[THE INVESTOR] Netmarble has missed second-quarter earnings expectations, said Korea Investment and Securities on Aug. 9, downgrading the recommendation to a “hold” from a “buy.”
Faced with heightening competition in the domestic MMORPG market, revenue from games including “Lineage 2: Revolution” continues to slide. Its revenue in the period fell 7.3 percent on-year to 500.8 billion won and operating profit by 40.8 percent to 62.2 billion won, below market consensus. It is not easy to secure new users since many of the top revenue-making games in Korea already are MMORPGs. The fact that games with low average revenue per user, such as “Black Desert” and “Icarus M,” have become popular also has a negative effect on the game maker, said analyst Kim Seong-eun.
The government’s policy of shortened work hours is extending the time for developing new games, inevitably pushing back the timeline for rolling out new games including “Blade and Soul Revolution,” slowing down its growth. Concerns that it is valued higher than its peers could grow, said the analyst, recommending a conservative approach.
By Hwang You-mee (firstname.lastname@example.org)