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


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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.

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@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.

Have to agree with this.

Must also consider the lack of expansion release paired with literally EVERY competitor releasing an expansion, some of which were/are highly praised (see FF14 and ESO).

The release of WoW classic directly competes with GW2 limited item progression system as well as would have drawn part of the age group of the end 20s to mid or end thirties. Overall a player segment which would be more inclined to spend cash.

Not going to lie, I don't see those numbers as being good or healthy. The only positive numbers are the steady revenue during the year, which indicates the studio did not suffer a massive revenue decline due to players losing trust after the layoffs at that point in time.

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The game is still fun but aside from the occasional must have gem store item there hasn't been much reason for me to spend money while I play. I am of the crowd that will purchase every expansion they make for me and each of my family that plays with me. They simply aren't motivating me to spend any money atm and I suspect it's the same for a lot of the loyal player base. I didn't need templates and therefore spent zero dollars on them. They are nice but not spend money nice for me.

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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.

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@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.

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Not exactly positive. Less funds mean less content. And given the reduction in both quantity and quality per episode, it doesn't bode well for what is to come.

There's also a case for what more is there people want to buy 8 years on? Especially given things are only in the store for a brief period then removed for a long while.

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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. Would buy race change tokens, but they don't exist. So again it may not be as much population levels as what is there to buy for veterans? For new players it may be more of a thing, that and gifting for items you may perceive another player may not have picked up. As well as stated above, no expansion, no sales. A store with nearly empty shelves won't sell much.

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@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).

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Anet needs and better PR department. Players would prbably be more willing to open up their wallet if they felt confident that the game wasn't being put into maintenance mode. With all the drama that happened in 2019 and their historical ability over hype and under deliver many players are on the fence with a "I'll believe it when I see it and then maybe I will spend money" attitude.

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@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.)

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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.

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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)

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@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

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The game needs what players have consistently begged for.

We need new Elite specs..even if it leads to power creep..power creep can be fixed when you get the data on what is power creeping. Shoot, they, Anet, should test the specs internally. Put their most skilled and cunning employees in the PVP testing environment, load them up with the new elite specs, and dare them to break something...find out how much powercreep they can get out of the specs. Dangle an extra paid day off for those who find a way of breaking something.

New hair and faces, horns and beards....we want them !!!

Make the story path dungeons soloable.

Give the living story a difficulty slider Some of us like the story, others like being challenged.

Please Anet, this is a wonderful game.

Please, do not ruin it by mucking around with making another game until this one is back on its feet...then you can muck :)

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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?

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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.

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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.

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@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.

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This quarterly report if anything at least made one thing clear, and thats that build loadouts, the way they function and esp the way they are monetised is flat out bad.

We players know it, devs likely also know it and now invenstors even know it. I wonder if this will prompt any big revision of them in the future. I also wonder ifa revision of expac lvl lw vs actual expacs every 2 (or so) years is also being revised.

I suspect we will see further laying of groundworks for gw2 in 2020.

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@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.

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