Friday, October 26, 2012

NCSoft's Continuing Slide Into Irrelevance and Bankruptcy

Speaking of bullshit moves, NCSoft continues its corporate doublespeak and is reaping the whirlwind for their efforts.  To whit:

The Save City of Heroes Campaign Reveals NCsoft’s Firewall of Silence | EGMNOW

Quoting the juicy bits (and you really should go read the whole article),
However, it was all in vain as on October 2 the publisher issued a statement saying that it had “exhausted all options including the selling of the studio and the rights to the City of Heroes intellectual property, but in the end, efforts to do so were not successful.”

Of course this is where the twist occurs, the Save City of Heroes community claim to know of at least two investment groups who wished to purchase the license, but NCsoft never replied to their offers. This led the group to contact NCsoft regarding these offers, [asking certain questions].

After around two weeks of no response Lincoln Davis, director of corporate communications at NCsoft’s Seattle Office, offered this reply, “I wanted to let you know that we will be declining your interview request as it relates to the sun setting of City of Heroes.”

So they've lied about not having any buyers and/or exhausting all options. It really does boil down to "We don't want to operate it, but we don't want anyone else to make money from it either."

But it gets better. Fans of City of Heroes have been leaving messages on NCSoft's Facebook page, and I am hearing reports that not only are those messages being deleted, but NCSoft has reverted their page to Korean to prevent non-Korean speakers from leaving comments.

What's more, they are engaging in more futile corporate BS in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.  Patrick Osbourne, a member of "Save City of Heroes," reported the following:

I just got this reply after posting on ther page:

[∵] Dear NCSOFT Facebook Fan,

We feel immense gratitude towards your love and enthusiasm of 'City of Heroes'. It has been quite the privilege and we would like to thank you all. 'City of Heroes' is the world's first and best Super Heroes MMORPG. It has received unconditional love for more than 8 years and it is like a family member of this company.

However, to provide a better game and service in the future, we have made the tough decision to discontinue the game. It was very hard on all of us here at NCSOFT.

NCSOFT will strive for a better game and superior service and anticipates the day that we will meet again. We are confident that we will not look back towards today's choice with regret.

Lastly, for the users who enjoy other games of NCSOFT, we would greatly appreciate it if you can hold back the negative and hurtful comments.

Thank you very much.

Now this is normally where I'd translate this as "Please stop poking me with the truth, it hurts and we want you to go away," but another member of this group, Logan Darklighter, has a much better take on it:


"We feel really bad for setting that puppy on fire. We want you to know that we loved the puppy too. But once we doused in in gasoline and lit it on fire, we just couldn't put it out."

"We even tried waving a fan at it to put the flames out and everything, but sadly all options are exhausted. Now let's please stop trying to put the puppy out, and instead hug and share happy memories of the puppy while it burns to death."

And also please stop mentioning to everyone how we set puppies on fire."

Oh NCSoft, I'm trying hard to see things from your perspective, but try as I might I just can't get my head lodged that far up my ass.

But wait, it gets better.  Take a look at this graph right here:

See where it peaked? September 7th.  Know what happened on September 8th?

Why, that would be the massive Unity Rally held within the game.

We are heroes. This is who we are. This is what we do. 

Huh. Who would have thought that excluding Europe and North America from your market would have resulted in fiscal backlash?

Oh, right: We did.

I am very, very eager to see what happens in the coming months.


  1. Thanks for your work on this. I've played CoH pretty regularly since a week after launch. In ever had much of an opinion on NCSoft as a company until this whole debacle, but I'm going to make sure they never get a dime from me or my friends from this point on.

  2. This isn't work! This is a pissed-off fan venting her spleen. If anything, it's catharsis.  I hope my crazed rantings help you guys!

  3. Sounds to me like they are planning another superhero game and don't want to compete with themselves.

  4. Sounds like a real shame. I never played CoH myself since I was already involved in another MMO, but I always heard good things about it. I hate it when companies screw over their fans and customers like this.

  5. Then they're alienating their potential customer base, which is all kinds of stupid. 

    IF they were doing that -- and I don't for one second believe that -- they should say something to the effect of "In anticipation of [game X] we will be shutting down City of Heroes. All CoH subscribers will be beta testers for this new game and receive special headstart bennies should they decide to subscribe."

  6. I haven't been following this too closely but I had heard they wanted to focus on the Korean market, so they basically just dumped everyone else without thinking (or caring) of the backlash.

  7. I remember reading something to the effect that Nexon is essentially operated by NCSoft, if not directly then closely enough to be tarred with the same brush.

    I'm never going to get another NCSoft game. I was looking forward to Wildstar, but then, I was looking forward to Tabula Rasa, too Auto Assault, even! Carbine Studios should look at what happened to Paragon Studios as a threat against every non-Korean studio... If they're not based in Korea and pandering to the Korean market, then they've got no long-term value to NCSoft. Possibly even no short-term value. And NCSoft's executive culture would rather put the IP on ice than ever let anyone demonstrate that NCSoft can't hack it in that market.

  8.  They want to focus on Mobile gaming platforms, Wii/WiiU/DS3/iPad/iPhone/Android & whatever else they have in the Asian Markets.
    I've read Investor Relations Reports = PDF's with a clause on Page 2 basically stating:

    ["All of this is just guess-timates & assumed to be accurate, more or less, maybe...  And we take no responsibility for inaccuracies in this info/data = that we pulled out of our hard drive's nether-regions into a *shiny looking handout* to distract you during the meeting.
    Or via tele-presence pseudo-meetings where we're gonna be telling you how we're NOT wasting your investment money chasing 'Pie in the Sky' Personal Projects, engaging in Face Saving maneuvers, Corporate Politics/Drama, & other garbage that if fully revealed would make shareholders sell-off *yesterday*. But we know you're not likely to find out about any of this unless your Search-Fu is strong, you're not afraid to surf the korean-times website & other tabloid-esque" corners of the web - and have the time on your hands to go going several years back read thru it all... and good luck finding anyone who'll go on the record about anything. Oh looky here, graphs, and here = pretty 'concept' art!"]

    (I wadded thru most of the virtual garbage/muck mentioned above) PLUS, I've the read transcripts of stock-holder/share-holder 'conference calls' talking about - how 'core games' take years to produce & don't have nearly as much of a return on investment as the shiny new 'social'=Facebook games, 'casual' games, and the 2D isometric perspective Diablo-clones with a little extra shiny, with a few new bells &/or whistles. AKA Asian Grinders, some look like Dungeon Siege {on a good day} - and I saw profits/revenue figures on charts (for NCsoft & Nexon +some other related publishing/gaming companies.
    They had it worked out & listed to how much the players in the gaming-centric internet-cafes & mobile=wireless players we're paying per hour, per minute, & even per second = for a couple of 'em. (They didn't "show their accounting work" - just the fancy charts) But the left no doubt that they are mostly heartless monsters - happy to get people hooked on paying by the hour -and then for cash-shop stuff on-top of that, and they got got damn good at this...
    They're about to be, or already are(?) being shafted by the "Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF)" - via this "Prevention of Internet Game Addiction of Youth Policy and protecting youth against harmful environment and business,"  Its really flowery/silly phrases/terms on the English-translation version of the site. It's being called a 'Shutdown system' in some articles -

    I think Kim Take-Jin may have sold that stock to Nexon to get out of the business while the getting was still "good" - over here in the western market that they're now killing for ? = IDK who conned who - but I think someone group of investors is about to get 'bent over' & some CEOs (and their partners look like they're doing their version of "Golden Parachutes" to *eject*/or "punch out" (for the most part) while the gettin' is good.

    But they've spun it good in the news "NCsoft sets sights on US, China markets" -

  9. Laura MiedzianowskiOctober 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    they can just take that attitude and cram it up their smug asses.

    i'm done with NCsoft.  i'm done with all my toons.  i've deleted my account.  they will never, ever get another dime out of me.  eff'em.

  10. The least they could do is sell it to someone who WILL run it well.  Creeps!

  11. Then let me point you to Auto Assault, and Tabula Rasa, two awesome MMOs that NCSoft shutdown, denying any form of Free-to-play (or even removing the subscription requirements) because they "weren't making enough money".

    Both times, the playerbase asked to be allowed to run the games themselves on private servers... both times, we got no response until AFTER the game in question was shutdown... Both times, we got a 3 page response that boiled down to "fuck no."

  12. Tabula Rasa and Auto Assault were killed by NCSoft... though I think I should direct you to so that you may see what Auto Assault was.


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