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>.
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.
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 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.