NCSoft drops 15% as users pan Blade & Soul 2 on debut

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NCSoft drops 15% as users pan Blade & Soul 2 on debut

NCSoft's new multi-platform Blade & Soul 2 started its service on Aug. 26. [NCSOFT]

NCSoft's new multi-platform Blade & Soul 2 started its service on Aug. 26. [NCSOFT]

 
NCSoft's stock dropped 15 percent Thursday as users complained about Blade & Soul 2, the company’s recently released multi-platform video game.
 
Blade & Soul 2, released Thursday, is the game publisher's third new game in 2021. Within hours, the app was rated 2.9 out 5 rating on Google's Play Store.
 
Reviews on the app store and YouTube said that the game is not very different from the original Blade & Soul game, especially the "pay to win" feature.
 
Users of NCSoft's Lineage M mobile game held protests in April complaining that the game excessively charges its users to get better items within the game. According to the reviews of Blade & Soul 2, the new game is just a slightly cheaper version of the same system.
 
"I deleted Blade & Soul 2 immediately after playing it," said game YouTuber God Johnson, who as 463,000 subscribers, in a video uploaded on Thursday. "This is a scam. There's no change in Blade & Soul 2."
 
The massively multiplayer online role-playing (Mmorpg) game can be played on both mobile devices and computers. It is the first spin-off game of NCSoft's Blade & Soul, a Mmorpg computer game released in 2012.
 
It was expected to compete with Odin: Valhalla, a multi-platform game from Kakao Games. After its release on June 29, Odin knocked NCSoft's mobile games Lineage M and Lineage 2M off the top spots on Korea mobile games charts, ending a four-year reign.
 
When Blade & Soul 2 became available for download on Aug. 24, it topped the game charts on the Play Store on Wednesday and the App Store on Tuesday.
 
Disappointment was apparent in the company's share price when it fell 15.29 percent Thursday to 709,000 won ($605.66).  
Analysts say the game may have a similar business model to its predecessors, but the low price may make it popular over time. They added that early reactions are often exaggerations.
 
"YouTubers make money from videos that are over the top. When Lineage 2M was released, NCSoft's stock dropped 7 percent on Nov. 27, 2019, compared to the 533,000-won price on Nov. 25 when it was released. It plummeted to 485,000 won by Dec. 3, but recovered to 711,000 won as of Feb. 20, 2020," according to a report from NH Investment & Securities.
 
Currently topping the Google Play Store chart is Netmarble's role-playing mobile game Marvel Future Revolution. It was released on Aug. 25 and topped the chart on app stores in 117 countries as of Wednesday noon.
 
The game was developed by Netmarble Monster, a subsidiary of Netmarble, using the Marvel superhero franchise's intellectual property.
 
Netmarble closed at 127,000 won on Thursday, a 6.96 percent decrease compared to the previous day.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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