I love earnings reports, more so because I am a huge number crunching nerd, but because it gives us an occasional glimpse into how MMO developers are doing. NCsoft finally got around to filing their Q1 reports, and there is plenty of information to be found, namely in what game is doing better than others.
I often hear complaints about NCsoft pushing North American and European players to the side, and quite frankly they might have good reason. The breakdown of NCsoft’s income paints a picture as to why NA and EU may take a back seat to other regions.
- Korea: 65%
- Japan: 11%
- N. America: 8%
- Europe: 7%
- Taiwan: 4%
Korea is still NCsoft’s biggest market by far, with NCsoft making almost as much from royalties (the remaining 6%) as they do from N. America or Europe.
As far as game sales themselves go, NCsoft pointed out at the top of the page that Lineage is continuing its growth momentum, which is quite impressive for a game hitting its twelfth birthday this September.
- Aion: 71,235
- Lineage: 47,507
- Lineage 2: 29,662
- City of Heroes: 3,348
- Others: 3,255
- Guild Wars: 2,382
Sales are down 5% from the last quarter, however the trend is continuing upward on a year over year scale. Profits have also increased due to what NCsoft referred to as cost cutting programs to improve efficiency. Arenanet looks like they are in some hot water, as their quarterly sales are down 33% from last quarter, and are plummeting on a year-by-year basis of 47%, making it the lowest operating NCsoft at this point. NCEurope did the worst this quarter with a 50% drop a sales, but is still riding a 180% year on year growth.
A few of the titles are disappointing, yet not all that unsurprising. Guild Wars, considering its age, is getting to the point where most of the people who will purchase it have already purchased it. Not to mention Guild Wars doesn’t exactly have a subscription to ride on for cash. City of Heroes is getting on in its age, although the game and its community are still going very strong. Lineage and Lineage 2 are still big sellers in Korea, no surprises there.
NCsoft is looking at a lot of potential in the next few years, what with their upcoming titles. Aion still appears to be selling strong, although the recent announcement of server mergers…well that’s for another story.