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


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@Ayrilana.1396 said:

@"Astralporing.1957" said: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.Maybe, in theory - although that is a very important difference you mentioned. In practice, though, my previous point still stands: i have yet to see any single season that i would consider an equivalent to HoT or PoF.Additionally, seasons just do not generate so much positive PR and hype expacs do. Why is a matter for another discussion. And it doesn't matter whether this is justified or not - even if this were just purely a psychological effect and not based on anything reasonable, that effect nevertheless
does
exist.

So, basically, we're back to seasons, in practice (even if one might argue otherwise in theory) not being "essentially the same thing" as expansions. Not even close.

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@Astralporing.1957 said:

@Diak Atoli.2085 said:While the drop in revenue is cause for concern, I must point out that
all
of NCSoft's western MMOs had negative quarters. Food for thought: Is this drop reflected in other companies?From what Square-Enix's saying, FF XIV is actually gaining, not only in general, but also specifically in US and EU. So, it's not some universal thing.

Over the last years alot of the other mmos have been gaining, and strangely enough alot of them have either paid dlc/expansions, subscriptions or a mix. It feels like subscriptions are making a strong comeback as a form of monetisation.

Also ff14 is close to doubling gw2's total acounts made and iirc that game is 1 year younger so age deff feels more of an excuse than a cause for gw2's state.

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@Ayrilana.1396 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.

You underestimste the value of a huge content dump on top of all the other feature the expansion might have, proce tag or not for other mmos it happens rarely enough to feel like a big even and a celebration of the game but regularly enough to make the rounds on online spaces.

A simple dlc just doesnt have the same punch to make the rounds.

And the opportunity for massive shakeups to the way you play the game for all classes at once make the gsme very, VERY exciting.

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@Shadowmoon.7986 said:My big question, how close are we do aeon and wildstar numbers?

The OP shows Aion numbers for the last 5 quarters. It fell 39% between Q3/19 and Q4/19 compared to GW2's ~25% fall.

Wildstar shut down in December, 2016. The last quarter its revenue was reported was Q3/16. the number reported was 1,097 Billion Korean Won. At today's conversion rate, that's about $929,670. It's also about 9.7% of GW2's revenue in Q4/19.

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@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.

Let's do a comparison.Heart of ThornsHeart of Thorns has 16 story steps.Added 4 new maps, one of them a big meta event, but still a new map.A way to "compare" maps is by the amount of exploration options (points of interest, vistas and waypoints)VB: 39, AB: 35, TD: 33, DS: 42, Total: 149 exploration points plus 40 hero challengesVB has 45 events that are part of the five main chains (the outposts), plus the 5 Night Events for a Total of 50 "story" Events. There are 17 secondary events.AB has 41 events as part of the four chains (the outposts), 4 challenges and 4 Octovines for a total of 49 "story" events. There are 13 secondary events.TD has 30 events as part of the four chains and the 5 events at the Chak Gerent fight for a total of 35 "story" events. There are 33 secondary events in TD.DS has 46 events as part of the three chains plus the fight with the Mouth of Mordremoth. There are 5 secondary events in DS.180 "Story" events, 68 secondary events.

Heart of Thorns added 15 Adventures. Revenant Profession, 9 elite specializations, 3 Core Tyria Mastery abilities with 13 steps, 4 Mastery abilities with 23 steps.1 new PVP Mode (Stronghold) with 3 Mist Champions. 1 new WVW Map (Desert Borderlands), 1 new WVW Siege weapon.2 Guild Halls, 1 new crafting discipline (Scribe). Defiance bar mechanic, Action Camera mode.

Season 3Season 3 has 36 story steps.Added 6 new maps. BFe: 14, EB: 34 + 5 hearts, BFr: 20 + 4 hearts, LD: 28 + 6 hearts, DM: 30 + 4 hearts, SL: 22 + 5 hearts, 148 exploration points + 24 heartsSince there aren't always very clear meta events in Season 3 maps, I will count all of their events:BFe: 24, EB: 20, BFr: 14, LD: 36, DM: 23, SL: 24, Total Events: 165 events, all combined less than the "story" events in the expansion.1 Mastery with 6 steps, Ammunition mechanic

14 Legendary items, 4 Raid Wings, 3 Fractals, 3 PVP Maps. Not sure if these you want to come bundled with the Season episode or not, as they are not unlocked by the episode.

This is MMO, no one cares about story. Story should be only excuse to push more actual content.

HoT: elite specializations, 4 raid wings (first 3 even in good pace), fractals, gen 2 legendary weapons, legendary armor, gliding, 4 maps with metas we do everydayPoF: elite specialization: 3 raid wings (released in just horrible pace), fractals, mounts, rest of gen 2 legendary weapons, one map have meta that is done everyday (Crystal Oasis with its pinata event)Icebrood saga: nothing despite promising expansion level content. No raids, no fractals, no elite specializations, no new legendary weapons, no good metas. Literally nothing.

ANet biggest mistake was fully focusing on casuals that log in every few months to do story, simply ignoring players that actually play game everyday and so GW2 lost many of veteran players since ANet was disregarding PvP, WvW and end game PvE content. It's veteran players keep game alive, they're most vocal playerbase. You think what we would answer when someone ask us about GW2 now? End game is simply not supported, fractals are dead (judging from last message they still didn't even started working on new one), we were getting one raid a year and now they're probably fully dead and replaced by strike mission that are just a joke, while PvP will get huge balance patch WvW still gets nothing.

Second mistake was dropping expansions for even more living world. Then there was also announcement stream, hyped for long time just to show us more... single player story for casuals login in every few months, and only that.

Third mistake was build loadouts, They could just make official version of arc templates with maybe 200 or 400 gems per slot account wide (new template slot = gear + traits + legendary) but we all know how it ended.

And we still didn't get a single "expansion level" features. None.

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I'm probably wrong here but I feel like part of that issue is to do with the unreleased and unannounced IPs that NCSoft were trying to get out but never did and that really hampered the quality of production for Guild Wars 2. Looking at the numbers of the other project, it seems like there were better focus on production on some of the other games where they maintained their usual production whereas Guild Wars 2 got shafted due to them taking staff and eventually offing them during last year's layoffs.

Again I could be wrong, but I genuinely think the decline in quality content did start to happen around last year and that pretty much just kept going until Q4. Really hoping there's a turnaround for this year but I'm also gonna keep my expectations regarding the situation to neutral levels. Don't want to hear hype again and then it becomes a lukewarm quality content.

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Lack of an expansion, nor the flop that is icebrood saga made me quit gw2. It wasnt the fact that anet was taking resources from guild wars 2, again, and working on other projects while guild wars 2 had massive issues.

In the 2 1/2 years I played I spent thousands of dollars on this game, across multiple accounts.

When the triple monetized and poorly implemented build templates was released, I left for good.

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No word about the expac most players expected after LWS4, poorly implemented and obviously (and unnecessarily) monetized build templates (which were free and unlimited in GW1), no "expansion level content" that was promised in the Saga so far (the prologue seemed far better than both episodes combined so far) - not really surprised by the decline, unfortunately. I used to play several hours everyday and have been a huge fan of the series since GW1, but after all that, I just play a day or two whenever the next episode comes out then go back to other games.

Anet really needs to turn it around soon with something actually big to get players back and excited about the game.

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Most likely they will see through ls5 and decide what to do after that..... if ls5 finishes and goes on to ls6... theres gonna be alot of salty people.......

Agree with most of the posts, gw2 needs a expansion not just the story but new elite specs/new class/new race .As much as I along with many players still enjoy gw2.... the repetitive dailies and farm routes are getting stale and sees a need for BIG content drop.

Heck, I'll happily pay 50-100$ (my opinion) for a expansion for the much needed content

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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.

dead on.That was the nail in my coffin.I played daily, hours a day up until aug 30th of 2019.Since....about 2 hours total in 6 months.When there is nothing to look forward to there just doesn't feel like a point anymore.

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Yeah...

I am keep telling this on the aspect of revenue, profit and business,

Sell something really sellable. Except the all those QOL upgrades(even theses are not that worth), all the themes of style category are very weird. It is good to put what you guys think pretty, beautiful, or cool, however please sell something that players want.

For example, compare skins from heroes of storm with from league of legends.

Sell something that considered cute, sexy, and cool in business way.

What you guys doing is kinda similar what blizzard have done for HOS, in aspect of design.

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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).

Make that three players, including the 31 characters.

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It's about the quantity and quality of content, players needs to play. After maybe they will spend money in the cash shop. Anet did see this coming, if they are surprised about something it's how high their revenues are.... . It's a very good number when you think of how much Anet invested in GW2 since POF.

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All eyes are on Thief Profession and Stealth in the upcoming patch. To once again be the deciding factor of Guild Wars 2 fate.All eyes are on Anet to either deal with Toxicity with a blow or to continue minimizing it?

Toxicity is a serious threat to healthy competition. Making excuses for it or to even try to minimize it by throwing it under the carpet will only result in Chaos.

What we are witnessing here is the birth of Chaos and it will not end here until Thief Profession is completely redesigned from the ground-up with a complete removal of Stealth mechanic in the game

or simply 'kill-switch' Thief Profession

-no alternatives or short-cut to this-

(within the last 3 previous months; large guild members totalling 800+ walked away from the game including new players who have huge influence to the population. Also not forgetting a large portion of streamers quiting guild wars 2 alongside with many of their followers due to Toxicity running freely in the game)

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@Astralporing.1957 said:

@Diak Atoli.2085 said:While the drop in revenue is cause for concern, I must point out that
all
of NCSoft's western MMOs had negative quarters. Food for thought: Is this drop reflected in other companies?From what Square-Enix's saying, FF XIV is actually gaining, not only in general, but also specifically in US and EU. So, it's not some universal thing.

There's always exceptions to the rule. But they're a sub game, that has a huge amoung of income because the IP was massively popular before it came out. I mean I don't know about you but I saw a Final Fantasy movie...many many years ago. Never did see a Guild Wars 2 movie.

It's also far easier to expand when you add a console version which Final Fantasy XIV did. So yeah, console version, famous IP (it is the XIVth installment in that series), it doesn't mean a pattern doesn't exist. That's like saying we have one cold day and so there's no climate change.

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This is not surprising given the tendency towards using the nerfbat every day, all day, and PO people constantly. That and the rather limited skills, lack of imagination concerning magic, races, and such in the first place. This game really isn't all that great to begin with, but they drove it into the ground with too many random changes, and lack of investment in the stuff that was nice (graphical interactions/backdrops and voice acting). Also plenty of random, arbitrary rules and pronouncements from on high to test the patience of Job. Frankly, I'm amazed they haven't started shutting down servers.

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@"Zok.4956" said:Would I want to pay for the Saga? From what I have seen until now: I would not.

However, when we had in the past LW releases every two weeks, I would have happily paid a subscription fee. so, yeah, I would have payed for LW.

I dislike LW intensely. I don't want to play episodes to unlock content, and I don't care about story in the least (and if I wanted a single-player game, I would buy one). I wont even bother to ever do any of the icebrood stuff because it's completely worthless; same stuff in a different map, and nothing worthy in those maps to bring to anywhere else. Their fixation on "lateral movement" in the game is annoying and off-putting - much like their idea that homogenizing class archetypes is somehow a good idea. All I see with this stuff is cheapness.

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@"maddoctor.2738" said:Also keep in mind that Arenanet stopped selling Heart of Thorns in late Q3 and of course it was free for the entirety of Q4https://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.

Good point, while it may not account for the entire drop, it certainly contributed. But HOT now comes with POF, so there should be an increase in rev from an increase in value as a pack?

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@Burnfall.9573 said:All eyes are on Thief Profession and Stealth in the upcoming patch. To once again be the deciding factor of Guild Wars 2 fate.All eyes are on Anet to either deal with Toxicity with a blow or to continue minimizing it?

Toxicity is a serious threat to healthy competition. Making excuses for it or to even try to minimize it by throwing it under the carpet will only result in Chaos.

What we are witnessing here is the birth of Chaos and it will not end here until Thief Profession is completely redesigned from the ground-up with a complete removal of Stealth mechanic in the game

or simply 'kill-switch' Thief Profession

-no alternatives or short-cut to this-

(within the last 3 previous months; large guild members totalling 800+ walked away from the game including new players who have huge influence to the population. Also not forgetting a large portion of streamers quiting guild wars 2 alongside with many of their followers due to Toxicity running freely in the game)

OOOOOR you have a l2p issue against thieves and everything else is irrelevant.

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