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Friday, June 14, 2024

Gaming companies hoping new releases can turnaround feeble quarter

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Poster for Nexon mobile game Fifa Online 4 [NEXON]
Poster for Nexon mobile game Fifa Online 4 [NEXON]

Only Nexon came out on top from a April-June period where Korean game companies struggled to perform until new titles are released in the latter half of this year.

Among the so-called “3Ns” — Nexon, NCSoft and Netmarble — only Tokyo-listed Nexon showed all-around, solid performances in its game titles across various genres.

Nexon’s quarterly operating profit was in line with the market consensus of 27.6 billion yen ($192 million), up 22 percent on year.

Revenue was also in line with analysts’ forecast of 94.4 billion yen, jumping 12 percent on year.

In PC games, FIFA Online 4 and Wars of Prasia did well, while mobile games such as FIFA Mobile and Dungeon & Fighter Mobile fared well globally.

Nexon also anticipates its PC and console role-playing game (RPG), Dave the Diver, which was released on June 28, will continue to contribute to third quarter revenue as it topped Steam’s top-selling chart just a day after its release.

PC and mobile games each occupy 69 and 31 percent of the total revenue. By region, Korea constitutes the largest chunk of the revenue with 66 percent with 62.1 billion yen, followed by China with 19 percent, North America and Europe with 6 percent and Japan with 2 percent.

In contrast, NCSoft’s operating profit tumbled 71 percent to 35.3 billion won ($26.8 million), slightly less than market consensus of 36.5 billion won compiled by FnGuide. Revenue fell 30 percent to post a weaker-than-expected 440.2 billion won.

NCSoft plans to focus on recovering active users for its massively multiplayer roleplaying game (MMORPG) Lineage W, to which the company admitted “that revenue from Lineage W was lower than expected due to more game releases from other companies than anticipated” during the period. NCSoft’s heavily anticipated MMORPG Throne and Liberty will be released in December.

NCSoft's poster for massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Throne and Liberty.[NCSOFT]
NCSoft’s poster for massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Throne and Liberty.[NCSOFT]

Netmarble posted an operating loss of 37.2 billion won, sinking 7.2 percent on year. The figure missed the market estimate of 25.9 billion won in operating loss. Revenue slipped downwards 8.7 percent to 603.3 billion won, lower than what the analysts forecast with 613.4 billion won.

Netmarble has logged an operating loss for six consecutive quarters, but seeks a rebound with seven new titles to be released in the latter half of this year. The seven games include massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game (MMORTS) Grand Cross: Age of Titans, RPGs Seven Knights Idle Adventure, Solo Leveling: Arise and MMORPG Arthdal Chronicles. Three titles — MMORPG A3: Still Alive and RPGs The Seven Deadly Sins and Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds will be released in China this year too.

New York-listed Gravity’s operating profit reached a record-high figure of 52.7 billion won, spiraling 138.3 percent on year. Revenue also logged was a record-high 238.9 billion won, soaring 147.5 percent on year.

Ragnarok franchises, such as PC game Ragnarok Online, MMORPGs Ragnarok Origin and Ragnarok X: Next Generation, showed steady growth across Southeast Asia such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

Gravity’s revenue for the second quarter is chiefly generated from Southeast Asia with 69 percent, followed by 20 percent from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The other 11 percent is from Korea, Japan and China.

NHN, best known as a game publisher and the operator of payment service Payco, profited in the second quarter. NHN’s operating profit shot upwards 302 percent to 20.9 billion won, higher than market expectations of 20.3 billion won. Revenue surged 7.8 percent to 551.4 billion won, but lower than the forecast of 569.7 billion won.

NHN’s revenue from division in payment service and advertisement constituted 46 percent of the total revenue with 258 billion won, followed by game division with 107.2 billion won, and the technology division, including its cloud services, followed with 93.6 billion won. The revenue generated from technology jumped 35.6 percent on year. The company plans to release new game titles such as web board game LA Seotda and a RPG in the latter half of this year to attract more users in their 20s.

Poster for Krafton's PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds Mobile [KRAFTON]
Poster for Krafton’s PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds Mobile [KRAFTON]

Krafton’s operating profit sunk 20.7 percent to 131.5 billion won, slightly under the market estimate of 133.7 billion won. Revenue dropped 8.6 percent to 387.1 billion won, below the analysts’ expectations of 411.2 billion won.

The company is focusing on maintaining stable management amid off-peak season. However, it will focus on recovering traffic from regions in India as PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG) Mobile India resumed its service there. PUBG PC and console games are also steadily gaining at least 2 million new users per month.

The company and its 11 subsidiary studios are in the works to develop over 20 new games such as The Bird That Drinks Tears, Project Black Budget and Project Gold Rush.

Wemade shed 16.7 percent to post 40.3 billion won in operating loss. The figure missed analysts’ forecast of 13.9 billion won in operating loss. Revenue, on the other hand, grew 46.2 percent to 159.3 billion won, still lower than the forecast of 203.9 billion won.

Kakao Games logged a lower-than-expected operating profit of 26.5 billion won, declining 67.33 percent on year. Revenue posted was also lower than hoped at 271.1 billion won, falling 19.98 percent.

Com2uS swung to the red to post operating loss of 5.6 billion won, missing market expectations of 200 million won in operating profit. Revenue surged 18.1 percent to 228.3 billion won and was in line with the market consensus of 229.2 billion won.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]