NC Soft Q4 earnings report. GW2 25% decline over Q3 — Guild Wars 2 Forums

NC Soft Q4 earnings report. GW2 25% decline over Q3

Ncsoft quarterly earnings are up Guild Wars 2 down by 25%. It was probably the lowest quarter in games history, yearly revenue is down aswell

Without expansion this game future doesn't look good. Cantha!

<1345

Comments

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    While there’s a correlation between player population and gem store sales, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a causation. You also need to consider, with an aging player base, what was actually released that would have appealed to players to spend real world currency which they did not already have.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2020

    @Suraci.1642 said:
    Gw2 doing worse than BnS??? kitten!!!!!!!!, this is unbelievably sad. Its like a ghost town in BnS, people only exist in dungeon lobby and afk at fishing spot, mind boggling, things looking really really grim.

    You have to take into account that this is global revenue. While BnS might not be as popular in the western market, I'm quite sure their Asia division runs very well. GW2 revenue is likely only based on their NA and EU segment.

    A final point might be the very high sensitivity of the GW2 player base to spending money compared to some other player bases.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2020

    @TheGrimm.5624 said:
    I can only speak as a consumer that does buy things from the gemstore with mostly cash. There needs to be reasons to buy things. When I buy things its for more utility versus cosmetic. So when you break it down for my style of consumer there needs to be things that would enhance the account. Have 31 toon spots but without new elites, don't need any more. With that comes no reason to buy more bag space. Bank space is maxed so no sales there. Collection expansions, maxed. Have a ton of gathering tools already. Would buy more shared inventory spots, but maxed there. BLTC keys, sometimes but less now since they destroyed the value of items there by repeating and BL skins. O'Matics, have a ton, portal devices, check. Won't buy outfits, would buy/have bought armors but less so over utility.

    I think we are slowly seeing this ceiling reached among many veteran players, especially those who occasionally spend money on gems. Reason I am saying so is I am in the exact same boat as you (frightening similar btw, I too have exactly 31 characters :o ). My main squad (core 9 classes) have maxed everything (most even equipment and build template slots), maxed shared slots, almost all utility items, maxed bank space, gathering tools,etc.

    Now granted we are a 2 player metric, but given I know some other longtime players are in similar situations in game, this might not be so far off. The game seems to have reached a spot where veteran players have nothing to actually buy (except for the 20th mount skins which will never see use, or the 30th outfit, I actually enjoy outfits).

    This would also explain the intent with monetizing gear and build templates, to have something to purchase for longtime players. Unfortunately many did not take to that convenience item (not blaming anyone, every one gets to vote with their wallet how they see fit).

  • maddoctor.2738maddoctor.2738 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I expected a drop but to be fair not that big. 2019 was doing so well for the game and it was shaping up to be a good year comparable to previous ones even without an expansion. But Q4 seriously disappointed.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cyninja.2954 said:

    @TheGrimm.5624 said:
    I can only speak as a consumer that does buy things from the gemstore with mostly cash. There needs to be reasons to buy things. When I buy things its for more utility versus cosmetic. So when you break it down for my style of consumer there needs to be things that would enhance the account. Have 31 toon spots but without new elites, don't need any more. With that comes no reason to buy more bag space. Bank space is maxed so no sales there. Collection expansions, maxed. Have a ton of gathering tools already. Would buy more shared inventory spots, but maxed there. BLTC keys, sometimes but less now since they destroyed the value of items there by repeating and BL skins. O'Matics, have a ton, portal devices, check. Won't buy outfits, would buy/have bought armors but less so over utility.

    I think we are slowly seeing this ceiling reached among many veteran players, especially those who occasionally spend money on gems. Reason I am saying so is I am in the exact same boat as you (frightening similar btw, I too have exactly 31 characters :o ). My main squad (core 9 classes) have maxed everything (most even equipment and build template slots), maxed shared slots, almost all utility items, maxed bank space, gathering tools,etc.

    Now granted we are a 2 player metric, but given I know some other longtime players are in similar situations in game, this might not be so far off. The game seems to have reached a spot where veteran players have nothing to actually buy (except for the 20th mount skins which will never see use, or the 30th outfit, I actually enjoy outfits).

    This would also explain the intent with monetizing gear and build templates, to have something to purchase for longtime players. Unfortunately many did not take to that convenience item (not blaming anyone, every one gets to vote with their wallet how they see fit).

    In terms of what I buy I'm pretty much the opposite (I've bought 1 bag slot in total, 6 bank tabs, no equipment/build tabs, no infinite salvage tools etc.) but lots of cosmetic items. But I'm finding myself in a similar situation in terms of spending money. Even when new things are released which I like I find myself reluctant to buy them because it would essentially be a replacement for something I've already got: swapping out a glider on a character, using a new outfit in the same situations I currently use an existing one etc. and I find myself thinking is it really worth spending the money for that? I do still buy stuff sometimes, but not as much as I did a few years ago.

    (Although as soon as the new mount licence is discounted I'm going to buy 4 or 5 of them. I'm still buying a lot of mount skins, but refuse to pay more than 800 gems for a skin so I wait for them to be discounted.)

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

    "Not dead which eternal lie, stranger eons death may die. Drain you of your sanity, face the thing that should not be"

  • Similar problem here, got enough skill and build tabs. mount skins. And all QOL items that apoeal. Problem with skins is that I have the look I want and have settled on( apart from one BL shoulder skin) . That doesn't leave anything to put my money in, I'm certainly not going to gamble on boxes.

    Expansion I would pump money in to, and I would certainly pay for more content, for e.g, pay £10-20 for a new type of spvp battleground like 10v10 etc, or new dungeons etc. I would also consider paying for QOL like batches of ascended food if it wasn't too expensive. (I will very occasionally buy gold xfor this purpose or for crafting, but a shiny box of food in ah would be more convenient)

    "Any path that narrows future possibilities may become a lethal trap. Humans do not thread their way through a maze; they scan a vast horizon filled with unique opportunities." - The Spacing Guild Handbook.

    Beware the meta!

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Pifil.5193 said:
    All I know is that I used to buy gems all the time but I haven't bought gems since build templates were introduced with their (IMO) excessive monetisation.

    I won't buy anything again until I start to get the feeling that they've turned things around and are actually going to start doing well again.

    Episode One and Two have not given me that feeling. No new content in February. Is Episode Three coming out in March? Delayed until April because Visions of the Past is (maybe) coming sometime in March? Either way, I'm not inclined to throw more money at this game right now.

    Same

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • There was a time not long ago, when with that money you could call yourself a successful game studio, and very many great games were produced for far less. Where did these times go? Income had not doubled in the last 10 years, but now it seems that twice as much money are not enough for solid game development anymore.

    Hell, last year GW2 had made 50 million USD. On a studio of 200 people, that's exactly a quarter of a million each, but they are not getting more than 100 000 on average. So... where did all the rest of the cash go?

  • kratan.4619kratan.4619 Member ✭✭✭

    Doesn't really matter to me how much they make or don't make I will play until I stop having fun and will buy items I want while doing that. Although, it does amuse a bunch how people try to bait them into making an expansion or releasing what they would like in the gem store with the promises of really improved profits. I can assure you that they have researched the feasibility of creating an expansion including the estimated profits from said expansion and that they have not totally ignored the possibility of an expansion out of hand. Just because they do not share the information from this research with the players does not mean it has not happened.

  • Psycoprophet.8107Psycoprophet.8107 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Honest the whole releasing each unique skin or items in gemstone once every few years is bad design or at least the time frames their using are. I've been waiting on belindas sword for yrs and it's never available and never on trading post so there's a potential bit of revenue gone. There are a few more items I'd spend money on but they haven't been available for yrs as well so F it I don't bother anymore I just play all the free pvp content sporadically and call it a day. Not sure how a company who's game is free to play expects to make good revenue if half or more of the items they could be selling are unobtainable for years on end.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @maddoctor.2738 said:
    I expected a drop but to be fair not that big. 2019 was doing so well for the game and it was shaping up to be a good year comparable to previous ones even without an expansion. But Q4 seriously disappointed.

    Thats certainly a subjective opinion. Based on youtube metrics from wp as well as general feedback from some players 2019 was fairly week and the icebrood announcement was the cheery ontop.

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2020

    Seems to be more true today than it was 9 years ago. Mobile is killing PC gaming.

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cyninja.2954 said:

    @TheGrimm.5624 said:
    I can only speak as a consumer that does buy things from the gemstore with mostly cash. There needs to be reasons to buy things. When I buy things its for more utility versus cosmetic. So when you break it down for my style of consumer there needs to be things that would enhance the account. Have 31 toon spots but without new elites, don't need any more. With that comes no reason to buy more bag space. Bank space is maxed so no sales there. Collection expansions, maxed. Have a ton of gathering tools already. Would buy more shared inventory spots, but maxed there. BLTC keys, sometimes but less now since they destroyed the value of items there by repeating and BL skins. O'Matics, have a ton, portal devices, check. Won't buy outfits, would buy/have bought armors but less so over utility.

    I think we are slowly seeing this ceiling reached among many veteran players, especially those who occasionally spend money on gems. Reason I am saying so is I am in the exact same boat as you (frightening similar btw, I too have exactly 31 characters :o ). My main squad (core 9 classes) have maxed everything (most even equipment and build template slots), maxed shared slots, almost all utility items, maxed bank space, gathering tools,etc.

    Now granted we are a 2 player metric, but given I know some other longtime players are in similar situations in game, this might not be so far off. The game seems to have reached a spot where veteran players have nothing to actually buy (except for the 20th mount skins which will never see use, or the 30th outfit, I actually enjoy outfits).

    This would also explain the intent with monetizing gear and build templates, to have something to purchase for longtime players. Unfortunately many did not take to that convenience item (not blaming anyone, every one gets to vote with their wallet how they see fit).

    Some ppl i wager not the majority tent to buy just to suppprt the dev and will continue so even after they have an imposibly big collection of stuff that they might not use most of. Thats at least what i have observed from ppl that play path of exile like its their main game.

    Granded that game is extremely well, it has a stable cadense and lots of content comming with the longterm covered by poe 2. Maybe if anet was in a similar position ppl would simply spend for the sake of keeping it that way. Then again so long as their artistic designs dont run out ppl will keep buying them even if they dont use them.

  • @Psycoprophet.8107 said:
    Honest the whole releasing each unique skin or items in gemstone once every few years is bad design or at least the time frames their using are. I've been waiting on belindas sword for yrs and it's never available and never on trading post so there's a potential bit of revenue gone. There are a few more items I'd spend money on but they haven't been available for yrs as well so F it I don't bother anymore I just play all the free pvp content sporadically and call it a day. Not sure how a company who's game is free to play expects to make good revenue if half or more of the items they could be selling are unobtainable for years on end.

    Rejoice!

    Starting February 14, special skins for your favorite weapons are returning, including Belinda’s Greatsword, the Arcane Marksman Rifle, the Lightbinder Blade Sword Skin, and many more!

    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/let-magic-flow-with-the-alchemist-backpack-and-glider-combo/

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @zealex.9410 said:

    @maddoctor.2738 said:
    I expected a drop but to be fair not that big. 2019 was doing so well for the game and it was shaping up to be a good year comparable to previous ones even without an expansion. But Q4 seriously disappointed.

    Thats certainly a subjective opinion. Based on youtube metrics from wp as well as general feedback from some players 2019 was fairly week and the icebrood announcement was the cheery ontop.

    I meant a good year in terms of revenue. Quality is subjective and I agree that 2019 has been weak
    Take a look at the quarterly results:

    Before Q4, 2019 had better/equal results than both 2016 and 2017 if you ignore the obvious expansion bumps. Between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 was the roughest time for the game's revenue and 2019 was going to be better than that time, until Q4 hit.

    Otherwise 2019 is their worst year yet:

    Oh i thought you meant in terms of content releases, player enjoyment etc.

    Yeah i would assume 2019 would at least be better than 2016 considering it had the 9 month drought.

    Honestly i think they need to have an expansion by the end of icebrood and after that an expansion every 2 or so years. If not wvery 2 years, for whatever reason at least confirmation that one is idd comming (like they did for pof pre se3).

  • Psycoprophet.8107Psycoprophet.8107 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:

    @Psycoprophet.8107 said:
    Honest the whole releasing each unique skin or items in gemstone once every few years is bad design or at least the time frames their using are. I've been waiting on belindas sword for yrs and it's never available and never on trading post so there's a potential bit of revenue gone. There are a few more items I'd spend money on but they haven't been available for yrs as well so F it I don't bother anymore I just play all the free pvp content sporadically and call it a day. Not sure how a company who's game is free to play expects to make good revenue if half or more of the items they could be selling are unobtainable for years on end.

    Rejoice!

    Starting February 14, special skins for your favorite weapons are returning, including Belinda’s Greatsword, the Arcane Marksman Rifle, the Lightbinder Blade Sword Skin, and many more!

    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/let-magic-flow-with-the-alchemist-backpack-and-glider-combo/

    U better not be messing with me my friend lol

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

  • My big question, how close are we do aeon and wildstar numbers?

  • sigur.9453sigur.9453 Member ✭✭✭

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

    Well, probably Not much.
    May be Even worse since handing ist out for „free“ gives the gemstore much More possible customers. Which is the Whole intend of „free“ LS releases. Or you can choose to believe in „good guy anet“.

    Sadly since POF Almost Every release felt More like a gemstore advertizing platform Then an MMO for Me.
    Sry for Format, im fighting autocorrect on a new device

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2020

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

    My guess is that it would've been much lower since the game would have far less players.

    As opposed to a game that charges for content through expansions?

    What I’m getting at is that people are making an expansion out to be some miracle cure which it isn’t. It’s nothing more than a single, large content dump versus piece-mealing it across multiple episodes. Any revenue obtained from an expansion could have easily been obtained through charging for the LW episodes. If people are so willing to pay for an expansion, surely they’d be willing to pay for the episodes.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

    My guess is that it would've been much lower since the game would have far less players.

    Theres lots of variable tbh to be able to tell. For one simply asking for a price creates expectations and anet will likely have to meet those expecations to some extend, i also would expect some drop off innitially and then growth and retention will either go up or down depending on how that first season is.

    What we can gather atm is that except from wow which had a really bad expansion other major western mmos that charge for content have seen growth in recent years (some massive groth infact with ff14 boasting over 18mill acounts created). Even wow during its legion days was overall liked and very succesful and based on features, new and returning shadowlands seems to be following the same trend.

    Theres both negative and positives in such an aproach and it deserves deeper discussion which i feel lile doesnt belong in this thread.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

    My guess is that it would've been much lower since the game would have far less players.

    As opposed to a game that charges for content through expansions?

    Expansions are usually "worth" the money, LW episodes are not. I can't think of a single LW episode that I'd pay for.

    Expansions and seasons are essentially the same thing. If I split HoT and PoF into episodes, would you consider them to not be worth paying for?

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @maddoctor.2738 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    I wonder what their revenue would have been had they charged real world currency to unlock the LW episodes rather than give them out for free.

    My guess is that it would've been much lower since the game would have far less players.

    As opposed to a game that charges for content through expansions?

    Expansions are usually "worth" the money, LW episodes are not. I can't think of a single LW episode that I'd pay for.

    Expansions and seasons are essentially the same thing. If I split HoT and PoF into episodes, would you consider them to not be worth paying for?

    Depending how it got split, i'm sure there would be parts that wouldn't get bought.

    Also, no, seasons are not "essentially the same thing". Or at least i haven't seen a single season yet that i would consider to be equivalent to HoT or PoF.

    Content-wise they’re pretty much the same. The only area that they’re difference is in features such as elite specs.

  • sorudo.9054sorudo.9054 Member ✭✭✭✭

    honestly, i saw this coming miles ahead, sadly it is the case that i never am taken seriously till it's to late.
    it happened in GW1 quite often that i saw a problem and no one cared, two years later there was a burst of players talking about the exact same problem and anet fixed it in two months, again way to late.
    i had this in several other games that i saw something simply not working but no one would listen, later on they ether changed it (by fixing or changing the system so it does work) or the game is closed down.

    i really hate for this game to close, i see so many holes and problems but it is ignored for so long that Anet doesn't see them anymore.
    i don't claim to be all knowing, heck, i just say what i see and that's all there is to it.
    all i am saying is, for some reason i see problems before they happen, i have some kind of insight that allows me to see right trough cover-ups and detect problems others overlook.
    and believe me, it is extremely annoying to have that, it makes me look over critical and negative about everything and i don't want that.
    i really want to be positive like i was at launch, like i was about GW1, i really don't want to blame anyone or to talk anyone down.
    it's just that, when i see a problem i talk about it, i am kinda used to it that ppl don't listen but that's life i guess.

    anyway, i really don't see how this is a surprise, GW2 is a game most gamers don't even know about and the majority actually left the game, saying to other just to not bother with GW2.
    if Anet really want to earn better they should pick up the pace, make actual DLC's with exiting new stuff, remove the failed stuff and redesign the game in a more global player-friendly way.
    GW2 could be so much more, we all know about this, the potential of this game is wasted on popular stuff while we could have a game they talked about way before beta.
    i am sure Anet has wonderful designers that could make this game even better then they could ever imagine, i just know they have it.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Alyster.9470 said:
    Well, I blame to the overhyped icebrood saga announcement which made some people quit if they were not even going to. Continuous letdown releases such as build templates and no mention of elite specs also made it worse. Abandoning most content and not communicating with the community in time to give people something look forward to is just another thing that makes most people lose their faith thus they dont want to spend more on the game as they think its death is coming. Some good communication were made in the last few weeks but I guess that was a bit late considering all the backlash and drama already hit the point of no return for some players.

    I 100% agree with this. The game management has been evasive. They over hyped the Saga. The announcement was a disappointment. And overall, it is pretty similar to LWS4 in terms of quality (which is not a good thing) and a bit less on quantity. The masteries were a disappointment too. Little to no communication about what is upcoming, beside what is already known. PvP class balance is been like 5 month in development, and honestly, after the preview, I would rather it does not come at all.

    It makes sense the revenues drop this much. This would probably be the trend in 2020 as well. The game will continue to lose players with limited to no impact of bringing back veterans or new players. I would not be surprised if the amount is cut in half in Q4 2020.

  • Hannelore.8153Hannelore.8153 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2020

    The gemstore's just.. not great tbh.

    It was super good at the beginning of the game when the gameplay was alot more primitive and simple things like having a bag slot radically changed your experience, but that's no longer the case; what very few QoL items are useful to new players are extremely overpriced due to half a decade of farming, TP flipping, and investment and people using gold to gems conversion with now practically unlimited gold.

    For example, take mounts, I love them. But the skins are way too expensive, ArenaNet may make a ton of money off a few skin sales for the top 10% of players, but they'd make alot more money if 90% of players would buy them at a cheaper price.

    And this is on top of the fact that players have suggested literally hundreds of gemstore items that could be added, even without giving a gameplay advantage, that ArenaNet avoids designing to instead release something like the Pegasus, which was poorly received.

    I just don't think the game has very good marketting tactics anymore.

    Oh, and then there's the fact that the game has no viable UI design, and that using the store is a mess because of it; if not for the search feature you probably couldn't find anything in there that's not being promoted at the time.

    Hannah | Daisuki[SUKI] Founder, Ehmry Bay (formerly Jade Quarry) | Mains Mariyuuna/Tempest(PvE) & Terakura/Spellbreaker(WvW) | ♀♥♀

  • maddoctor.2738maddoctor.2738 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Also keep in mind that Arenanet stopped selling Heart of Thorns in late Q3 and of course it was free for the entirety of Q4
    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns-is-free-with-guild-wars-2-path-of-fire/
    Maybe that can explain part of the drop, depending on how well Heart of Thorns was selling.