The final three months of 2016 were a spectacular quarter for NCSoft. According to the company’s most recent financial report, “sales reached a historic high” and “operating profit also hit a record high.” For those of us in the West, however, it was business as usual — and very little business for one struggling MMO.
The big star of the financial report is Lineage, which went from 83.7 billion Korean won (KRW) in Q3 to 118.4 bKRW in Q4. For the records I have dating back to 2004, that’s the second highest quarter for any NCSoft game, narrowly edged out by Guild Wars 2’s first full quarter of sales (119 bKRW) back in Q4 2012. The report claims the surge is “due to large-scale upgrades and upfront recognition in Q4 2016 of Dragon Treasure Chest promotion sales to take place in Q1 2017.” Sounds suspiciously like a lockbox, no?
The other big mover in the financial report is … well, “Other.” The catch-all category went from 17.6 bKRW to 32.1 bKRW from Q3 to Q4, thanks to mobile game Lineage Red Knights.
In the category of “Games You Probably Care About,” there wasn’t much to report. Aion was up slightly, Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2 down slightly, and WildStar … well, we don’t know. It was finally folded into that “Other” category, suffering the same fate that City of Heroes and Tabula Rasa did in their final days. I’d say that doesn’t bode well, but we’ve written WildStar’s obituary so many times so far that I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see it go another five years.
The financial report also features a year-by-year breakdown of its top games’ sales from 2014-2016 — again, without WildStar — and overall sales by region per year. You can read the full report on the NCSoft Investors’ Relations page.