NCSoft Gets Massive Boost From Lineage W In Q4 2021 While PC Games Falter
Aion's classic servers are a hit, while UE4 remake didn't do much for Blade & Soul
At this point, we should probably consider ourselves fortunate that NCSoft continues making games that aren't for mobile devices. The company's Q4 2021 earnings report is out, and it goes something like this:
- Lineage W: 47% of NCSoft's Q4 revenue
- Everything else: 53% of NCSoft's Q4 revenue
That's one mobile game accounting for nearly half of the company's revenue for the quarter. In total, mobile games accounted for 80% of NCSoft's take for the quarter. Admittedly, those numbers are a little aberrant in the short term, and Lineage W is available on other platforms, but even going back over the prior four quarters -- when there were no major mobile releases -- the revenue split is roughly three-to-one in favor of mobile games.
Q4 2021 was also a down quarter for NCSoft's PC games, with just Guild Wars 2 posting numbers better than in Q3. On a yearly basis, Aion got a boost from its classic servers, while Blade & Soul's much-lauded UE4 update did nothing to help that game's fortunes; in 2021, it brought in about half the revenue it did in 2019.
Despite Lineage W's great showing, profits and income for the year were down, due to the development and marketing costs of the title. Don't worry, though -- NCSoft won't need to launch a Patreon any time soon to meet costs. Operating profit for the year was about $311 million, which was still down 55% from 2020, thanks to the "pandemic bump" and Lineage 2 M providing the then-"best quarter ever."
Lineage W is currently only available in select territories, but NCSoft plans to expand its service worldwide, including to North America and Europe, sometime this year. If the company keeps producing hits like that or Lineage 2 M every couple of years, then those records might keep falling. Let's just hope the other games still get dragged along for the ride.
You can check out NCSoft's financial reports on its investors' relations page.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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