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NCSoft Earning call conference: GW2 xpac and China release in 2013

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Comments

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 2,828Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ramonski7

    Have you played GW2?

    For you to create an account you need a serial key.

    No different from the time cards blizzard sells to the chinese players where they add a serial with game time.

     

    What you getting at is a confusion people make to confuse stuff.

    Arenanet doesn't come out and say "we have these million players". They say "we have sold these million copies". NCSoft says "we have sold these million boxes + micro transactions and that is equal to xxxx money".

    The problem is that Blizzard say "we have these many subs". The western player assumes it is $15 sub when it isn't. They could say "we have these many paying players" and there would be no confusions.

    Also, it seems the ones having a problem with chinese players is the western WoW players, when people say there is 3-4 million WoW players in the west and 5-6 million WoW players in the East.

     

     

     

    Yes I have. I played quite extensively for a while. Made it to level 63 with about 54% completion.

    Maybe in the west. Because boxes are sold and keys are needed for proof of purchase. There is no such system needed in China. For example here, explains the steps one needs to take in order to play WoW in China. Creating a BattleNET account cost nothing and everyone is free to play up to level 20. It's only when you want to play pass level 20 is when you have to recharge your account with time cards.

    The time cards Blizzard sells have serial numbers that are unique to each time card just like here in the US (the scratch off on the back of each card). The steps needed to take in order to recharge your account can be found  here. Each card cost about $4. And to give you perspective on just how much that amount is. The average monthly income for a middle class family of 3 in China is around $750. And the average cell phone bill is $10 a month.

    What I'm getting at is unless ANet and NCSoft plan to charge Chinese players $60 dollars in what amounts to a activation card. And relying on micro transactions prices that are equivalent to US prices, I see no way for them to actually count box sales or cash shop revenue like they do in the west. Because if for any reason the prices are brought down to levels more aligned to typical prices that are normal to what Chinese players are grown to expect from a new mmo and that mmo's cash shop, you can definitely count on the naysayers here to dismiss Chinese players if they are paying $5 to activate a account (aka a box sale) and pennies on the dollar for cash shop prices.

     

    Because let's not try to fool anyone here. Chinese players will NOT be paying the same prices for GW2 and it's cash shop as we do here, period. And it is the main reason why I believe revenue is revenue and if Blizzard wants to call timecard sales, subs then who cares? They still are buying a paying a sub, just not on a monthly basis. And on both counts, revenue is being brought in by both companies. But these points will yet again fall on deaf ears because of blind devotions on both sides of the fence. And this is coming from someone that enjoyed both games immensely at one poiint in time.

    Was anyone saying Chinese players will be buying a $60 box?

    Since GW2 has no sub-fee, the cost will be creating the accoungt. Simple. How much it will be, no idea.

    GW2 numbers so far have been $150M in revenue. Game is paid with a substantial profit, most of the Arenanet workers moved for the expansion that should be out this year.

    Do I care how many chinese players will playing GW2?

    Probably not, but I'm interested in the revenues of GW2 to keep growing.

     

    Now there is the pissing contest of who has more players and since none of us know for certain we delve into the finances to try to get a number.

    We all know that the WoW player base has a west component and aeast component.

    WoW fans will hype the total number of subs. WoW detractors will point at the fact most of them are chinese and pay less.

    The fact remains that WoW once boasted some 11 million western accounts and that number is now probably 3-4M.

    In fact if we look at the Non-GAAP Online subscriptions (Revenue from online subscriptions consists of revenue from all World of Warcraftproducts, including subscriptions, boxed products,expansion
    packs, licensing royalties, and value-added services. It also includes revenues from Call of Duty Elitememberships.) was  $277M in 4Q12.

    If all of that money was WoW subs $277M/3/$15 = 6.16M subs.

    We also know that the Online subscrptions Non-GAAP revenues went from $1.42Bn in 2010 to $1.16Bn in 2011 to $1.07Bn in 2012.

    $1.07Bn/12/$15 = 5.9M subs in 2012.

    A chinese player is 1 player. A chinese player isn't a $15/month sub.

     

    Data from: http://investor.activision.com/index.cfm (for Blizzard-Activision) & http://global.ncsoft.com/global/ir/earnings.aspx (for NCSoft).

     

     

     

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • mikahrmikahr ZagrebPosts: 1,066Member
    Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter

    Was anyone saying Chinese players will be buying a $60 box?

    Since GW2 has no sub-fee, the cost will be creating the accoungt. Simple. How much it will be, no idea.

    Not necessarily, it might be pay by hour which is quite usual for Chinese market.

    And Blizzard never boasted 11m western subs, those numbers werent reached until WoW was released in Asia.

    But anyway, GW2 had a very helathy profit and is growing, thats about all that matters really.

  • korent1991korent1991 CakovecPosts: 1,390Member

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    deleted

    "Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life."
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  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
    Originally posted by Ramonski7

    Have you played GW2?

    For you to create an account you need a serial key.

    No different from the time cards blizzard sells to the chinese players where they add a serial with game time.

     

    What you getting at is a confusion people make to confuse stuff.

    Arenanet doesn't come out and say "we have these million players". They say "we have sold these million copies". NCSoft says "we have sold these million boxes + micro transactions and that is equal to xxxx money".

    The problem is that Blizzard say "we have these many subs". The western player assumes it is $15 sub when it isn't. They could say "we have these many paying players" and there would be no confusions.

    Also, it seems the ones having a problem with chinese players is the western WoW players, when people say there is 3-4 million WoW players in the west and 5-6 million WoW players in the East.

     

     

     

    Yes I have. I played quite extensively for a while. Made it to level 63 with about 54% completion.

    Maybe in the west. Because boxes are sold and keys are needed for proof of purchase. There is no such system needed in China. For example here, explains the steps one needs to take in order to play WoW in China. Creating a BattleNET account cost nothing and everyone is free to play up to level 20. It's only when you want to play pass level 20 is when you have to recharge your account with time cards.

    The time cards Blizzard sells have serial numbers that are unique to each time card just like here in the US (the scratch off on the back of each card). The steps needed to take in order to recharge your account can be found  here. Each card cost about $4. And to give you perspective on just how much that amount is. The average monthly income for a middle class family of 3 in China is around $750. And the average cell phone bill is $10 a month.

    What I'm getting at is unless ANet and NCSoft plan to charge Chinese players $60 dollars in what amounts to a activation card. And relying on micro transactions prices that are equivalent to US prices, I see no way for them to actually count box sales or cash shop revenue like they do in the west. Because if for any reason the prices are brought down to levels more aligned to typical prices that are normal to what Chinese players are grown to expect from a new mmo and that mmo's cash shop, you can definitely count on the naysayers here to dismiss Chinese players if they are paying $5 to activate a account (aka a box sale) and pennies on the dollar for cash shop prices.

     

    Because let's not try to fool anyone here. Chinese players will NOT be paying the same prices for GW2 and it's cash shop as we do here, period. And it is the main reason why I believe revenue is revenue and if Blizzard wants to call timecard sales, subs then who cares? They still are buying a paying a sub, just not on a monthly basis. And on both counts, revenue is being brought in by both companies. But these points will yet again fall on deaf ears because of blind devotions on both sides of the fence. And this is coming from someone that enjoyed both games immensely at one poiint in time.

    Was anyone saying Chinese players will be buying a $60 box?

    Since GW2 has no sub-fee, the cost will be creating the accoungt. Simple. How much it will be, no idea.

    GW2 numbers so far have been $150M in revenue. Game is paid with a substantial profit, most of the Arenanet workers moved for the expansion that should be out this year.

    Do I care how many chinese players will playing GW2?

    Probably not, but I'm interested in the revenues of GW2 to keep growing.

     

    Now there is the pissing contest of who has more players and since none of us know for certain we delve into the finances to try to get a number.

    We all know that the WoW player base has a west component and aeast component.

    WoW fans will hype the total number of subs. WoW detractors will point at the fact most of them are chinese and pay less.

    The fact remains that WoW once boasted some 11 million western accounts and that number is now probably 3-4M.

    In fact if we look at the Non-GAAP Online subscriptions (Revenue from online subscriptions consists of revenue from all World of Warcraftproducts, including subscriptions, boxed products,expansion
    packs, licensing royalties, and value-added services. It also includes revenues from Call of Duty Elitememberships.) was  $277M in 4Q12.

    If all of that money was WoW subs $277M/3/$15 = 6.16M subs.

    We also know that the Online subscrptions Non-GAAP revenues went from $1.42Bn in 2010 to $1.16Bn in 2011 to $1.07Bn in 2012.

    $1.07Bn/12/$15 = 5.6M subs in 2012.

    A chinese player is 1 player. A chinese player isn't a $15/month sub.

     

    Data from: http://investor.activision.com/index.cfm (for Blizzard-Activision) & http://global.ncsoft.com/global/ir/earnings.aspx (for NCSoft).

     

     

     

    Sorry I thought you understood that I was basing my assumptions on the fact that most people here (like you it seems too) seem to dismiss Blizzard and WoW's revenue generated from China solely because the Chinese pay less to play. Also they seem to quickly disagree and dismiss anytime Bliizzard announces sub figures because they do not agree with Blizzard's definition of what qualifies as a sub in China in the first place. And I'm simply asking. Does it really matter how they label their paying player base, no matter where they reside or how much it cost for them to play, as long as they are still active and generating revenue?

     

    I mean if you take away the wording by switch sub to active players and apply that to whatever number Blizzard is spewing nowadays, it would still be a very impressive number of players for a 8-year old mmo, would it not? What's more impressive is that each of these players are required to have a active account and paid something during a 30-day cycle or they're not counted.

     

    But I'm sure detractors would just assume that half of those active players for WoW are only Chinese players farming gold anyway so they still wouldn't count them. Nevermind the issue of how rediculous it sounds for them to insultingly label 100% of the WoW Chinese player base as nothing more than Chinese gold farmers...like no one outside the NA and EU population plays WoW for any other reason.

     

    And as far as GW2 and ANet is concerned, I was simply presenting the above example as one possible road NCSoft could take to generate revenue when they finally introduce GW2 to the Chinese market. Nothing wrong with that road to me. And you could easily replace Blizzard with ANET and WoW with GW2 in my above example and I would feel the same way about them (With the execption of boxes sold of course as it wouldn't matter in either case). But for a lot of poeple here it will all be about the wording used to label such a success. And what all really needs to be said in both cases is that players are still active and revenue is still being generated, period.

     

     

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 2,828Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ramonski7
     

    Sorry I thought you understood that I was basing my assumptions on the fact that most people here (like you it seems too) seem to dismiss Blizzard and WoW's revenue generated from China solely because the Chinese pay less to play. Also they seem to quickly disagree and dismiss anytime Bliizzard announces sub figures because they do not agree with Blizzard's definition of what qualifies as a sub in China in the first place. And I'm simply asking. Does it really matter how they label their paying player base, no matter where they reside or how much it cost for them to play, as long as they are still active and generating revenue?

     

    I mean if you take away the wording by switch sub to active players and apply that to whatever number Blizzard is spewing nowadays, it would still be a very impressive number of players for a 8-year old mmo, would it not? What's more impressive is that each of these players are required to have a active account and paid something during a 30-day cycle or they're not counted.

     

    But I'm sure detractors would just assume that half of those active players for WoW are only Chinese players farming gold anyway so they still wouldn't count them. Nevermind the issue of how rediculous it sounds for them to insultingly label 100% of the WoW Chinese player base as nothing more than Chinese gold farmers...like no one outside the NA and EU population plays WoW for any other reason.

     

    And as far as GW2 and ANet is concerned, I was simply presenting the above example as one possible road NCSoft could take to generate revenue when they finally introduce GW2 to the Chinese market. Nothing wrong with that road to me. And you could easily replace Blizzard with ANET and WoW with GW2 in my above example and I would feel the same way about them (With the execption of boxes sold of course as it wouldn't matter in either case). But for a lot of poeple here it will all be about the wording used to label such a success. And what all really needs to be said in both cases is that players are still active and revenue is still being generated, period.

     

     

    There is two different things, revenues and players.

    You want to talk about revenues you point and say "WoW made $XXXM of money this quarter".

    Except Blizzard-Activision don't exactly say that, They have an online parcel that should mostly be WoW but we aren't sure.

    That is the revenue, and WoW is a monster revenue machine (with or without China, the suits are still buying yatchs) - Blizzard could let the server runs for 100 years and the WoW would still have been many times profitable.

    Then there is players.

    If you were a Lineage player,does it matter to you Lineage is still going strong in S.Korea? Western servers are dead.

    Would it really affect the non-China WoW players if China servers were shut?

    And of course, Chinese gold farmers play on Europe/US servers.

    When people split the China market out ,it is because they want to compare apples to apples.

    The China market is pretty much a different world - their payment model is different, few westerns speak/read/talk Chinese, few Chinese talk english, different culture, different time for patches/releases, etc.

    For Blizzard, money is money.

    This forum has americans and canadians, europeans from different nationalities, australians, brazillians. I'm sure it has people from all the regions, but I bet the large majority is north american/european and any of us could go play in US servers or European servers with no problems.

    So when people say something about the chinese players (silly bias asside)what they real mean is "how many potential people can I play with?".

    And while it might change, at this moment, this is represented by the US/EU servers market,

    So while WoW has 9.6 million subs (or subs equivalents) in fact the potential player pool is 3-4 millions for the english speakers.

    The Chinese market matters alot for companies like Blizzard and NCSoft, it doesn't matter that much for the US/EU server players, because if WoW or GW2 stop being profitable in the EU/US market those will be shut down regardless of how China is doing..

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • EletherylEletheryl morenoPosts: 152Member
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 
  • RizelStarRizelStar Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,773Member
    Originally posted by Eletheryl
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 

    For the love of any god or belief you have if any please stop lying, I mean damn it's not hard to do it really isn't.

    If you have no belief for the sake of humanity please, I ask of you to please stop lying.

     

    When you ask me "Well how am I lying?" prove to me how you are not with actual evidence and I will forever leave you the fuck alone when you make these false claims.

    P.S - Lmbo aye I might get bannd for the kinda language I use, cause some how I be trolling trolls and shit but it's all good cause I don't beat around the bush when I call people out who say ignorant shit as if it's a fact.

     

     

    I might get banned for this. - Rizel Star.

    I'm not afraid to tell trolls what they [need] to hear, even if that means for me to have an forced absence afterwards.

    P2P LOGIC = If it's P2P it means longevity, overall better game, and THE BEST SUPPORT EVER!!!!!(Which has been rinsed and repeated about a thousand times)

    Common Sense Logic = P2P logic is no better than F2P Logic.

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 2,828Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Eletheryl
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 

    My GF was just telling me "damn commander group going around in a big mob killing every mob!".

    Sometimes I wished there was a bit less people.

    image

     

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
     

    Sometimes I wished there was a bit less people.

    image

     

    I've felt the same way at times.

     

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • PaRoXiTiCPaRoXiTiC Denison, TXPosts: 576Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
    Originally posted by Eletheryl
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 

    My GF was just telling me "damn commander group going around in a big mob killing every mob!".

    Sometimes I wished there was a bit less people.

    image

     

    Elethryl obviously doesn't do Dragon fights or World vs. World.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
    Originally posted by Eletheryl
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 

    My GF was just telling me "damn commander group going around in a big mob killing every mob!".

    Sometimes I wished there was a bit less people.

    image

     

    Pshhh,...that's easily manipulated in Photoshop using the clone stamp tool !  image

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • CelciusCelcius Posts: 1,001Member Uncommon

    The game is pretty awesome and has a substantial value. I expect alot of people to buy an expansion for the simple fact that the original game has more value then 99% of singleplayer games if you liked it at all. Some of the people saying they won't even in this thread probably will end up playing again. Thats just how it is with expansions. Yeah sure, they won't sell as many expansions as there is copies of the game sold, but neither can pretty much every other MMO. 

    The game is highly successful and people just hate that on these forums. Just a heads up to those guys --usually the people who are attacking something the most are the same guys who feel the most threatened by it. 

    Aside from all that, I sorta doubt the expansion will hit this year. I think they will announce it but not officially date it until 2014. I am not sure what the quarters look like for NCSoft though, so Q4 2013 could end in Feb/March 2014 which would make it more reasonable.

  • mikahrmikahr ZagrebPosts: 1,066Member
    Originally posted by Eletheryl
    2,9 millions of copies but how many active players the game have?, financially GW2 was a huge success same as D3 with 12 millions of copies, but the player retention for both games was an huge fail, and that is the real problem. But if the people is just happy because NCsoft and Anet are making a lot of money instead of working in a better game for everyone, is ok after all is a B2P game. 

    That goes for ANY MMO in existence except EvE (which makes exact numbers public).

    Take WoW fro example. 2,7m MoP sold, but how many people are actually still active? We know that sub =/= active player, China numbers dont affect western servers...yadda...yadda....yadda And if someone actually want to contest this point, please show us WoWs login numbers, or dont even TRY

    You can only log into a game and look for yourself, and by all means my server is VERY healthy. And i can hop on 2 other servers anytime anyway (guesting), so (if we disregard money making) all GW2 needs is enough people to fill 1 server

    And, just to picture some things, my gaming community that started playing at launch and limited guild number to 150 still has around 90 people loging in daily.

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