NCSoft wants more from its legacy RPG franchises on mobile as sales decline

Mobile still makes up more than half of the company's sales

NCSoft wants more from its legacy RPG franchises on mobile as sales decline

Revenue for South Korean publisher NCSoft’s mobile games business fell nearly 25 per cent year-on-year to 199.7 billion KRW ($167m) in Q1 2019.

Quarter-on-quarter sales for the division declined by 11 per cent and came in lower than at any point during 2018. Despite the drop mobile still makes up the largest share of the company’s revenue. Last year it represented 53 per cent of total sales.

Overall company sales for Q1 2019 were down 24 per cent year-on-year to 358.7bn KRW ($302m), also down 10 per cent from the last quarter.

Operating profit dropped by a considerable 61 per from Q1 2018 to 79,514bn KRW ($67m).

PC declines

Most of the company’s flagship games were down on Q1 2018, including its PC titles Lineage, Aion, Blade & Soul and guild wars 2. For Lineage, revenue dropped 47 per cent from the previous quarter.

Lineage 2 sales were up however, rising for the third consecutive quarter to 21.5bn KRW ($18m).

Moving forward, NCSoft noted in its investor presentation how the South Korean mobile games market has shifted to a preference to RPGs over the years, and in particular IP-driven titles.

The publisher is now working on a number of RPGs that leverage its legacy franchises on both mobile and PC.

For mobile these titles include Lineage M, Lineage Red Knights, Aion Legions, Aion 2, Blade & Soul, Blade & Soul 2. Externally developed titles in its portfolio include Snail Games’ Lineage 2 and Netmarble’s Lineage 2 Revolution.

A look at the significant impact of mobile on NCSoft's yearly revenues

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.