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Blade & Soul

WildStar and Guild Wars 2 boost NCsoft profits

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Economy, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, WildStar

ncsoft
The second quarter of 2014 was a very good time indeed for NCsoft, as the publisher announced today that revenues and profits are up thanks to WildStar's launch and Guild Wars 2's move into China.

In today's earnings report, NCsoft shows that sales went up 20% and operating profit increased 46% from the previous quarter. The company said that it saw a marketing expense increase due to WildStar and that Lineage "recovered meaningfully" during this period.

As for sales per game, Lineage is still at the top with 32.2%. Following that is WildStar (15.9%), Guild Wars 2 (12.6%), Blade and Soul (10.8%), Aion (10.4%), and Lineage II (7.7%).

One Shots: Reflection perfection

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, The Elder Scrolls Online

LOTRO
"Take a picture of a picture in an MMO," I said to you guys a couple of weeks ago, and darn it if you awesome folks didn't come through! We have two entries from that screenshot challenge this week, starting with reader Chiara taking a look at her good looks in Lord of the Rings Online.

"One of the things that impressed me the most when Riders of Rohan launched was the furniture," Chiara wrote. "I spent the whole day breaking into NPCs' houses uninvited (they weren't amused). The first time I saw a mirror, I squealed."

I'm squealing right now myself, but that's mostly because a mouse just ran across the ceiling tiles. I need to throw a cat up between the floors one of these days to solve that problem. Anyway, let's take a gander at the other great entires from players' screenshot folders!

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #20-11

Age of Conan, Darkfall, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Allods Online, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, Jukebox Heroes, Dragon's Prophet, Music

SWG
We're growing ever closer to my top picks for MMO theme songs, but we're not quite at the end yet. This week we are on to the third part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31 and #30-21. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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NCsoft boosts numbers in Q4 2013 while Nexon names new CEO

Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Legal, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft is thanking its lucky Blade & Soul these days, as revenues from the game's popularity in China have helped to boost its financial status.

In the recently released Q4 2013 earnings report, NCsoft announced that sales, operating profit, pre-tax income, and net income were up over Q3 2013. Overall, 2013 was profitable for the company as its income went up year-over-year. NCsoft credited a growing Lineage and a "strong" and "solid" Guild Wars 2 for this effort, as well as cost savings initiatives. While sales in Korea improved from 2012 to 2013, those in Japan, Europe, and North America all declined over the same time period.

Lineage is by far NCsoft's biggest earner, followed by Guild Wars 2, Aion, and Blade & Soul. The company said that WildStar is on track to launch in mid-2014 and that the key GW2 focus is not on an expansion but with bringing the game to China.

Meanwhile, NCsoft's biggest investor, Nexon, just named Owen Mahoney as its new president and CEO, replacing Seungwoo Choi. Nexon also announced a revenue and income increase in 2013 and acknowledged that it is underperforming in Japan and the West.

New Blade & Soul video goes to Hell

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Blade & Soul

Screencap -- Blade & Soul Hell trailer
NCSoft has released a new video featuring the latest addition coming to Blade & Soul Korea: a combination PvE and PvP zone appropriately named Hell. While you won't find any lakes of fire in this incarnation of Hell (they're more like puddles), you better believe there's going to be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth as players in the zone have to contend with the usual unholy abominations, malicious demons, missile-barrage-firing mechs (yes, really), and of course, nefarious schemes of opposing players. The full video features nearly seven minutes of shiny, explosive, and occasionally bizarre PvE and PvP combat throughout the new zone. They say diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip, so if you're curious about how diplomatic NCSoft can be, click on past the cut for the full trailer.

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Teaser page confirms Blade & Soul is heading to Japan

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Blade & Soul

Confirmation for Blade & Soul's trip to Japan was just provided by a teaser page released by NCsoft. Steparu discovered the page, which boasts the URL 1.0/secret, when it appeared on the studio's official Japan website. Although the images are shrouded in shadow, the forms and armor are recognizable. Unfortunately, there are no other details available; it is unknown if the Japanese version of Blade & Soul will be IP blocked or if it will follow in the Korean version's footsteps and be censor free.

While this shows the game is moving into yet another international market, there is still no word (or image) on the game coming to the West.

Leaderboard: ArcheAge vs. Blade & Soul

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

Blade & Soul - Coming to Western PCs in 2045
I'm feeling a bit ornery today, so you'll have to excuse this Leaderboard's angry-gamer outlook when it comes to Korean imports and the W-word. See, I like Korean MMOs a whole lot, but I don't particularly like Westernization because a) one of the main reasons to play a culturally divergent MMO is to experience said divergent culture and b) Westernization takes for-frickin'-ever.

How long have we been waiting on ArcheAge now? And what about Blade & Soul? And yeah, I know Trion is purportedly in friends-and-family alpha now. That's better than Blade & Soul, at least, about which NCsoft has said absolutely nothing in regards to the Western market.

So for today's poll, let's assume that you have to choose between ArcheAge and Blade & Soul. The Westernization gods will only allow of one of them to make it out of Korea in our lifetime, and it's up to you to decide which it'll be! Would you rather play XL's ginormous fantasy sandpark or do you prefer NCsoft's martial arts fantasy title? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Blade & Soul tops 1.5M concurrent users in China

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul

Blade and Soul
While we twiddle our thumbs in the West waiting for a game that might never come, Blade & Soul is stampeding across Asia and has the numbers to prove it.

MMO Culture reports that Blade & Soul China has 1.5 million players (wait for it) online at the same time. As in concurrency, not total numbers. While that certainly smacks of popularity, what's even more astonishing is that some players in the region have to wait around six hours in a queue just to play.

Other impressive statistics include the Blade & Soul beta trailer being viewed 30.4 million times, 450 million monsters killed on the first day of the game, and one player who's already sunk 1,345 hours into the title.

One Shots: All outta soul

Screenshots, Aion, Culture, One Shots, Champions Online, Allods Online, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous

Blade and Soul
Man, there are few things worse in the gaming world than to see players of other regions get a hold of titles that have yet to make it to your neck of the woods. First comes the flush of jealousy, then the slow burn of envy, then the mountaintop proclamation of vengeance upon the studio in the middle of a rainstorm.

Reader Dynatos is one of the fortunate to be able to try out this particular game: "I've recently stepped back into Blade and Soul with the Chinese release, and while I'm not very far along into the game (it's a little tough when I don't understand the language!), I'm completely in love with the art style and combat mechanics. Here's my Kung Fu master looking at the foreboding building up the walkway -- not very inviting!"

I WILL RAIN HOT DOOM UPON YOU NCSOFT! DOOM! Er, sorry, I just advanced to stage three.

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Blade & Soul surpasses 1.8 million concurrent users in China

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul

Blade & Soul
Western Blade & Soul fans may be wondering when, or if, NCsoft is ever going to bring the martial arts fantasy MMO to their shores. Chinese fans, on the hand, are scarfing up the title as quickly as publisher Tencent can add additional servers.

MMO Culture reports that the firm added another hardware group last week, bringing the total to a whopping 195 servers and helping to alleviate shard congestion. The site also notes that concurrent users have surpassed 1.8 million while active users sits somewhere around the 18 million mark.

NCsoft adds content to Blade & Soul Korea, continues to ignore the West

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, Dungeons

Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul Korea is getting some new content, and yes, we know it sucks that the game still hasn't shown up in the West. Maybe if we keep posting about it, and maybe if you keep commenting on it, it will. It's worth a shot, right?

Anyhow, Steparu reports on a new endgame dungeon and some spiffy new black leather outfits. We've embedded a trailer after the break, but you should click through to the source link for all the details.

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Blade & Soul opens the beta doors in China November 28th

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul

The final closed beta for the Chinese version of Blade & Soul got rolling just over three weeks ago, but Tencent is already preparing to throw the beta doors wide open to any and all who want to check the free-to-play fantasy game out. Steparu.com discovered that open beta, scheduled to launch next week on November 28th, will not have an IP block, meaning folks from other areas can also get in on the martial-arts action.

The client is available for download starting today, which is helpful to all those who want to get a head start by participating in the special character creation event on November 23rd and November 24th. While you wait for your download, take a look at some in-game emotes courtesy this video from Steparu:

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Blade and Soul adds servers in China

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, News Items, PvE, Rumors, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, MMORPG

Blade and Soul
Blade and Soul's closed beta appears to be going quite well in China; Tencent has just expanded the number of live servers from 19 to 33. Additionally, rumors indicate that the Chinese version of the game will be entering open beta sometime in early December.

No new info is available for western gamers waiting for Blade and Soul. The last update on the official site is dated December 5th, 2012 and claims that details will be delivered "when the time is right." NCSoft and Team Bloodlust are working on the western version of the title.

NCsoft takes a financial hit in Q3 2013

Lineage, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft's latest financial earnings report shows that the publisher took a substantial hit in the third quarter of this year.

Sales, operating profit, pre-tax income, and net income were all down from both the previous quarter and Q3 2012. NCsoft blamed the dip due on a shuffling of Lineage's in-game sales from third to fourth quarter. Guild Wars 2 once again dropped in sales, while Blade and Soul came out the best in the report, seeing an uptick in sales thanks to a recent content update.

Higher expenses were also to blame for NCsoft's lower profit margin, including an increased WildStar marketing campaign and relocating headquarters. Quarter-over-quarter, sales were down across most of NCsoft's subsidiaries save for NCsoft Taiwan and Ntreev Soft, which both saw a bump in sales.

[Thanks to Sharvis for the tip! And note, the unit on the Y axes is million South Korean won, not US dollars.]

Blade & Soul adds first player-designed costume

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Blade & Soul, Player-Generated Content

Blade & Soul adds first player-designed costume
When you think of player-generated content or in-game assets, chances are that Blade & Soul isn't the first title that springs to mind. Maybe it should, though, if a new video at MMO Culture is a portend of things to come.

The fantasy martial arts MMO recently added its first player-designed outfit, which for now is only available via ongoing Korean internet cafe events. The get-up is called the Ethereal Fairy costume, and the source links below feature some images and a bit more info. We've also embedded a video after the cut if you'd like to see the outfit in the finished game.

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