Pangyo NCsoft Headquarters (Maekyung DB)

‘Lineage’ was in good health… NCsoft’s highest sales and stock price ‘UP’ by 10%

Pangyo NCsoft Headquarters (Maekyung DB)

NCsoft made a ‘bright smile’. thanks to the good results. In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded an ‘earnings surprise’ by exceeding market expectations. Both sales and operating profit increased significantly compared to the previous year due to the success of Lineage W’s box office success and reduced operating costs.

In the first quarter of 2022, NCsoft posted sales of 790.3 billion won, operating profit of 244.2 billion won, and net profit of 168.3 billion won. Sales increased by 4% compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2021) and 54% compared to the same period last year (Q1 2021). This is the highest quarterly sales ever. Operating profit and net profit increased by 123% and 38%, respectively, from the previous quarter. Compared to the same period last year, it increased by 330% and 110%.

Sales by region were KRW 503.4 billion in Korea, KRW 210.7 billion in Asia, and KRW 37.4 billion in North America and Europe. Among them, royalty sales amounted to 38.8 billion won. 200% increase compared to the same period last year.

NCsoft’s success was led by the new ‘Lineage W’ released last year. Lineage W posted sales of 730.8 billion won in about five months after its launch in November 2021. Lineage M and Lineage 2M increased by 31% and 2% QoQ, respectively.

Thanks to these achievements, the mobile game division recorded sales of 640.7 billion won, up 6% from the previous quarter and 97% from the same period last year. PC online game sales were Lineage 26.2 billion won, Lineage 2 23.5 billion won, Aion 16.1 billion won, Blade & Soul 7 billion won, Guild Wars 2 20.3 billion won.

The market reacted immediately to NCsoft’s surprise performance. It started on an upward trend from the morning of May 13, when the first quarter results were announced. At one point in the morning, the stock price soared to 452,500 won. This is an increase of about 11% compared to the previous day. A ‘red light’ came on in the stock price, which had been unable to avoid the downtrend.

▲”It will change to play to win instead of pay to win… Please look forward to it”

In the earnings conference call held on May 13, NCsoft focused on the future direction of the company. Hong Won-jun, CFO of NCsoft, who was in charge of the earnings announcement, said, “The release of the new TL and the release of Lineage W in the 2nd region will take place in the fourth quarter. At this time, Lineage W will introduce NFT. A new IPfmf called BSS (Blade Soul S) will appear in Asia in the second quarter of 2023 We plan to release it in the region. In the action battle royale genre, we are developing a new project called Rocket.”

Regarding the concerns about the decline in sales of Lineage W, “There are many people who think that the downward stabilization of sales will be faster than other existing IPs at first glance because the charging structure is different from the previous works. We have a different opinion. I hope it will,” he said. Then, to the question of whether Nexon’s Dungeon & Fighter Mobile would lose users, he replied, “There will be no damage because the user base does not overlap.”

He also revealed his position on the criticisms he had been suffering from, such as ‘reliance on the MMORPG genre’, ‘excessive charging induction’, and ‘high proportion of the domestic market’, which had been criticized a lot. CFO Hong said, “We are aware that Project TL won’t be as high as the existing games. I admit that MMORPG is not the main genre in the Western world. So far, there are many precedents for Korean MMORPG games to fail overseas. “I understand the reaction (which casts doubts on Project TL).” He added, “We are trying to change the direction of concerns like pay to win to play to win.” In the meantime, it seems to be a remark aimed at avoiding the point of inducing excessive ‘charging’.

[반진욱 기자]

[ⓒ 매일경제 &, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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