NCsoft Sales Up 5 Percent As Profits Drop In 2008

South Korean MMORPG publisher NCsoft's sales were up 5 percent for fiscal 2008 to $248.6 million, though net profit dropped by 40 percent to $5.7 million, primarily due to Aion: The Tower of Eternity's late Korean launch.
South Korean MMORPG publisher NCsoft's sales were up 5 percent year over year to KRW 346.6 billion ($248.6 million) in 2008. The Seoul-based company's net profit, however, decreased dramatically by 40 percent for the year, primarily due to Aion: The Tower of Eternity's later-than-expected launch in Korea. NCsoft also attributed its declining year-over-year profit to increased marketing spend for Aion's launch and updates released for its Lineage MMORPG series. For its fourth quarter ending on December 31st, the publisher reported a quarter-over-quarter increase of 26 percent to KRW 99 billion ($71 million). Net profit was also grew 60 percent over the previous quarter to KRW 5 billion ($3.6 million). Those fourth quarter sales were divided over several territories, with Korea accounting for 56 percent of the total with KRW 55.4 billion ($39.7 million), Japan at 19 percent with KRW 19.2 billion ($13.8 million), and North America at 12 percent with KRW 12.2 billion ($8.7 million). Taiwan contributed 4 percent with KRW 3.5 billion ($2.5 million), while Europe brought in 3 percent with KRW 3.4 billion ($2.4 million). Royalty income was also counted at 5 percent with KRW 5.3 billion ($3.9 million). Korea, Japan, and North America saw significant quarter-over-quarter sales gains of 19 percent, 95 percent, and 21 percent respectively. During the October to November period, Lineage sales increased 9 percent to KRW 28.9 billion ($20.7 million), as did Lineage II by 20 percent to KRW 41.9 billion ($30 million), City of Heroes by 11 percent to KRW 6.9 billion ($4.9 million), and Guild Wars by 33 percent to KRW 4.9 billion ($3.5 million). MMORPG Aion, which released in November 2008 in Korea, generated KRW 9.7 billion ($7 million) in sales. The CryEngine-powered title is slated to release in China in the first quarter of 2009, and in Europe and North America in the fourth quarter. NCsoft expects to see year-to-year sales grow by 36-44 percent in the new fiscal year to KRW 470-500 billion ($337.1-358.6 million). "We anticipate full scale growth in 2009 based on the successful launch of Aion in Korea and the upcoming launch of the product in territories worldwide," says the company's CFO Jaeho Lee.

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