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NCSoft Q1 2011 conference call


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#1 Gigashadow

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:58 AM

Update:

Regina Buenaobra said:

All right, everyone. Seems that this investor call got a few people worked up, so I wanted to reiterate information about beta and the business model.

Our release date remains "When it's done" and our current beta timing is still closed alpha/beta this year, with public beta and release to be determined based upon feedback from closed alpha/beta.

The business model remains subscription-free (buy the game, no monthly fees) with microtransactions, which you have long known about. Other games charge a subscription fee to provide ongoing game content. As you know from Rick's posts on the forums, microstransactions in Guild Wars 2 are going to help sustain the game and provide you with ongoing game content.

So, really, the investor call revealed nothing new to fans who have been following the game closely. For investors, the call was informational and provided status updates for them. Unlike fans, investors don't constantly hit F5 on the blog or the Guild Wars 2 website to track every single minute detail. :)

http://global.ncsoft.../quarterly.aspx

Was listening to the stream (no download link yet), so times are approximate.

As usual, take everything said with a grain of salt, as these have proven to be quite inaccurate in the past.

(approx 20% through)
Guild Wars 2 will go into beta testing stage in the second half of this year.

(approx 30% through)
As for the business model for Guild Wars 2, we are still working very hard to find the best formula to maximize our revenue from this product and also satisfy our customers.  When you look at our website Guild Wars 2 you have noticed that we are talking about not having the subscription fee, but that's not the end of it, and we are actually working very hard to find the best way to satisfy our customers and also maximize our revenue.  When the time comes we'll be able to announce the business models for Guild Wars 2.  At this point there are many moving pieces we are working currently so it's very hard to share all the information.

And as for the schedule, well definitely there will be a certain type of closed beta testing before the end of the year, so that means there will be more activities in 2012, and as you know it has been our position not to announce any timing on any public events yet, and we will definitely take our position to announce the public schedules only when it's ready, because we believe that it's our mission to not disappoint the market.  But it doesn't mean there is any issue in development schedule.  It is on track and I think we'll be able to provide and share more information and also the updated game content in public spaces throughout the year.

Edited by Chalky, 17 May 2011 - 07:11 PM.
Anet quote added


#2 Sponx

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:00 AM

"... about not having the subscription fee, but that's not the end of it" what do you suppose he means by that? I guess he's referring to the item shop and stuff.. but for some reason I just got a bad feeling about that sentence..

#3 FoxBat

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:01 AM

Quote

so that means there will be more activities in 2012

Can we finally disregard the 2011 release hypothesis?

#4 Sponx

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:04 AM

FoxBat said:

Can we finally disregard the 2011 release hypothesis?

I guess so, with a closed beta "by the end of the year" it doesn't seem likely that there will be a release in '11..

#5 Howl

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:06 AM

FoxBat said:

Can we finally disregard the 2011 release hypothesis?

If a remember correctly one of these conference calls said the game release was going to be on 2009 so..
no.

Sponx said:

I guess so, with a closed beta "by the end of the year" it doesn't seem likely that there will be a release in '11..

It says BEFORE the end of the year, not "by the end of the year".

#6 dansamy

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:07 AM

I see a new Release Date Speculation thread coming on.....

#7 Bocjo Basan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:07 AM

I will not pay a sub for a game period.... I pay rent... I make car payments.... I want my games to be something I can pick up and put down at will.... I love everything I have seen about GW2 but for them to even consider going to a sub fee game for GW2 I find hard to believe.

#8 Howl

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:09 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

I will not pay a sub for a game period.... I pay rent... I make car payments.... I want my games to be something I can pick up and put down at will.... I love everything I have seen about GW2 but for them to even consider going to a sub fee game for GW2 I find hard to believe.

I think they are referring to microtransactions (when they say "but that's not the end of it") rather than switching the b2p model.

#9 Hosaka

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:11 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

I will not pay a sub for a game period.... I pay rent... I make car payments.... I want my games to be something I can pick up and put down at will.... I love everything I have seen about GW2 but for them to even consider going to a sub fee game for GW2 I find hard to believe.

Relax. We've been reassured many, many times already that there won't be any subscription fees.

#10 Alpro

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:11 AM

"Before" the end of the year isn't the same as "by" the end, right? As for the second half of 2011, it means in July or later. I don't think the beta (open or closed, whatever) will occur during the conventions season. So maybe closed alpha in September, closed beta in October, open beta in November and release in December, just in time for Christmas. Yes, i'm still optimistic about a 2011 release. :)

#11 xSagez

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:13 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

I will not pay a sub for a game period.... I pay rent... I make car payments.... I want my games to be something I can pick up and put down at will.... I love everything I have seen about GW2 but for them to even consider going to a sub fee game for GW2 I find hard to believe.

Where is this coming from? Its absolutely guaranteed to be sub free...

#12 Juanele

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:16 AM

xSagez said:

Where is this coming from? Its absolutely guaranteed to be sub free...

I agree with this. If they were to change to a sub based game it would be a huge bait and switch. They would lose way too many consumers if they did that.

#13 xSagez

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:16 AM

Alpro said:

"Before" the end of the year isn't the same as "by" the end, right? As for the second half of 2011, it means in July or later. I don't think the beta (open or closed, whatever) will occur during the conventions season. So maybe closed alpha in September, closed beta in October, open beta in November and release in December, just in time for Christmas. Yes, i'm still optimistic about a 2011 release. :)

That's to close to Oblivion, Mass Effect 3(?), SWTOR and maybe some other great titles. So they will have to skip out on Christmas, and wait for people to regenerate some of the hundreds of dollars they used on it...

#14 Arkantos

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:18 AM

Howl said:

If a remember correctly one of these conference calls said the game release was going to be on 2009 so..
no.

The game was still early in development then, I'm sure they scrapped and redid lots of things. The games much closer to completion now, so they have a better grasp of when it'll be done.

Alpro said:

"Before" the end of the year isn't the same as "by" the end, right? As for the second half of 2011, it means in July or later. I don't think the beta (open or closed, whatever) will occur during the conventions season. So maybe closed alpha in September, closed beta in October, open beta in November and release in December, just in time for Christmas. Yes, i'm still optimistic about a 2011 release. :)

They said the second half of this year, which can mean anytime between July and December. As for a 2011 release, I'm pretty sure "more activities in 2012" pretty much kills that. It could change of course, but it's the closest thing to confirmation we have.

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#15 Xavier

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:22 AM

So maybe we won't see an open beta until Q1 2012 then. Release date could also be Q1 if everything goes well, but how often does that happen? It could easily be Q2 release if they run into any kind of trouble. Oh well, time to let go of the F5 button I guess.. :(

#16 Romanator0

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:23 AM

Arkantos said:

As for a 2011 release, I'm pretty sure "more activities in 2012" pretty much kills that. It could change of course, but it's the closest thing to confirmation we have.

More activities in 2012 could mean anything. It could be major patches or expansions or other things like that. Development on the game doesn't stop after release.

#17 Arkantos

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:24 AM

Xavier said:

So maybe we won't see an open beta until Q1 2012 then. Release date could also be Q1 if everything goes well, but how often does that happen? It could easily be Q2 release if they run into any kind of trouble. Oh well, time to let go of the F5 button I guess.. :(

Rift had closed beta, open beta and release in Q1 this year. It's not highly unlikely that GW2 could do the same.

Romanator0 said:

More activities in 2012 could mean anything. It could be major patches or expansions or other things like that. Development on the game doesn't stop after release.

I doubt he's talking about post release in that context.

Quote

well definitely there will be a certain type of closed beta testing before the end of the year, so that means there will be more activities in 2012

Sounds a lot more like testing than major patches and expansions.

Edited by Arkantos, 17 May 2011 - 04:26 AM.

Tyria, here be dragons

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#18 Bocjo Basan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:24 AM

Gigashadow said:

http://global.ncsoft.../quarterly.aspx



As for the business model for Guild Wars 2, we are still working very hard to find the best formula to maximize our revenue from this product and also satisfy our customers.  When you look at our website Guild Wars 2 you have noticed that we are talking about not having the subscription fee, but that's not the end of it, and we are actually working very hard to find the best way to satisfy our customers and also maximize our revenue.  When the time comes we'll be able to announce the business models for Guild Wars 2.  At this point there are many moving pieces we are working currently so it's very hard to share all the information.


This is where that comes from... and to be quite frank I find this absurd........ I do not for one second think that ANet is considering switching to some sub fee game... nor do I think they would even create some lame cash shop  that gives players advantage...........


So this part of this  "conference call" I consider total misinformation.... and bull... and as I said... find hard to believe....

Edited by Bocjo Basan, 17 May 2011 - 04:28 AM.


#19 Arkantos

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:29 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

This is where that comes from... and to be quite frank I find this absurd........ I do not for one second think that ANet is considering switching to some sub fee game... nor do I think they would even create some lame cash shop  that gives players advantage...........


So this part of this  "conference call" I consider total misinformation.... and bull... and as I said... find hard to believe....

What's hard to believe? They're a company, they need money, they aren't charging a subscription fee and they're looking for other ways to make profit from this game.

Tyria, here be dragons

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#20 Mordakai

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:29 AM

How does "we are actually working very hard to find the best way to satisfy our customers and also maximize our revenue"  =   "player advantage cash shop"?


I honestly don't read anything to that statement at all...  yes, there will be stuff sold in-store.  We've known this since Transmution Stones.  So?

#21 Guest Nick

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:30 AM

what a surprise!!
Totally did not expecting this

#22 Xavier

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:31 AM

Arkantos said:

Rift had closed beta, open beta and release in Q1 this year. It's not highly unlikely that GW2 could do the same.

Nice to hear, and I really hope you're right. It dosen't feel too bad to wait for a Q1 release.

#23 Malchior Devenholm

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:32 AM

Mordakai said:

How does "we are actually working very hard to find the best way to satisfy our customers and also maximize our revenue"  =   "player advantage cash shop"?


I honestly don't read anything to that statement at all...  yes, there will be stuff sold in-store.  We've known this since Transmution Stones.  So?

It's NCSoft, it's a corporation, and it's a marketing call to their investors.

Was anything else expected?

#24 Mordakai

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:33 AM

Malchior Devenholm said:

It's NCSoft, it's a corporation, and it's a marketing call to their investors.

Was anything else expected?

That's what i am saying....  people are freaking out over nothing.

The fact they are saying 2012 is strangely reassuring....

#25 Bocjo Basan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:34 AM

Howl said:

I think they are referring to microtransactions (when they say "but that's not the end of it") rather than switching the b2p model.
I think they have many many times made very CLEAR what there intentions for microtransactions and sub fee's are....... I can not imagine that they would be debating this beat to hell issue in some conference call now ... after all the hype that those things would NOT change from guild wars 1....  I mean seriously.... please... someone is pulling someone's leg on this one....

#26 Craywulf

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:35 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

This is where that comes from... and to be quite frank I find this absurd........ I do not for one second think that ANet is considering switching to some sub fee game... nor do I think they would even create some lame cash shop  that gives players advantage...........


So this part of this  "conference call" I consider total misinformation.... and bull... and as I said... find hard to believe....
So if it was bull....why did you fly off the handle and accuse ArenaNet of bait and switching? It's funny how one minute your raging and another your making sensible comments. Are you bipolar? :p

#27 Arkantos

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:36 AM

Bocjo Basan said:

I think they have many many times made very CLEAR what there intentions for microtransactions and sub fee's are....... I can not imagine that they would be debating this beat to hell issue in some conference call now ... after all the hype that those things would NOT change from guild wars 1....  I mean seriously.... please... someone is pulling someone's leg on this one....

I honestly have absolutely no idea what you're ranting about. Why wouldn't they discuss making profit off the game in a quarterly conference call?

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#28 Gigashadow

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:37 AM

Howl said:

If a remember correctly one of these conference calls said the game release was going to be on 2009 so..

In the early 2009 conference call they actually said the delay was because they decided to change plans and make a bigger game.  See here:

http://www.guildwars...62&postcount=15

#29 Archaes

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:46 AM

I'm not sure what to think about a Q4 2011/Q1 2012 release date.

The nature of their information is very vague and ambiguous. At this point, it seems like it could still happen in both of those periods.

#30 Cirdan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:49 AM

Meh...I'm leaning closer to 2012 release now, sadly. However, since they mention bringing outside players in to play GW2 makes me think they are in the final stages. I really don't know what to think.