With Tabula Rasa’s lukewarm launch, Guild Wars in slumber and other NCsoft games struggling to expand, sales numbers are 3% down. Yet, NCsoft managed to report a 14% increase in operating profit vs. the previous year. In a conference call for investors, tremendous insight to NCsoft’s strategy was revealed.
“We have six new MMO titles in our pipeline, three in Korea and three in the US, which are well underway in development. These projects are being monitored systematically, under the project review process, which we put in place last year.” NCsoft CEO Jaeho Lee adds, “We will make every effort to make sure the smooth launch of these new products during 2009 and 2010, which we believe will strengthen our position as a global leader in the global online gaming industry.”
NCsoft is putting a lot of faith into Aion, which is scheduled for a North American / European launch in the second half of 2008. In the highly competitive market, is there room for another MMORPG? NCsoft seems unwavering to try new things.
“We also hear that Warhammer Online and Lord of the Rings Online will come to the market this year, but actually we don’t worry much about those new titles because traditionally that kind of US developed MMO titles are quite different from the games Korean gamers are familiar and also enjoying.” Lee adds, “The biggest competition of Aion will be World of Warcraft and that is our market assessment.”
During the conference call, Lee responded to the less than impressive sales of Tabula Rasa. “This is kind of a new style game, which was not in the market before. Richard Garriot and his development team tried to create a totally different genre of MMO game. So it’s kinda new to the market, so we’re still testing whether the market is ready to accept and take this new type of game.”
Lee later added, “I should admit that the actual result of Tabula Rasa has been disappointing. Because of that reason, our US is doing their best to update with new content and making another marketing promotion event.”