NCsoft Corporation say they saw sales of $US 78.6 million in the second quarter of 2008, a seven percent increase over the previous year, though their operating profit, pre-tax profit and net income all dropped, 25%, 31%, 42%, respectively, according to the South Korean company's second quarter financials released last night.
The news comes during a week of rumblings that NCsoft's Austin office may be on the verge of laying off staff or closing, a rumour that NCsoft vehemently denies.
Lineage and Lineage II both saw a drop in sales compared to last quarter as did Guild Wars, while City of Heroes and City of Villains as well as Tabula Rasa saw an increase in sales from the previous quarter, according to the earnings release.
The report goes on to say that NCsoft completed the third stage of closed beta testing for Aion on July 20. Beta testers were able to play Aion's core features including Realm vs. Realm in the Abyss, a designated zone where the two factions, Elyos and Asmodians, constantly battle for various fortresses as well as abundant item crafting, new quests, better user interface, and higher level character advancement.
The company plans to start an open beta test for Aion and launch the game in Korea in the fourth quarter of the year, according the report. The game will launch internationally within three to six months of the Korean launch.
The company also plans to start beta testing for three casual games in 2008: Love beat, Punch Monster, and Dragonica.
"In order to maintain our ongoing development cycles and a diverse game portfolio, multiple games are in development currently across all NCsoft studios", said NCsoft's CFO Jaeho Lee. "We anticipate publishing these new titles within the next two to three years, during which we believe we'll maintain NCsoft's status as a leader in the global on-line game market."