SEOUL, Apr. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — The big three local game companies are expected to show different performance records for the first quarter this year, with Nexon Korea Co. likely to set a new record in sales and operating profits, industry watchers said Thursday.
Nexon was estimated to have tallied around 800 billion won (US$748.01 million) in sales and in the upper 400 billion won range in operating profits for the first three months of 2018. The previous best performance came in the first quarter last year when the respective figures were 757 billion won and 402.4 billion won.
“Nexon’s ‘Dungeong & Fighter’ remains popular in China, and the newly released mobile games have performed well,” a company official said. “The performance of Pixelberry Studios, acquired in November, was fully counted in from the first quarter, which also helped.”
NC Soft is expected to report sales in the mid-400 billion won range and operating income in the upper 100 billion won range. Those would be a more than 80 percent increase in sales and over a 400 percent rise in operating profits from the same quarter last year. Compared to the previous quarter, however, the showing would be a fall from respective totals of 533.3 billion won and 189.2 billion won.
Lineage M contributed significantly to the company’s performance, according to industry watchers. Released in June last year, Lineage M remains at No. 1 on Google Playstore, and its daily sales in the first quarter ran around 2.6 billion to 2.9 billion won.
Netmarble is likely to report the poorest performance among the three, due to the lower sales of its main item, Lineage 2 Revolution, and a lack of new releases. Industry estimate is mid-500 billion won in sales and between 80 billion and 100 billion won in operating profits. Sales in the first quarter last year were 687.5 billion won.
Business could pick up in the current quarter when Nexon and Netmarble publish new games, watchers say.
Netmarble is due to release four or five new games before June, plus others that feature South Korea’s newest K-pop boy band sensation, BTS.
Nexon will set the release date for FIFA Online 4 that will coincide with the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, while NC Soft has new releases scheduled toward the end of this year.