NCSoft released its financial statements for the third quarter of 2016, which covered the time period from July 1 to Sept. 30. And while the news across the board isn't very good, it's also not something to be too worried about just yet -- unless you're a WildStar fan.
In three out of the past four years, total sales have dropped going from Q2 to Q3. Maybe it's the good summer weather, or maybe it's just the lack of big expansions or updates during this time that keeps people from sitting in front of their computers. Whatever the case, all but one of NCSoft's MMOs saw a downturn in sales from quarter to quarter, but mostly not too out of the range of what we'd expect as a normal fluctuation.
Not shown is Lineage, because it would break the chart. It dropped from 94.430 billion Korean Won to 83.767 bKRW.
Lineage II is the only game that showed an increase in sales from quarter to quarter, and even that was relatively minor. In fact, here are the Q2-Q3 differences for each of NCSoft's games:
Lineage II: +8.1%
Blade & Soul: -18.0%
Guild Wars 2: -3.6%
Yes, you read that right: WildStar lost half its sales going from Q2 to Q3. Kudos to the Carbine dev team for continuing to put out content, but I hope nobody had faith in the Steam launch "saving" the game. Overall, Q3 2016 is the worst sales quarter for three of NCSoft's games -- WildStar, Guild Wars 2, and Aion -- though the last two are by a very small amount.
That's not the whole story, though. As you can tell by the chart at the top of the page, income is way down -- but still more than it was last Q3 -- which NCSoft attributes to "less in-game promotions by the major titles," the stabilization of Blade & Soul following its plus-sized Western launch, and greater labor and marketing costs. I'd expect a slight rebound in Q4, though with nothing huge on the horizon, and probably a further decrease as Blade & Soul stabilizes, things might not build back to the heights from earlier this year for a while.
You can download the financial report for yourself from the NCSoft 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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