Dismal performance leads to a 30% drop in value over the last month.
NCSoft’s stock value continues to drop in the wake of Blade & Soul 2’s underwhelming launch. Blade & Soul 2 launched in Korea with big expectations, with NCSoft announcing the title had drawn in 7.5 million pre-registrations. The launch itself evidently hasn’t gone quite as well. Gamers have panned the game as over its negligible improvements on Blade & Soul’s predecessor, with a lot of the criticism focused at the perceived pay to win elements of the new title. The game is available on Android, iOS, and PC.
Blade & Soul 2 currently carries a 2/5 rating on Google Play with many reviews calling out the pay to win nature. The app store version is slightly more generous with a 2.3/5 rating.
The response from the community and investors indicates a potential shift in the market, one where overt monetization without innovation to accompany it is no longer a viable strategy. It does raise questions and concerns over NCSoft’s upcoming launch of mobile title Lineage W, as well as the viability of Blade & Soul 2 as an internationally available product.
One thing for certain is that right here, right now, consumer backlash has generated tons of negative press for NCSoft in its homeland, wiped away a lot of value from the company, damaged relations with its community and influencers, and muddied the waters on upcoming game launches. And with apologies seemingly falling on deaf ears, NCSoft needs to dig its way out of the grave it built for itself. And fast.