Home > City of Heroes > City of Heroes/Villains – need more valuable players?

City of Heroes/Villains – need more valuable players?

November 12, 2008

Today NCSoft released their quarterly earnings for the 3rd quarter 2008. It has become a habit to have a look at these numbers and try to figure out some trends from it. For this occasion I took a look at City of Heroes/Villains.

Ever since Cryptic Studios sold off their part of City of Heroes/Villains to NCSoft there has been some accouncements about NCSoft hiring more people for development, various changes being made to the game etc.

Has that shown in the numbers for the game? During 2008 the sales of the game has indeed increased, although not in huge amounts. But the average increase per month in the 3rd quarter from what they earned in the 1st quarter means about 150K Euro/month, which probably is more than enough to cover the increased salaries of 15-20 new employees.

However, when one takes a look at the operating metrics for the game, there seems to be a different story. The amount of players accessing the game during a month and the peak number of concurrent users were at its lowest values in years, it seems.

If we make the assumption that all players that accessed the game in a month (about 125000) are paying subscribers (probably wrong) then a bit of calculation gives that those players paid on average 9,80 Euro per month. This is less than the monthly fee in both Europe and in the US. From that one can guess that a number of these 125000 players are actually free trial players and that actual subscribers might be fewer.

Still, since they earn more money and seem to have fewer people accessing the game they are perhaps earning more money for each subscribing player they have. A part for that reasom may of course be the increased about of stuff you can buy related to the game, e.g. costume sets, additional character slots etc.

So even though the game potentially are loosing people that play regularly, those who actually stick around with the game might be seeing a better game for them, since they are becoming more valuable for NCSoft.

Categories: City of Heroes
  1. November 13, 2008 at 03:38

    Hard to say here.

    At this point, the only BIG game for NCSoft is Lineage 2…and even if that is worth it for the North American audiences.

    This is really sad, as Guild Wars is probably their biggest seller, and is the one game they are ignoring.

    Aion looks great and another title called Blade and Soul was mind numbingly gorgeous, they could do well…but Tabula Rasa and Auto Assault burned their asses, and no more income for GW and a small player base in CoH/CoV looks disastrous unless they get a move on.

  2. sente
    November 13, 2008 at 21:57

    Both Lineage and Lineage 2 are big games for NCSoft; in Q3 Lineage 2:s share of the sales is 48%, for Lineage it is 36%.

    In the Western hemisphere Guild Wars has certainly been their biggest seller, but is still small compared to the Lineage games.
    I do not quite see that they are ignoring Guild Wars through – yes, they are not planning any new campaigns/expansions for Guild Wars itself and instead we have to wait for Guild Wars 2. But ArenaNet has more than 150 employees and NCSoft is relocating their US HQ to where ArenaNet is. I think that at least communicates what they see as the most important for the Western market.

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