It’s amazing what an expansion can do for a game’s financial outlook. Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire released just a week before the end of Q3 2017, and while that gave it a slight bump in revenue numbers, I thought that would be the end of it and it fall back to earth for Q4.
That proved not to be the case, as GW2 continued its strong performance into the last three months of 2017, propelling ArenaNet to one of its best quarters in five years. GW2 brought in 34,903 million South Korean won (mKRW), a total surpassed only by the quarter its last expansion, Heart of Thorns, launched (37,331 mKRW) and the game’s first three quarters, dating back to early 2013.
Now, the question is: Will ArenaNet be able to maintain that momentum following the expansion? That was an issue last time, due to a lack of general content for several months following Heart of Thorns’ launch. So far, the company’s been much better about updates, so I wouldn’t expect too precipitous a drop in future quarters.
The rest of NCSoft’s suite of games changed very little between Q3 and Q4, with the exception of the mobile games category, which dropped a fair bit, from 551,032 mKRW to 327,101 mKRW. NCSoft says that’s because “the launch effect of Lineage M faded,” which, in mobile language means, “We need to slam together another game quickly to get that launch money again!”
Otherwise, it was steady business for Lineage, Lineage II, Aion, and Blade & Soul, which were down, down, up, and up slightly, respectively. Oh, and that SuperData report from last week that predicted amazing numbers for GW2 and B&S? Even with its great quarter, GW2 wound up about $10 million short of SuperData’s $87 million prediction for 2017, while Blade & Soul, shockingly, did not have its best quarter ever and finished $30 million under SuperData’s prediction of $178 million. And I guess World of Warcraft still isn’t making any money, since it’s not in the report …
You can check out the NCSoft financial reports for yourself in the company’s Investor Relations page.