Earlier today in the financial call, NCsoft confirmed the purchase of 76% shares of Korean developer Ntreev. The deal is reportedly worth a cool USD 96.7 million. Ntreev is well-known in the English market for titles including Trickster and Pangya, and more recently is own English MMO portal, GameRage (link). 1 of the company’s most recent casual games include Alicia (link) as well, but what is the reason for NCsoft buying the company?
Well, casual gaming is one thing which NCsoft obvisouly failed terribly over the past few years (Dragonica Korea, Exteel etc), with the recent closure of Punch Monster (a MapleStory/ Grand Chase hybrid) as proof. Another core reason the takeover happened is due to Ntreev’s experience in developing Baseball Manager Online (below), which is a top earning game in Korea with sales hitting over USD 2.5 million on the record month.
NCsoft recently formed the 13th team (NC Dinos) in the professional Korean baseball league (link), hence there are links here as well. Ntreev has got deep ties with Japanese gaming company SEGA as well due to various baseball games collaborations, and NCsoft will not have a chance to deepen the working relationship. Ntreev is also an established online games publisher in Korea, with the most recent titles captured being Heroes of Newerth (HoN) and Age of Wulin Korea (link). To add on, Ntreev is also developing Power Rangers Online (link).
All in all, a big year ahead for NCsoft with Blade & Soul confirmed to begin commercial service before mid 2012 later this year, and Guild Wars 2 confirmed to launch before the year ends. Good times indeed for NCsoft, definitely.