NCsoft – Updates on Project TL and new games discussed in latest financial call

As another quarter ends, it is time for the various listed companies to report their financials, including those in the gaming industry. NCsoft is the latest to do so for the 2nd quarter of 2018, and once again the PC version of Lineage 1 is almost single-handedly bringing in the dough (profit). I am particularly shocked at the huge decline of revenue from mobile games, especially Lineage M with 2 versions in South Korea and Taiwan. NCsoft brushed off the slide as “revenue stabilization” for the mobile MMORPG. Here are some numbers to bore you.

Time for the more juicy game-related news from the conference call between NCsoft and investors. I am listing them out in point form for better reading.

1. The overseas version of Lineage M, targeted at gamers outside of Asia, is still in the works with no specific beta or launch schedule.

2. Project TL, birthed from the remnants of Lineage Eternal, will “most certainly” enter Closed Beta in South Korea later this year during the winter season.

3. NCsoft plans to release 3 “major” new games next year, though definitely not within the same period. More details will be released during the G-Star period (November 2018).

4. Lineage M will have a major update in the 3rd quarter, with Lineage (PC version) having a 20th anniversary update in the 4th quarter.

5. The investment teams in South Korea and USA have been actively seeking out M&A (mergers and acquisition) deals, but the market is described as being “not easy”. The recently announced deal with Harmonix is seen as a big positive.

6. NCsoft is still trying a to launch a variety of games outside of the MMORPG genre, but thus far with no meaningful results. The Harmonix deal shows that NCsoft is still not backing down from challenging new genres. NCsoft is also looking forward to the games from its USA studios later this year.

7. NCsoft acknowledged that Aion and Blade & Soul have more global awareness, hence new games based on both IPs will be adjusted to suit the global market.

8. NCsoft claims that its PC sales are “not as much as before”, but there is no “particular decline” affected by the global FPS market (I am guessing they are referring to PUBG and Fortnite). It also mentioned that fluctuations are mostly due to new game updates instead.

9. All 3 development teams of the upcoming 3 new games, including Lineage 2M, want to launch their product in the first half of 2019. NCsoft claims this is a “happy problem” to have, but the games which are deemed “weaker” internally will launch at a later time. Once again, the new games will be previewed later this year.

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