NCsoft

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NCSOFT Corporation
엔씨소프트
Public company
Traded as KRX: 036570
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded March 11, 1997
Headquarters

Pangyo, Seongnam, South Korea[1]

Subsidiary companies

Key people
T.J. Kim, CEO
Products
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 686.6 million (2012)[2]
Increase US$ 137.0 million (2012)[2]
Increase US$ 142.0 million (2012)[2]
Total assets Increase US$ 1.2 billion (2012)[2]
Total equity Increase US$ 922.9 million (2012)[2]
Number of employees
3100 (including 16 global subsidiareis, as of Dec 31, 2015)
Website http://www.ncsoft.com/
T.J. Kim, the CEO of NCSOFT

NCSOFT is a South Korean video game developer. The company has produced Lineage, City of Heroes, WildStar, Guild Wars, Aion, Blade & Soul, and Master X Master.

History[edit]

NCSOFT was founded in March 1997 by T.J. Kim. In September 1998, NCSOFT launched its first game Lineage. In April 2001 the company created a US subsidiary under the name NC Interactive (based in Austin, Texas, and would later become NCSOFT West) after acquiring Destination Games, headed by Richard Garriott and Robert Garriott.[citation needed] In 2004, NCSOFT launched two MMORPGs, Lineage II and City of Heroes.[3]

The company formed NCSOFT Europe in July 2004 as a wholly owned subsidiary with its main office in Brighton, England. They brought City of Heroes to several European countries on February 4, 2005, and have since established European service for WildStar and Blade & Soul as well.[citation needed]

On April 26, 2005, NCSoft published Arenanet's first MMO Guild Wars Prophecies as well as Arenanets follow up campaigns Factions and Nightfall and the expansion Eye of the North. NCSoft also published Guild Wars 2 but stopped being the publisher for Guild Wars 2 in 2015 with the release of Heart of Thorns.

On September 10, 2008, NCSOFT announced the formation of NCSOFT West, a subsidiary which manages NCSOFT's other western organizations, and established its headquarters for that subsidiary in Seattle, Washington.[4]

On July 8, 2011, NCSOFT started talks with SK Telecom to acquire Ntreev Soft Co., Ltd.[5] The talks were expected to last less than a month, but it took seven for NCSOFT to complete the acquisition; purchasing 76% of Ntreev's stock for ₩108 billion (US$96.7 million) on February 15, 2012.[6]

In 2011, NCSOFT purchased Hotdog Studio, a mobile game studio based in Seoul that produces phone and smartphone titles such as Dark Shrine.[7]

In June, 2012, NCSOFT launched Blade & Soul, their first MMORPG since Aion launched in 2006.

In 2012 Nexon acquired a 14.7 percent interest in NCSOFT for $688 million.[8] Nexon sold all of its shares of NCSOFT in October 2015.

On November 19, 2015, NCSOFT West announced the formation of Iron Tiger studios, a developer based out of San Mateo, California focused on adapting Korean-made mobile titles for the West, as well as developing their own mobile games.[9]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

Customer satisfaction[edit]

NCSOFT and RightNow Technologies were both recognized in 2006 with the "Beagle Research 'Whiz Kids' Award for Innovative Embedded Customer Service Solution."[10] for NCSOFT's integration of RightNow's customer support software.

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

NCSOFT founded NCSOFT Cultural Foundation in 2012, which develops software for the handicapped and runs diverse social contribution programmes.

  • My First AAC (2013-) : Developed Korean Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app and distributed free of charge for children with language disorders.
  • Injini (2010-): Developed cognition enhancing game app and distributed free of charge for children with cognition impairment
  • Sports programs for disabled kids and their families(2014-): Supports physical and rehabilitation activities for young athletes with cognition and development disabilities.
  • Special school programs for healthy and fun learning environment(2012-): Provides cultural and sports activities for students with cognition and development disabilities.
  • Storyhelper (2010-): Developed Korea's first storytelling SW that supports writers contents creation in collaboration with Digital Storytelling Laboratory of Ewha Womans University.
  • Free rice (2011-2015): In collaboration with UN WFP, it is both PC and mobile English quiz game that donates 10 grains of rice for every correct answers.

Controversies[edit]

Stolen source code[edit]

On April 27, 2007, Seoul Metropolitan Police said that seven former employees of NCSOFT are suspected of selling the Lineage III source code to a major Japanese game company.[11] According to NCSOFT, the potential damages may exceed US$1 billion.[12]

Worlds.com patent lawsuit[edit]

Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin claimed the idea of a "scalable virtual world with thousands of users" is patented by his organization[13] and targeted NCSOFT for patent infringement in 2008,[14] in what he says will be the first of many lawsuits against MMO developers.[13] On April 23, 2010, the Worlds.com case settled, but the terms of the settlement were kept confidential.[citation needed] On July 22, 2010, Worlds.com requested the case be reopened.[citation needed]

Richard Garriott termination[edit]

Richard Garriott, lead developer of Tabula Rasa, sued NCSOFT for US$24 million in damages concerning his termination from the company. Garriott asserted in his suit that he was forced out of the company and was made to sell his 400,000 shares in NCSOFT's stock, costing him millions of dollars. In addition, he claimed that the company was guilty of fraud by forging his resignation announcement.[15] On July 30, 2010, a jury in a Texas federal court awarded him US$28 million in damages. NCSOFT appealed the ruling.[16] Garriott again prevailed on appeal and NCSOFT was required to pay an additional US$4 million, bringing the total damages awarded to Garriott to US$32 million.[17]

Closure of Paragon Studios and City of Heroes[edit]

On August 31, 2012, NCSOFT liquidated Paragon Studios and announced the closure of City of Heroes. Over 21,000 players signed an online petition contesting the shut-down[18] and many used social media to promote their criticisms.

Games[edit]

Under development[edit]

Title Developer Genre Status
Lineage Eternal NCSOFT (Team Eternal) MMORPG TBA
AION Legions NCSOFT RPG TBA 2017
Blade & Soul Mobile NCSOFT TCG TBA 2017
Blade & Soul Console NC Interactive (NCWEST) MMORPG TBA

Available[edit]

Title Developer Genre Status
Aion NCSOFT (Team Aion) MMORPG Active since September 22, 2009.
Blade & Soul NCSOFT (Team Bloodlust) MMORPG Active since June 30, 2012.
Guild Wars ArenaNet MMORPG Active since April 26, 2005.
Guild Wars 2 ArenaNet MMORPG Active since August 28, 2012.
Lineage NCSOFT (Team L2Live) MMORPG Active since September 3, 1998.
Lineage II NCSOFT MMORPG Active since October 1, 2003.
Love Beat CrazyDiamond Dance/Rhythm Released on Steam January 13, 2016
Jan Ryu Mon NCSOFT Japan Mahjong Active.
Master X Master NCSOFT (Studio MXM) MOBA Active since June 21, 2017.
WildStar Carbine Studios MMORPG Active since June 3, 2014.
Lineage Red Knight NCSOFT RPG Active since December 8, 2016
Lineage M NCSOFT MMORPG Active since June 21, 2017

Cancelled[edit]

Title Developer Genre Status
Auto Assault NetDevil MMORPG Closed August 31, 2007.
Dungeon Runners NCSOFT MMORPG Closed January 1, 2010.
Dragonica Gravity Casual MMORPG Closed July 13, 2011.
Exteel NCSOFT (E&G Studios) TPS Closed September 1, 2010.
Point Blank Zepetto FPS Closed July 13, 2011.
Tabula Rasa Destination Games MMORPG Closed February 28, 2009.
City of Heroes Paragon Studios MMORPG Closed November 30, 2012.
Trickster Ntreev Soft MMORPG Closed Feb.27, 2013

Titles not available in English[edit]

Title Developer Genre Status
Murim Jekook Longtu Network Technology Strategy Korean release only.
Punch Monster Next Play MMORPG Korean release only.
PangYa Ntreev Soft Sport Casual Japan and Thailand release only.

In addition, NCSOFT is also the developer and maintainer of a variety of web-based board games in Asian markets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NCsoft's Global Network". NCsoft. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ncsoft Corporation (036570:Korea Stock Exchange (Koscom))". businessweek.com. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Seven years of City of Heroes statistics". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080913093345/http://www.plaync.com/us/news/2008/09/ncsoft_announce_31.html. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Weber, Rachel (July 8, 2011). "NCSoft in talks to acquire Ntreev Software". Gamesindustry International. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Caoili, Eric (February 17, 2012). "League of Legends and NCsoft's Ntreev acquisition, this week in Korean news". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Caoili, Eric (July 27, 2011). "NCSoft Purchases Seoul-Based Mobile Dev Hotdog Studio". Gamasutra. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ Takahashi, Dean. "Korean game togetherness: Nexon acquires 14.7 percent of NCsoft for $688M". VentureBeat. 
  9. ^ "About Us". us.ncsoft.com. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  10. ^ "RightNow and NCsoft Win - January 19 2006 - RightNow - RightNow". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Former NCSoft Employees Suspected of Stealing Lineage III Code". WIRED. 30 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "Chosun Ilbo article". April 26, 2007. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "Worlds.com CEO: We're 'Absolutely' Going To Sue Second Life And World Of Warcraft". 
  14. ^ "NCsoft Faces Patent Infringement Suit". WIRED. 29 December 2008. 
  15. ^ massively.joystiq.com/2009/05/06/richard-garriott-blasts-ncsoft-with-24-million-lawsuit/
  16. ^ Kim, Tong-hyung (July 30, 2010). "Garriott wins $28 mil. in NCsoft lawsuit". 
  17. ^ "Garriott wins appeal in NCsoft case". RICHARD GARRIOTT v. NCSOFT CORPORATION. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Save CoH movement invites NCsoft execs to play, petition passes 20,000 signatures". joystiq.com. September 27, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]