NCSoft released its third quarter financial data today and it seems like the company is doing very well. I mean, VERY well. Sales, Net Income, Operating Profit: they’re all up not only quarter over quarter, but also year over year. How much over? Well, Operating Profit alone is up 190% year over year(a 190% IMPROVEMENT so that’s really like 290% up!). Yeah, way up. Think just shy of $50 million USD last quarter at for the parent component compared to over $73 million this quarter in just operating profit alone.
What games are driving this margin? Maybe not the ones you’d first think of, at least for many Western players.
We all know WildStar’s having a bit of a rough time justifying a subscription and the data helps support that. Sales of the MMORPG are down quarter over quarter by almost 43%. Yes, I hear you. The game could be expected to report lower this quarter than last (since the launch and initial income was last quarter) but that’s still a significant drop and WildStar sales even sank below sales for Guild Wars 2 (which also had a slight drop overall). At this rate, free-to-play may come sooner rather than later.
So if those two titles had a drop in sales, who picked up the slack? Lineage and Aion. That’s right the original Lineage, released in 1998, is still such a powerhouse in the East that it drove almost a third of NCSoft’s Consolidated Sales. Aion is also still going strong even if it only performed half as well as Lineage in the third quarter.
What’s most surprising to me though (besides WildStar almost losing in sales to Lineage II) is the stable nature of Blade & Soul. With as much hype as some players in the West have for the title, it doesn’t really seem to be growing much in the East, rather it just finds itself holding steady for the most part.
If you’re of the financial mind, head on over to NCSoft’s financial page and break it down even further.