Leading MMO developer and publisher NCsoft has reported a 50 per cent drop in profits for the financial quarter ending September 30th – and has also been dealt a blow with the news that famed developer Richard Garriot is to leave the firm.
NCsoft's profits for the period fell from $7.4 million to $3.7 million, whilst sales reached $58 million. Lineage remains the company's most popular MMO title with 881,979 active members. It is followed by Lineage II (857,531) and City of Heroes/Villains (124,939). The firm also confirmed that its free-to-play Guild Wars has to date had 5.59 million account activations.
However, NCsoft was more cagey about Garriott's troubled title Tabula Rasa. It admitted that the game accounted for just two per cent of NCsoft's revenue, though did not reveal its subscriber numbers.
Hot on the heels of the news, Garriott himself announced his departure from the firm. His statement read: I am happy to finally be able to write the players and community of Tabula Rasa. I am very grateful to you loyal players for sticking around through what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch.
Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests. This news is difficult for me to deliver.”
Garriott has been at NCsoft since 2001, and is most famed for his creation of the successful online Ultima series.