Seoul, South Korea-based NCsoft has posted lower quarterly earnings in light of increased investments in online game development.
ImageThe publisher of MMOs such as City of Heroes, Guild Wars and the recently-released Tabula Rasa posted operating income of 9.7 billion won ($10.7 million), plunging 44 percent from 17.5 billion won for the comparable quarter last year.
Net income was 10.1 billion won, down from 12.8 billion won, or a decrease of 21 percent.
NCsoft blamed the earnings shortfall on increased investment in game development.
Sales were 80 billion won for the quarter versus 85 billion won from the same quarter a year ago.
The Lineage series continues to be NCsoft's biggest breadwinner with third quarter sales of 23.7 billion won and 32.4 billion won for Lineage I and II, respectively. The City of Heroes series raked in 5.7 billion won while Guild Wars generated 13 billion won.
Revenue for all titles dropped slightly except for the Guild Wars franchise, developed by Bellevue, Wash.-based ArenaNet, as franchise sales enjoyed a 57 percent boost with the release of the Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion.
"We expect to see an increase in fourth quarter sales with the newly launched Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa," explained NCsoft CFO JaeHo Lee in a statement. "Aion is in a closed beta testing process, and user responses are very positive."
This week, NCsoft also announced the acquisition of the full rights to the City of Heroes franchise and the formation of a new Calif. studio.