s Fortnite, which startled the PvE playerbase it had cultivated with a quality battle royale mode earlier this fall.
“While Fortnite has seen a higher out-of-the-gate active user base thanks to its F2P status, the game’s long-term success vs. its major and earlier-released rival is uncertain,” writes SuperData.”
The Battle Bards are quite familiar with the power of the strummed guitar and lute, knowing that such simple instruments can bring down walls, devastate armies, and dethrone monarchs. But on their off days, acoustic guitars are simply pleasurable to hear and are sprinkled throughout many a-MMO’s soundtrack. It’s six-stringed serenity in the 110th episode of this podcast!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 110: Acoustic Guitar (or download it) now:
One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.
Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.
So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.