[THE INVESTOR] Chinese internet and game giant Tencent Holdings is aiming to publish the Netmarble Games’ “Lineage II: Revolution” in China in November, a source familiar with the matter told The Investor on Aug. 14.
“Everything is going well except for the diplomatic relationship between the two countries [Korea and China],” said a China-based source who has direct knowledge of the game’s release in China. “Assuming all goes as planned, Tencent is preparing to publish the game in mainland China in November.”
Netmarble to launch ‘Lineage II Revolution’ in 11 countries this week
'Tencent going all-out for Chinese success of ‘Lineage II: Revolution’
Tencent is the Chinese partner for Netmarble Games, Korea’s No. 1 mobile game developer, which has been pushing to release the mobile version of NCsoft’s flagship online role-playing game “Lineage II” overseas.
Backed by the massive success of Lineage II since it was launched in December 2016, Netmarble’s revenue and operating profits soared by 81 percent and 172 percent on-year, respectively, to reach 1.23 trillion won and 305 billion won in the first six months of the year.
Despite a stellar performance, a slowdown in the second quarter is worrying investors. Compared with the first quarter, the company’s revenue and operating profits dropped 21.4 percent and 47.5 percent, respectively. The sales decrease accelerated after NCSoft released its own mobile version of “Lineage I” in June.
“One of the most important factors for Netmarble’s share price is overseas markets,” said Jung Ho-yoon, an analyst at Eugene Investment and Securities. “The release and performance of “Lineage II: Revolution” in China will be a key factor deciding the share price of Netmarble.”
“Lineage II: Revolution” has already debuted in 11 markets, including Hong Kong and Taiwan in June. The company’s chief operating officer said the game was scheduled to hit Japan on Aug. 23 and will be introduced in the North American and European markets in the fourth quarter.
But the game’s crucial Chinese debut has been delayed as the local government has refused to license sales of Korean-made online games as part of its economic retaliation against Korea’s deployment of the THAAD missile system.
Shares in Netmarble, which made a hot debut on May 12, fell 2.3 percent after the company released its second quarter results on Aug. 11, recovered on Aug. 14 to close 2.75 percent higher at 131,000 won.
--“Lineage II: Revolution,” the mobile version of NCsoft’s online role-playing game “Lineage II,” was published by Nermarble in Dec. 2016.
--“Lineage II” was unveiled by NCsoft in October 2003. Its precursor, Lineage I,” was introduced by NCsoft in 1998.
--In June 2017, NCsoft published a mobile version of the first Lineage series, called “Lineage M.”
By Park Ga-young (email@example.com)