NCsoft profits cut in half, Tabula Rasa to blame?

November 13, 2008

South Korea-based MMO publisher NCsoft reports third quarter profits dropped by 50 percent, earning US $3.6 million in the three-month period, down from US $7.2 million last year.

Sci-fi MMORPG Tabula Rasa, developed by famed Ultima creator Richard Garriott and released in November 2007, earned only 2 percent of the company’s revenue and is considered to have underperformed. Garriott left the company last week after returning from a trip into space.

Eighty-four percent of NCsoft’s revenue came from sales and subscriptions to the two games in its Lineage MMORPG series, a huge hit in Korea. City of Heroes, City of Villains and Guild Wars accounted for a combined 13 percent. Korean sales made up 59 percent of NCsoft’s revenue. North America and Japan contributed 13 percent each and Europe six percent.

Before Tabula Rasa, NCsoft’s last major release was the vehicle-based MMO Auto Assault, which came out in April 2006. Citing low subscription rates, NCsoft shut down Auto Assault’s servers in August 2007. Based on original IP, NCsoft will release MMORPG Aion: Tower of Eternity early next year.