A continued drop in NCSoft’s stock combined with lacklustre pre-orders for Blade & Soul 2 has seen investors' expectations of the company slump.
That’s according to Chinese gaming news outlet GameLook, and it’s a sentiment shared by stock observers as despite NCSoft remaining in the top 10 most-purchased stocks on the Korea Exchange it has seen a continuous slump of 36.6% since January. NCSoft is a company which relies heavily on mobile gaming as its main source of revenue, making up 75% of the total, but sales have fallen 28% year-on-year according to their latest financials.
It all marks a protracted downturn since a more than one million KRW (Korean Won) high in stock price in 2021. However, it seems that with the reopening of China and a subsequent slump elsewhere that NCSoft has taken a severe hit, and a slower performance elsewhere.
A lack of movement
NCSoft has previously been a force to be reckoned with in Korean mobile gaming. However this latest slump in stock price and the poor performance of their pre-registration for Blade & Soul 2 may be precipitating a time of restructuring and reflection for the company. Certainly it seems there are some developers and publishers who weren’t prepared for the end of the halcyon days of the Covid pandemic where they had a functionally captive audience eagerly playing games of all kinds, including on mobile.
As GameLook points out however, three of NCSoft’s games still remain within the top 10 best-selling list in Korea on Google Play. But they also point out that NCSoft’s primary advantage, which has been their mastery of the MMO genre with titles such as Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is now being challenged. Upstart company Kakoa games released Odin: Rebellion in 2021 which topped the best sellers list for three months.
Not only that but Amazon is also set to bring Lost Ark, another major MMORPG produced by Smile Gate, to Korea. All of which points to NCSoft being pushed further and further to the back of the race. It seems that if they do want to pick up the pace once more it’ll be crucial to get a big winner, and hopefully Blade & Soul 2, despite lacklustre registrations, may be that winner.
We listed NCSoft as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.