The news is grim each day for the company. From the Austin cuts earlier this year, Auto Assault playing dead (and winning that contest btw!) to Tabula Rasa and CoH showing dismal numbers (ok CoH/CoV have been noted to be profitable, but not a "best seller")..
Whats a poor MMO developer to do?
Maybe stop ignoring their most popular IP?
First up. Where is Guild Wars 2. Where is the information on this title. Why is their largest selling title's (almost 6 million players own a copy) follow up just wasting away.
The last release was Eye of the North in August of 2007.
Unless 2009 is to be the year of GW2, I am pretty much assured that NCSoft will bite the dust in North America at least. Or at least continue to dive in their profits.
Their Asian subsidiaries do not suffer the same fate as Lineage and Lineage 2 still hold those audiences.
With close to a million players in each title (mostly Gold Farmers, but lets not judge here...), the games keep them afloat...
How will Aion fare? Their current developed title, is on schedule for an early 2009 release date. Does this game have the pull that Western audiences want in their MMO?
News has been slim. Yet, there is no NDA as well, so we as players can pretty much find out anything we wish.
This is not 100% Asian developed either, with certain parties from Europe and NA having their hands in the development (examples are the push for WASD controls).
But, the Anime like characters has always been niche.
But, can this "niche" be 200k+ players? This seems to be the magic number right now.
I think a lot rests on Guild Wars 2 coming out by the end of 2009. If it does not, then what is a company to do with so many fledgeling MMO's?
Do we see an SOE all in one price model coming down the road?
Would you pay 25 bucks for CoH/CoV, Tabula Rasa and Lineage 2? Or add Aion onto that list maybe as an incentive?
The next 3-4 months will be interesting for NCSoft. Hope they can pull off something soon.