Tag: blade&soul

Blade & Soul reaches 1.5 million concurrent players in China

Tencent China has made an official announcement on the 10th that the popular MMORPG <Blade & Soul>’s highest concurrent users currently stands at 1.5 million players.

This announcement is the first official announcement made by Tencent China since the beginning of the game’s test phase that began in November 29th.

A testing-purposed game that launched with 1.2 million first day players, <Blade & Soul> currently has 220 live servers supporting the game and is in its stabilizing stage.

<Blade & Soul> had reached a high 11% of China’s PC café play rate, and sustained a stable 7% even after the cross events from <League of Legends>, <Cross Fire>, and <Dungeon & Fighter> had ended.  The fact that the rates were sustained even after the initial cross events show that <Blade & Soul> had successfully established its own player base.

Tencent also announced that <Blade & Soul> set a record among the Chinese MMORPGs.  The popular search engine Dubai reached a total of 1,063,738 <Blade & Soul> related searches, setting the record among video game searches, and there were over 40,000 articles written about <Blade & Soul> since its launch.

Tencent is working on perfecting the localization and is preparing various events in anticipation for the upcoming official launch.  Other than the preparation of game events, there will be an item sale event via its own mobile messenger application <WeChat>.

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Blade & Soul is coming to China with Girls’ Generation

Tencent, the publisher for Blade & Soul in China, has announced on the 15th that Korea’s Girls’ Generation(aka SNSD) will promote Blade & Soul in China.  Tencent will promote Blade & Soul with Girls’ Generation’s young image under the catch phrase: “Looking for your Soul.”

Tencent believes that Girls’ Generation characters suit the concept of Blade & Soul because the nine of the members are fashion icons among the youth in China with unique personalities.

The game’s test schedules for China has also been revealed.  The test phase will start on the 29th of October, and Tencent promises that there will be no CBT account reset, which ultimately means that players that participate in the CBT will be able to continue playing their test phase characters when the game launches to the public.  The game has been greatly improved for the Chinese release.

NCsoft had previously mentioned during the 2nd quarter of the financial conference that Blade & Soul China will have greater amount of content than before, in order to avoid having lack of content issues that they experienced in Korea.

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NCsoft changed its organization

NCsoft rebuilds NA & Europe organizations as a holding company system.

NCsoft announced that they established NC West Holdings on the 24th of November as the holding company of NA & Europe organizations. Total shares of NC Interactive and Arenanet are invested in kind to the holding company.

Because NCsoft has 100% shares of the holding company, they will manage NA & Europe organizations as well. Originally, NCsoft split its western business organization into three; NC Europe, NC Austin, NC interactive. Later, NC West united NC Europe, NC Austin and Arenanet.

Development & publishing organizations will be belong to NC West Holdings. NC Interactive will take care of Aion, Blade&Soul while Arenanet for Guild War 1&2 and Carbine Studio for Wild Star independently.

NCsoft announced 2012 2nd quarter financial result

NCsoft announced the financial result for 2012 2nd quarter. It suffered a loss in the 2nd quarter mostly due to the large scale layoff. It layoff 400 developers and expends US$13.3 million on severance pay and compensation.

The sales were increased 4% compares to the 1st quarter. However, the net profit is US$6.5 million loss in total. NCsoft expects much better financial result for the 3rd quarter because the sales of Blade&Soul and the revenue from pre-purchased Guildwar2 will be included.

According to NCsoft, Blade&soul is doing better than Aion for the first 40 days in Korea. The number of pre-purchased Guildwar2 users is not exceeded 1 million yet, but very close.

It also mentioned that there will be no more layoff or recruits for a while. About the question on the relationship with Nexon, the company said it cannot be said in detail. It thinks the best way to publish its MMORPG games is published by themselves.

NCsoft is trying its best to make succeed Blade&Soul in China now. The one of its purposes is launching Blade$Soul throughout the most of the world until the end of the next year. Guildwar2 is focusing on North America and Europe online game market and has not been decided for other territories.

TOP 11 gaming issues during the 1st half of 2012 in Korea

1. Blade&Soul and Diablo3

Both was launched during the period and made various issues. Especially Diablo3 claimed #1 PC Bang ranking chart with 430,000 CCU. Diablo3 also suffered from server issue, a roll-back error, balance & bug issue. Blizzard announced the restrictive refund policy for Diablo3 after Fair Trade Commission’s investigation.

Blade&Soul topped Diablo3 during OBT, but stepped down to the 3rd after the commercialized service was started.

2. Nexon acquires shares from NCSoft

Nexon acquired 14.7% shares from NCSoft CEO Taek-jin Kim and became the major shareholder of NCSoft. It was huge because two among biggest Korean online game companies agreed to cooperate. On the other hand, the question around NCSoft is getting bigger because NCSoft CEO Taek-jin Kim has not revealed the use of 800 billion Won (about $700 million), which is a compensation for 14.7% shares from Nexon.

 

3. On restructuring

M&A was a hot issue last year. During the first half of the year, restructuring was a hot issue among Korean online game companies.

NCSoft announced its restructuring plan on the 19th of June and started accepting voluntary resignation. NCSoft will cut at least 100 employees and focus on developing games more. Neowiz Games has done restructuring and NHN is on restructuring now as well.
Restructuring is happened every year, but the atmosphere around the Korean game industry is chaotic because many people have left the industry this year more than ever.

4. PC Bang ranking Cataclysm

PC Bang ranking has not changed for many years until this year. League of Legends topped Korean PC Bang ranking on March with 13.91% occupation rate and kept staying at the top before diablo3 launching.

Diablo3 achieved ‘The best PC Bang occupation rate record ever’ with 38.75% and topped League of Legends. Blade&Soul claimed #1 from Diablo3 during its OBT.

5. Another Cataclysm for e-Sports

Starcraft’s Brood War has dominated Korean e-Sports market for more than 10 years. However, The year 2012 is the last. Proleague hosted by KESPA (Korean e-Sports Association), will be held with Starcraft2 from October, 2012 to 2013 as well as Starleague hosted by Ongamenet.

In addition, another e-Sports icon is rising – League of Legends. Summer league of LOL The Champions will be held soon as well as World Championship in Autumn with the total prize money of $3 million.

6. Playable time select system

New protection system from game addiction called ‘Playable time select system’ will take effect from the 1st of July. It is the system that restricts the youth from playing game during the time that a legal representative requests.

Once the system is conducted, the youth under the age of 18 and his/her parents as a legal representative could set the game available period. If the time that parents want is collapsed with the period that a youth wants, the period selected by parents becomes priority.

Korean online game companies are needed to spend additional developing cost to apply the system into their games. Some companies request Game Rating Board to categorize their games as ‘Over age 18’ not to apply this system into their games because of the additional budget.

Xbox360 and PS3 are no exception. PS3 Store will be closed on the 29th because of it.

7. Items trade for Real Money

Real Money Aution House (RMAH) for Diablo3 was opened on the 13th of June in the U.S. However, Korean could not use RMAH because of the government’s policy. Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) announced that the acts of trading game money, items by a company is illegal from July while it is still possible that game money and item trading between individual users.

8. Have you seen any innovation stuffs at E3 2012?

Most people from Korean online game industry were disappointed at E3 2012. There were full of games that were named after sequel or reboot. In addition, we found too much violence within games.

9. Heading for Chinese’s mobile game market

Com2uS and Gamevil, two of most anticipated Korean mobile game companies, is head for Chinese mobile game market. Escape the ape and Tower Defense: Lost Earth from Com2uS was ranked #1 and #2 in Chinese App Store while Gamevil was selected as the best global mobile platform company in China.

10. Smartphone games are booming!

Wemade Entertainment, which was client based online game company once, is now focusing on developing smartphone games. Nexon, NCSoft, NHN, CJ Netmarble, Neowiz Games have made their mobile games division stronger.

Mid-sized online game companies such as Nowcom, Liveplex, Choirock Games are also declared to develop mobile games. We could easily found a new mobile game company, established by an Individual developer. The number keeps increasing now.

11. Crossfire is on fire

The revenue of Online FPS game Crossfire from China only exceeded 1,000 billion Won ($874 million) with 3.5 million CCU. Its global publisher Neowiz Games are disputing with Smilegate, developer of the game, for extending the publishing contract. The publishing contract between Neowiz Games and Tencent will be expired in summer of 2013.
Smilegate is not satisfied with Neowiz Games’ sudden decision that closed domestic service of Crossfire without noticing Smilegate.