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NCsoft posts another year of record-breaking growth

Slight declines in mobile aren't enough to ruin the show as online PC games enjoy a strong quarter

NCsoft has enjoyed another record-breaking year thanks to a towering performance in the South Korean market.

The company's sales in 2017 reached KRW 1.758 trillion ($1.6bn), up a massive 79 per cent year-on-year. Operating profit was up 78 per cent at KRW 585bn ($538m) while net income grew 64 per cent to KRW 443.9bn ($408m).

Overall mobile sales fell 41 per cent to KRW 327bn ($302m). However, although that comparison was dented by the previous launch of Lineage M. And what a launch that was - the game shot straight to the top of South Korea's iOS charts just seven hours after release, with month one revenues apparently hitting around $230m.

Lineage 1, as a result, saw sales dip 59 per cent as users migrated to the newer title. Mobile games still accounted for 57 per cent of total revenue and were incredibly strong across the board.

In addition, NCsoft's slate of online games saw sales grow 73 per cent to KRW 35bn ($32m). Guild Wars 2 was the star performer thanks to its recent expansion. In fact, Guild Wars, Aion and Blade & Soul all posted gains in Q4, although were down slightly year-on-year.

The vast bulk of sales still originate from South Korea - a trend that is growing. In 2016 Korean revenues were roughly four times those of the US and Europe, but in 2017 that increased to around nine times - and that's with only slight declines in the West. The Japanese and Taiwanese markets also saw slight revenue falls.

NCsoft's shares have fallen ever so slightly after the results, although they are currently outperforming the broader financial markets in the region.

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