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NCsoft Q1 profits up by a third

Revenues flat as Aion publisher continues push into China

Korean massively multiplayer online publisher NCsoft has announced its first quarter financial results, with flat revenues for the three months but a rise in net profits of 30 per cent.

Revenues were down by 2 per cent year on year at ₩155.4 billion ($142.7m/€101.0m), while net income rose to ₩40.8 billion ($37.5m/€26.5m). The revenue performance was blamed primarily on 'small-scaled sales promotions' for Lineage and Aion.

"NCsoft consistently delivers strong figures in a way that most other games publishers can only dream of," Sarah Rogers, European sales director at NCsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.

"These results prove that we have the MMO brands that people want to play and that we're able to grow and maintain customer loyalty, which is crucial in successful MMO publishing. This year, gamescom will be very significant for us. We'll have a major presence and maybe even steal a headline or two."

Previously NCsoft's full year results had shown a rise in sales of 2 per cent but a drop in profits of 6 per cent.

The company reported that overseas sales during the last quarter had been slow, with Aion performing much better in China than in West. Lineage 2 also saw a rise in business in China.

North Korea still represents 65 percent of the company's business, with North America just 5 per cent and Europe 4 per cent. NCsoft's titles are licensed to local publishers in China, with the company attributing 10 per cent of its overall revenues to related royalties.

Newest title Aion is currently the company's most successful game, accounting for 44 per cent of all revenues. The original Lineage still stands at 28 per cent and Lineage 2 at 22 per cent. City of Heroes/Villains and Guild Wars each account for 2 per cent of sales.

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David Jenkins