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New NCSoft Earning report is out...


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#1 Captain Bulldozer

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

The new Quarterly earnings report for NCSoft has been released.  You can go here to find it if you're interested:

http://www.ncsoft.ne...r/earnings.aspx

In it, the tidings for GW2 could be described as "bleak".  Pre-royalty sales for the 3rd quarter were around $23 million, only slightly higher than that of Aion.  Furthermore, the trend of declining sales of GW2 continues, and does so at a faster rate than the rates of change of NCSoft's other big sellers (Aion, Linear 1, Lineage 2 and Blade and Soul all have relatively consistent sales).

More than that, the quarterly sales by Arenanet are now lower than that of any other division of NCSoft except NCSoft Taiwan, for the first time since GW2 was released.

Now, 3rd quarter sales figures are often on the weaker side, and GW2 is still making a profit, so there's that.  However, the sales figures support that, on average, Arenanet was bringing in slightly under $3.1 million per month in the last 3 months, BEFORE taxes and expenses, with a trend of decline.

In light of this, it would seem that the microtransaction model of GW2 is not proving to be an overwhelming success in the long term (though of course, this quarter could be an anomaly). Things will likely pick up in the 4th quarter, but how much it does will say quite a bit about the viability of Arenanet's current practices.  Discuss at will.

#2 El Duderino

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:56 PM

All in a relatively low competition environment.

Also, release in China has been pushed back indefinitely.

#3 MisterJaguar25

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:28 PM

I think the problem is they haven't added much new permanent content to the game since release. If you aren't around for the temp content, you won't even get to experience it. They seriously need to add a large, permanent patch of new and different content in order to keep people active. I think this living world stuff really needs to stop, a little bit of new content every 2 weeks that will go away forever afterwards is not going to keep people playing, and it's extremely annoying to feel like I have to do it before the two weeks is over or I'll miss out. There's apparently 3 new fractals coming out soon, which I expect to be permanent, and that's a step in the right direction, but they need to keep doing that.

A paid expansion that releases a bunch of new dungeons, perhaps even raids, both with new mechanics, achievements, jumping puzzle, a new proffession perhaps,maybe a new race with interesting new racials, new Spvp modes (the last of which which they've said are in the works I believe) and such, and all of it needs to be permanent.

Edited by MisterJaguar25, 17 November 2013 - 05:33 PM.


#4 Mister_Smiley

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:39 PM

It just shows that Anet tosses everything that they should have learned from Guild Wars 1 and not use it. The way they had the Story set up in GW1 Worked, they try the Gemstore and look its not working, i personal think its the biggest problem with GW2. I also have to agree with MisterJaguar. So i am going to say it again, Do people really think Anet isn't working on a Paid expansion?

To stay on Topic, I expect the sales to be down because of the Temp crap content they put out, it goes fast and doesn't keep people intrested in the game.(hell i do the living story and then stop playing) Anet need to take a look at them selfs.

#5 Featherman

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

What I think this means is that ANet will have to scale back their "Living Story" model as it is essential to their micro-transaction scheme. The numbers may be implying that it's not doing its job of retaining players and keeping them paying, or not enough to justify the amount of money it takes to design content every 2 weeks. If they do continue with the model, it's likely they'll find an equilibrium but their profits certainly won't be comparable to the ones at launch.

If ANet does go the route of adding less frequent, but permanent, content their designers will need to create layered content that has high intrinsic longevity. I don't think that's likely as the most if not all the content those designers have released so far have been one-off grind/zergfest; their experience creating such content won't be conducive to creating the deeper content needed to retain players.

Edited by Featherman, 17 November 2013 - 06:07 PM.


#6 MisterJaguar25

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 17 November 2013 - 05:56 PM, said:

What I think this means is that ANet will have to scale back their "Living Story" model as it is essential to their micro-transaction scheme. The numbers may be implying that it's not doing its job of retaining players and keeping them paying, or not enough to justify the amount of money it takes to design content every 2 weeks. If they do continue with the model, it's likely they'll find an equilibrium but their profits certainly won't be comparable to the ones at launch.

If ANet does go the route of adding less frequent, but permanent, content their designers will need to create layered content that has high intrinsic longevity. I don't think that's likely as the most if not all the content those designers have released so far have been one-off grind/zergfest; their experience creating such content won't be conducive to creating the deeper content needed to retain players.

I really think the zergfest model needs to stop as well, I really hate the idea of a mindless swarm of players beat down an enemy that has no chance of beating them, aka, zero challenge (that and big zergs of players causes my sound to pretty much vanish which is lame). More, and challenging, 5 man content would be to my liking. I'm still enjoying the dungeons and stuff that's present, but I just worry about how much longer it'll hold me.

And I think they do know how to make good content, I believe I've thoroughly enjoyed most of the dungeons and fractals, so I trust that they'd be able to do it. The question from my perspective is, WILL they? Whatever the case, I hope this earnings call gets them to have serious reconsiderations about certain things, I just hope it has a positive effect on the games future.

Edited by MisterJaguar25, 17 November 2013 - 06:36 PM.


#7 Castaa

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:35 PM

They still can reduce to price or go free to play to attract new players.

I'd pay in gems for a new character class or cash for a significant new expansion.

#8 Faer

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:38 PM

As long as they can afford PlayStations, they are doing okay.

#9 Lucav

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:40 PM

The endgame is cosmetics, and we havent had very many new armor sets, and very few compelling ones.

#10 Dahk

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:47 PM

View PostLucav, on 17 November 2013 - 06:40 PM, said:

The endgame is cosmetics, and we havent had very many new armor sets, and very few compelling ones.
ANet made a big mistake in not recognizing how they made cosmetic armor upgrades work in GW1:

In GW1, you had a lot of cosmetic options that were easy to attain, but you also had some that took a lot of time and effort (FoW armor).

In GW2, however, a legendary is pretty much the only difficult skin to attain.  There are very difficult to attain skins in PvP, but sadly, they look the same as armor sets that are a breeze to pick up in PvE.

As a result of this, you end up with players who have played through the easy content, but have little challenge and even less incentive to take up challenges.

Edited by Dahk, 18 November 2013 - 01:09 AM.


#11 Robsy128

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:53 PM

I really couldn't agree with MisterJaguar more to be honest. The problem is that there is no permanent content being added - at least, none that is compelling enough to stick around for. We need more dungeons and harder content that is both challenging and fun at the same time. These zerg fests can be fun and are easy exp, but we need more of the 5-man stuff. I also think we need more personal story. What happens after Zhaitan? What about the other dragons? It's been over a year now. I appreciate that it takes time to make content, but this Scarlet Whoha stuff really needs to end so we can get back to saving the world from the big bad dragons. Unless somehow Scarlet is linked to the dragons? Hmmm....

#12 FoxBat

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:22 PM

I don't see any breakdown of game by region here. When you say "compared to Aion" keep in mind this includes Aion's Asian numbers, where it is still a sub game, not its failing Western presence. Yeah these numbers aren't going to make Blizzard envious, but neither are they in danger of restructuring their business model at the present time, as say Aion NA/EU had to.

While the LS basically amounts to "filler" and they could be making bigger profits with proper content additions, they have an Asia launch on their plate. There's likely a belief that, if done right, would stand to make them much more money long-term then a Western expansion. So while half the company works on filler content to sustain profits, another quarter is refining the systems to support grind hooks and other long-term play issues for Asian launch, while yet another quarter has likely been building up some late 2014 expansion type content.

View PostDahk, on 17 November 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

In GW1, you had a lot of cosmetic options that were easy to attain, but you also had some that took a lot of time and effort (FoW armor).

Yeah you had FoW armor and....?  Maybe Vabbian? Everything else was a measly 15k, which was easier to scrounge up than grinding dungeon tokens. Weapon skins were the only place where there was a variety of prestige, and most of that vanished with the introduction of inscriptions, since you were really paying for perfect stats with said rare skin.

Edited by FoxBat, 17 November 2013 - 09:38 PM.


#13 El Duderino

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

View PostMister_Smiley, on 17 November 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:

It just shows that Anet tosses everything that they should have learned from Guild Wars 1 and not use it. The way they had the Story set up in GW1 Worked, they try the Gemstore and look its not working, i personal think its the biggest problem with GW2. I also have to agree with MisterJaguar. So i am going to say it again, Do people really think Anet isn't working on a Paid expansion?

To stay on Topic, I expect the sales to be down because of the Temp crap content they put out, it goes fast and doesn't keep people intrested in the game.(hell i do the living story and then stop playing) Anet need to take a look at them selfs.

How could they be working on an expansion and be releasing Living Story updates at the pace they are? I believe them when they say no expansion coming.

#14 MazingerZ

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:26 PM

View PostFaer, on 17 November 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

As long as they can afford PlayStations, they are doing okay.

At 400 dollars a console, with somewhere just over 300 employees, that brings the math up to over $120,000.  Tax not included.

That's less then the cost of a senior software engineer out in the East Coast and less than than to employee two people on a standard Java developer salary in Seattle.  And that's basic salary, not even covering benefits and 401k contributions and taxes.

And this is assuming everyone who works for ArenaNet got one.
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Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#15 Maldeus

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:35 PM

The Living Story is the reason I haven't logged into GW2 for like a year. I wouldn't even be here except that I stumbled across something that made me mildly interested in hypothesizing about GW2 expansions.

#16 jayson

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:17 PM

One of the things I believe they could do in the short term is to make pretty much everything in the shop account bound. It's not going to get everyone to buy, but people on the fence would probably be willing to spend a little to get things like dyes if they knew they could unlock them for every character they have.

Unless they already did that?

#17 MazingerZ

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:37 PM

View Postjayson, on 17 November 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:

One of the things I believe they could do in the short term is to make pretty much everything in the shop account bound. It's not going to get everyone to buy, but people on the fence would probably be willing to spend a little to get things like dyes if they knew they could unlock them for every character they have.

Unless they already did that?

Interestingly enough, that's what was supposed to happen, but they changed it after hiring new people to sell their stuff prior to launch.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#18 MisterJaguar25

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:15 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 17 November 2013 - 06:53 PM, said:

Unless somehow Scarlet is linked to the dragons? Hmmm....

or Scarlet is the dragons. All of them, simultaneously.

#19 Baldur The Bold

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:52 PM

Maybe she will make an alliance of the elder dragons and makes them into a hyrbid! Then after we defeat the chimeric dragon she teleports away and the end chest gets you 2 greens, a blue, and a rare chance at a mini middle finger of scarlets'.

Edited by Baldur The Bold, 17 November 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#20 Juanele

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:53 PM

still seems to be doing pretty well, 2nd highest revenue earner after Lineage

#21 Baldur The Bold

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

View PostMaldeus, on 17 November 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

The Living Story is the reason I haven't logged into GW2 for like a year. I wouldn't even be here except that I stumbled across something that made me mildly interested in hypothesizing about GW2 expansions.

IF they are not going to make an expansion I can see this game dying really really fast. I log in to do my daily.I will check out the LS stuff but if it is zerg and grind I am usually logging out right away.

View PostJuanele, on 17 November 2013 - 10:53 PM, said:

still seems to be doing pretty well, 2nd highest revenue earner after Lineage

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#22 Miragee

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

I took my quota on the earning report in the other thread already ("I don't think the decline from Q2 to Q3 is really significant enough to be worried. It looks relatively stable, as I expected. If this continues that have enough time for making an expansion imho."), so I'm just replying to some of you here.

View PostDahk, on 17 November 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

ANet made a big mistake in not recognize how they made cosmetic armor upgrades work in GW1:

In GW1, you had a lot of cosmetic options that were easy to attain, but you also had some that took a lot of time and effort (FoW armor).

In GW2, however, a legendary is pretty much the only difficult skin to attain.  There are very difficult to attain skins in PvP, but sadly, they look the same as armor sets that are a breeze to pick up in PvE.

As a result of this, you end up with players who have played through the easy content, but have little challenge and even less incentive to take up challenges.

That's not quite right. Most Prestige-Armours are priced at 75 P + materials, which is an ok effort I think. I think they are compareable to dungeon armor (I think they did well with them, beside the dungeons should be WAY harder and the tokens should be tradeable). GW1 added a lot of the really expansive stuff over the years. GW2 started well with ideas of dungeon armor + mystic forge recipes imho. Then the desided to bring ascended. That immediately took away a lot from the mystic forge recipe: Why should one work to get a thousand-equivalent and doesn't even have the BiS gear? It actually makes no sense. Same will apply to dungeon armors as soon as ascended armor is introduced. Then, all Skins they add, are either shop items or easy to obtain achievement-rewards. A system where acquiring skins is a large part of end game you can't add short term shinies only. Achievements are done in 3 days each and your stash is filling with useless skins. And the cool skins are bought within a minute through real money. A shop with skins cannot work in a game that wants to have skin progression instead of stat progression.
So, while GW2 started with a fairly solid system (not everything thought out well enough, but that could have been up for change) and then started to take the fundamentary pillars away with:

1. Adding a new gear-tier with ascended, that is above all skins stat-wise
2. Adding new skins through the RM-shop

View PostMisterJaguar25, on 17 November 2013 - 10:15 PM, said:

or Scarlet is the dragons. All of them, simultaneously.

That would explain why she is so fanatic with alliances. I mean, that would mean she even is an alliance in herself.

#23 Robsy128

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:56 PM

View PostMisterJaguar25, on 17 November 2013 - 10:15 PM, said:

or Scarlet is the dragons. All of them, simultaneously.

That would explain her b****y attitude :P

But yes, whilst they're working on the living story, they have said that they're working on things in the background which they're not ready to reveal yet. So hopefully *crosses fingers* we'll have an update as big as an expansion. I wouldn't even mind paying for such an update to be honest.

#24 Baldur The Bold

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:59 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 17 November 2013 - 10:56 PM, said:

That would explain her b****y attitude :P

But yes, whilst they're working on the living story, they have said that they're working on things in the background which they're not ready to reveal yet. So hopefully *crosses fingers* we'll have an update as big as an expansion. I wouldn't even mind paying for such an update to be honest.

I will not pay for these shitty LS updates, however I WILL pay for a friggen expansion. The LS is beyond boring.

#25 Bohya

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:08 PM

The Living Story bullshit likely attributes to the decline in sales. What's the incentive to new players to jump into content in which they have not played the prelogues to?

#26 Skyward

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:52 PM

Slow down the living story and work on more cosmethics. Sell them for real money instead of gems on a 50/50 base (half the updates for gems, half for real money); For champions open a 1 hour frame to respawn one hour after their last finished spawn and only spawn them when a decent amount of players are around. Reward accordingly after defeat: meaning -get back to the basics! Enough of zerg trains. Let them play for content or pay for it. And of course: work on an expansion. It's inevetable to keep people interested...

#27 Alex Dimitri

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:32 AM

I said it long time ago Living Story is the wrong way to go ! Back then i got backlash from some "fanboys" telling me how great is that we get so much new content so fast, well here you go all that content is been mediocre to say at least and we lost main story.
Whatever happened with big bad dragons, please don`t tell me that Scarlet is more dangerous then Zhaitan was ?
Inserting random episodes into rich and easy to expand lore might work for some celebrations (Mad King) but to expect that can be replacement for real expansion lore wise, was very bad move.

On the end Scarlet was the only one behind all those alliances .......please give me a break that is so weak and mellow......

In the end i think she posed such a threat to Tyria that even half baked warrior could bitch slapped her to oblivion :P

p.s. game needs BADLY new zones maps and some new worthy opponents !

#28 Maldeus

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:41 AM

I don't have any particular problem with ANet using the Living Story to give us some villains who are not as world-devouringly final as the dragons. By all means, drop the tension level so it can be built up again, and give us a break from the Elder Dragons a bit. I mean, they've set up five of the suckers, and there's still four to go. If they try to maintain that level of threat until they run out of dragons or, worse, try to raise the stakes even more, we'll run into problems of fatigue in a hurry.

What does bug me about the Living Story is that once it's gone, it's gone. I'm missing tons of content and rather than incentivize me to constantly play, I'm mostly just shrugging my shoulders and ignoring it. ANet seriously needs to learn some lessons from the success of Netflix. People like archive binging. Stop spending time and money on a steady stream of content only to remove said content and keep the total size of your game exactly the same.

#29 El Duderino

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:13 AM

View PostFoxBat, on 17 November 2013 - 07:22 PM, said:

I don't see any breakdown of game by region here. When you say "compared to Aion" keep in mind this includes Aion's Asian numbers, where it is still a sub game, not its failing Western presence. Yeah these numbers aren't going to make Blizzard envious, but neither are they in danger of restructuring their business model at the present time, as say Aion NA/EU had to.

While the LS basically amounts to "filler" and they could be making bigger profits with proper content additions, they have an Asia launch on their plate. There's likely a belief that, if done right, would stand to make them much more money long-term then a Western expansion. So while half the company works on filler content to sustain profits, another quarter is refining the systems to support grind hooks and other long-term play issues for Asian launch, while yet another quarter has likely been building up some late 2014 expansion type content.

Bad guesses are bad guesses. You have no idea how many people are working on China, if it is ANet at all. It could very well be another company, which is normal in a lot of cases when moving to a different country, especially East to West or vice versa. Also, you definitely have no idea if anyone is working on an expansion. To suggest it as even "likely" is pretty fallible. Also, the China launch probably won't happen in 2014. ANet pretty much said there is no time table at this time.

I have bad news for you. The LS, despite how much you want to believe this not to be the case, is the direction of ANet. It fully supports their micro-transaction model and costs way less than a full expansion, all while keeping people interested in the game for chunks at a time. We can all believe that they won't keep it up - but until they say anything about an expansion - it is nothing more than an assumption. And a bad one at that.

Quote

Yeah you had FoW armor and....?  Maybe Vabbian? Everything else was a measly 15k, which was easier to scrounge up than grinding dungeon tokens. Weapon skins were the only place where there was a variety of prestige, and most of that vanished with the introduction of inscriptions, since you were really paying for perfect stats with said rare skin.

I'm not sure when you played GW1, it sounds like it was probably towards the end. 15k armor was pretty prestigious for those of us that played from the beginning. In fact, I never even thought about FoW armor. Most of it looked terrible compared to 15k. I don't think I could count on both hands how many sets of FoW armor anyone had on my long friends list.

#30 MazingerZ

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:22 AM

The KongZhong Corporation is the partner for the China release.  At least that news was about a year ago.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"




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