Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aion - Bad signs all around

Two bits of news on this today.

First, reading a post on MMORPG got me redirected to the Aion Source website. There a discussion of a post in Korean has some speculation about the release dates of Aion.
The article referenced is translated, and we know there are always issues with this.
The wording of the post states...

In short:
Japan goes first (because of faster localization).
So, here's the plan: Korea (running) -> China (beta) -> Japan (summer) -> Taiwan (fall?) -> US/EU (Q4 2009) -> etc.
US/EU estimate: Q4 2009

So, that sounds pretty bad. But, is it true?

Of note, this post on Aion Source ended up being moved to the Graveyard. This is a special little place that posts from the General sections are placed when they wish to make a conversation die in it's tracks...yet, it never does...

Speculation ensues...is it true?

But, so far, the mod continues to pop in, and based on his response, he believes between March to May of 09 is the release date.

Anyways, I was unsure of how I felt about this...then today, another post...A News Story...on MMORPG pops up.
More layoffs for NCWest who is responsible for translations on Aion. Now, this is the EU office. This was a joint US/EU venture...and it looks like a skeleton crew has been left behind...(read the original post here at Gameindustry.biz with some corrections).

Now, I do not want to think doom...but it sure is hard not to.

No news on Guild Wars 2, no new news on Aion...go to the NCSoft page and the news is dated for 2008 (nothing new in 09, and of course all they discuss is City of Heroes...which will probably waste away once Champions and DC Universe launches)...talk about some disaster.

The fact recent news has been quoted stating the Korean government is actually spending extra cash on companies who develop games there, I am starting to think that the US offices may eventually disappear.
I mean, their only cash cow is CoH/CoV...and that is not very good in respect to cash flow vs expenditure..Lineage 2 has no major US audience...and GW is free besides the box, and with no new content lately for GW..we can kiss new player purchases goodbye.

I am starting to think GW2 may never arrive or may go to a new publisher...who knows..

NCSoft is in a pickle though...sad day!

5 comments:

Zeebrat said...

Poor NCSoft. It's sad that Korea doesn't think we're a serious market. I really did have high hopes for AION.

Eh, well I still have EQ2. They made it so much easier to level from 1-70 that playing isn't a chore anymore. You can kind of level by accident nowadays. Good times.

adingworld said...

I would think delay rather than doom. In comparision to what they probably have invested in the Western market they have not had much payback.
Cutting down in the West and focusing more on the core markets is similar to what other companies are doing in recession times. If nothing else it is to show analysts and investors that actions are taken to be more profitable.

I do not see that this would mean any doom and gloom for GW, GW2 or CoH/CoV, With the success of Guild Wars I think investors would be more concerned if they did not make sure to get that released - GW is a proven success in the Western market, which is not the case for Aion.

Crimson Starfire said...

You can expect NCSoft to be putting huge pressure on ArenaNet for an early launch of GW2. This could be a good thing and a bad thing. Either way, I still think we will see GW2 launch this year (mostly because I'm hoping it will).

Scott said...

All I see out of Aion is grinding with wings and I can play PWI for that.

Screw NCsoft.

I really wish Arena.net would get a new publisher...

Crimson Starfire said...

@Scott

I'm with you. I really don't want to see ArenaNet dragged down with NCSoft. They should leave and sign up with Steam. I love those guys ;)

Or alternatively they could run their own online sales service. All they would need is an initial thin client download and a sales and billing website...

After all anyone that is going to play an online game is going to need a good internet connection, so they might as well download the game...

Why does ArenaNet even need a publisher?