NCsoft - All News
Thursday - September 04, 2014
NCsoft - Resurrection of City of Heroes IP
And the Mask Comes Off
For those unaware, my name is Nate Downes. While I am the President of Missing Worlds Media, Inc, I am also a member of the City of Heroes community, and an advocate. A series of circumstances put me in to a unique position, to reach out to NCSoft, not as the company president, but as a member of a small group with the goal to acquire the older property in some form or another.
Early on, this group, which included a few people from MWM as well as other members of the community, made the intentional choice to not directly involve CoT in the negotiations. There are a few reasons for this. It prevented the discussions from negatively impacting the project should they go wrong. It also prevented them from distracting any development. And, most importantly, if this should work out, it would be incredibly unfair for only one segment of the community to benefit.
How it began.
In September of last year, I had lucked into a chance meeting with a few people who worked for NC Soft, including a manager. They advised me then to come back later on to talk with them. While I'd kept the dialog channel open, the general consensus was that no, the company would never sell City of Heroes complete and intact.
Then IronWolf posted the idea of buying up part of the game, but not the entire thing. This prompted me to ask my contact people, who through several discussions eventually advised me to talk to a single person, NC Soft's Business Manager Jae Soo Yoon. In addition, we had some other people who were ex-employees and ex-partners suggest the very same person.
For those who do not know Korean business methods, it is considered highly rude to directly email someone, but to instead get an introduction from a third party business associate. This meant we had to find someone who was not part of NC Soft to formally introduce us to Mr. Yoon. Fortunately, we had two people who could do just that, a former NC West employee and a former co-worker of mine who had started a media company which works with NC Soft on developing properties for the Asian market.
Introductions in place, we made the leap from US-bound people to members of the Korean firm. This was very carefully done, very slowly orchestrated. By July, we had gotten to the point that Mr. Yoon had passed us to Sangwon Chung from NC Soft's Strategic Partnership Development Team.
For those who are unfamiliar, this is the group which handles things such as partnering with an existing studio or the development of new partnerships. This is the group we have been working with since early July. It is a very slow process, and still will take a long time to conclude.
Read the link for the full story, and contract details.
Wednesday - May 06, 2009
NCsoft - Richard Garriott Suing
Kotaku seem to have unearthed 'negotiations' still on-going between RG & NCsoft.
While at the time it sounded like Garriott had - fresh from his trip into space - simply walked away for a new challenge outside of games development, court documents have surfaced today showing that Garriott is suing NCsoft for a whopping $24 million.
Sunday - October 26, 2008
NCsoft - What's Tim Cain Up To? @ Edge Online
We posted an excerpt from this previously but Edge Online finally has their full interview with Carbine Studios' design director, Tim Cain. Nothing particularly revelatory but here's a snip:
You’ve released some hardcore PC games in the past. But today, how concerned are you with accessibility and mass market appeal with this unannounced Carbine game that you're working on?
TC: We’re very concerned in making it available to the mass market and trying to design a game that would appeal to casual and hardcore players alike. I think the MMO space is big enough that you can design a game that appeals to both of those groups.
It’s interesting that for the open job positions at Carbine, pretty much all of them have the requirement of a deep knowledge of pencil and paper RPGs. So that kind of design element is still going to be a mainstay in your MMO?
TC: I’ve always felt that paper and pencil RPGs are still about five to 10 years ahead of computer RPGs in terms of different system mechanics that they try out. So there’s a lot you can learn from that side of the industry.
Tuesday - October 07, 2008
NCsoft - Tim Cain Promoted at Carbine Studios
A press release from NCsoft announced Tim Cain's appointment as Design Director of Carbine Studios:
NCsoft's Carbine Studios Names Tim Cain Design Director
Fallout producer and designer now becomes design director for unannounced Carbine Studios project
ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Oct. 7, 2008-Computer game developer Carbine Studios™ today announced the promotion of industry veteran Tim Cain to design director of the studio's unannounced massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. Located in Orange County, Calif., Carbine Studios is part of NCsoft, the world's premier publisher and developer of MMO games.
Cain, a 25-year veteran of the game industry, has been with Carbine since its inception in 2005 and has held the position of programming director. He is best known for his work as producer and designer on the highly successful computer role-playing games Fallout and Fallout 2. In 1998 he left Interplay and co-founded Troika Games, where he helped to design and program the award winning titles Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, The Temple of Elemental Evil and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
"I couldn't be more pleased," said Cain. "The team at Carbine is one of the most talented and experienced groups I've ever worked with. I'm happy to be a part of it and we're looking forward to the day when we can unveil this incredibly exciting project to the world."
"It's great to have Tim Cain heading up design at Carbine," said Jeremy Gaffney, executive producer at Carbine Studios. "Tim is one of the most respected guys in the business and his track record of creating hit products is well documented. Having Tim at the helm as design director makes an already strong team that much better."
For more information on Carbine Studios and current job openings there, go to http://www.carbinestudios.com.
Tuesday - September 09, 2008
NCsoft - Redundancies at Brighton Office?
Bad news rumour from GamesIndustry.biz, staff to go and Tabula Rasa to be discontinued?
According to a number of sources close to the company the move is set to be made following the decision to stop work on the untitled MMO that was being developed there, a game that was announced this time last year when the office underwent significant expansion.
That expansion, which was to be funded in part by a GBP 950,000 grant from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), is now to be reversed as the company streamlines its business. It's not thought that NCsoft would have received any of that money so far.
It is also thought that the company's troubled MMO Tabula Rasa will be discontinued at some point in the coming months due to continuing poor subscriber numbers.
Thursday - August 14, 2008
NCsoft - Rumour Exaggerated
Gamespot reports 21 job losses at NCsoft Austin.
It now appears that while NCsoft will be making some cuts to its Austin studio, those initial rumblings were blown widely out of proportion.
"We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development," an NCsoft representative told GameSpot. "Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time."
Playing down the impact that this will have on NCsoft Austin, the representative noted that the staff reductions represent only about 6 percent of the studio's total workforce, which stands at around 300. The rep also flatly denied allegations that the Tabula Rasa team will be impacted by the layoffs. As part of NCsoft's Q2 earnings report earlier today, the publisher revealed that during the three-month period ending June 30, the Richard Garriott-led sci-fi MMOG had generated just $1.9 million of the publisher's $78 million total haul.
Wednesday - August 13, 2008
NCsoft - Rumour: Austin Dev Team to Close?
Joystiq have 'a tip from a reliable source' that NCsoft Austin are laying off 90 of their development staff (that's all of them).
Hot on the heels of news that Midway would be laying off approximately 90 employees from its Austin location comes a tip from a reliable source that NCsoft Austin (a.k.a. NCsoft North America) is on the verge of eliminating all of its development staff. The studio is currently home to the teams behind Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners, the latter of which will "be closed," according to our source. We've been told that only customer support staff will continue to operate out of the branch.
Future development of Tabula Rasa will reportedly be handed over to Seattle-based Guild Wars creator Arena.net, with Massively reporting that the title may meet a similar fate as Dungeon Runners if it "fails to turn the tide of subscribers and expectations." It has also learned that any future collaboration between NCsoft and Tabula Rasa principals Richard and Robert Garriot will be "limited in scope," due to a souring of relations with the Korean management team over their title's lackluster performance.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Monday - May 12, 2008
NCsoft - Not Interested in 'Copycat' MMOs
Creative director says following the WoW template adds no value for customers.
In an exclusive Q&A with Develop, available to read here, NCsoft Europe's creative director Marc D'Souza has described the firm's new UK studio's upcoming tiles as 'novel game experiences', saying the team doesn't want to 'make copycat games in anyway'.
Friday - April 11, 2008
NCsoft - Illegal Game Servers
Gameindustry.biz reports that NCsoft are "stepping up its fight" against the IP theft of it's server tech. Seems people are being naughty with the Lineage 2 servers.
“Illegal game servers, such as those operating from e-GLOBAL, have a hugely negative impact on both NCsoft Europe and its customers,” commented Max Brown, NCsoft Europe’s Sales & Operations Director. “They seriously affect the player’s experience of our products and rob the company of potential revenue that is used to further enhance the player experience on official servers. NCsoft’s loss in revenue from e-GLOBAL’s operation is estimated in excess of six million Euros. We are defiant in our resolve to stamp out theft of NCsoft’s intellectual properties and are prepared to take the strongest measures to do so.”
NCsoft has a proven track record in combating illegal servers, having worked with the FBI in November 2006 to shut down a substantial unofficial Lineage II server run by US-based website, L2Extreme.com. Following multiple raids across cities throughout the US, L2Extreme’s fraudulent servers – which claimed to support 50,000 active users – were taken offline, as was the L2Extreme.com website.
Tuesday - March 25, 2008
NCsoft - Licenses UE3 for Two Unannounced Titles
NCsoft has sent out a press release announcing that they've licensed Epic's Unreal Engine 3 for two unannounced MMOs:
SEOUL, KOREA (March 25, 2008) – NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today announced that it has reinforced its relationship with Epic Games, Inc. by licensing Unreal Engine 3 to develop two unannounced, top-tier massively multiplayer online games. NCsoft has achieved spectacular results working with the Unreal Engine over the years, shipping the highly successful Lineage® II, and the soon to be released Exteel ™, using Unreal Engine 2.
Wednesday - July 04, 2007
NC Soft - E3 Lineup Announced
NCSoft has announced its lineup for this year's E3 conference.
AUSTIN, Texas, July 3, 2007— NCsoft® today revealed its line up for the E3 Media & Business Summit July 11-13 in Santa Monica where the company will provide a preview of several of the most anticipated online games coming out in 2007 and 2008, including Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa™, Aion™, Guild Wars: Eye of the North™ and Dungeon Runners™.
NCsoft North America CEO Robert Garriott said, “NCsoft strives to deliver the highest quality online entertainment possible, and these products represent the next generation of online games. This E3 meeting will provide a window for the public to see the breadth of the variety of game genres and business models NCsoft provides, as well as show off how advanced and exciting our products are.”
NCsoft products to be featured at E3 are:
RICHARD GARRIOTT’S TABULA RASA
Tabula Rasa has been in closed beta testing since May and is set for launch this fall. Tabula Rasa is poised to evolve the massively multiplayer online genre with a host of fresh features such as a character cloning system, dynamic battlefields with contested control points, deep storylines with ethical parables and fully integrated voice chat. Tabula Rasa also offers players an original alien language named Logos that unlocks special powers, and fast paced combat that combines real time action with role-playing game style character development. These kinds of features are the types of touches that players have come to expect over the years from a Richard Garriott game.
From NCsoft’s Seoul studios, Aion, is one of the most visually stunning MMOGs in development. Cutting-edge graphics redefine players’ expectations of online role-playing and reveal a true fantasy world where divine beings wage a war that will determine the future of the world. This highly anticipated title is set for release in 2008.
GUILD WARS: EYE OF THE NORTH
Guild Wars: Eye of the North is the first true expansion to the Guild Wars® franchise, one of the most popular online role-playing game franchises on the market today. Guild Wars: Eye of the North delves into the dungeons and caverns of the lands of Tyria that players first explored in the original Guild Wars game. Guild Wars: Eye of the North continues Guild Wars’ no subscription fee model and will provide new content accessible to players who own both the expansion and any one of the three previously released Guild Wars campaigns. Guild Wars: Eye of the North is set for release on August 31 at an anticipated price of $39.99.
Dungeon Runners is a free to download and play online multiplayer role playing game set in a sword-and-shield world where players get piles of loot and treasure by defeating hordes of evil monsters enemies. It’s a different game model that fits right in to NCsoft’s diversified online game lineup. Dungeon Runners has recently opened up play to the general public and will have large chunks of new content implemented through the summer.
NCsoft’s E3 headquarters will be at the Sheraton Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica. In addition, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa will be on display at the E3 exhibit hall located inside Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica airport. For more information about NCsoft and its products, go to www.plaync.com.
Source: NC Soft
Tuesday - February 27, 2007
NC Soft - Richard Garriott Interview @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra has an interview with Richard Garriott on NCsoft's MMO plans. Here's a bit on an interesting new studio:
GS: Tell me, what is Spacetime Studios working on for NCSoft? [The company has signed a deal with NCSoft for an MMO, but almost no information has been released on it.] What can we know?
RG: Well, one thing I can say is that they're in Austin, Texas. And most other companies in Austin, I would say two-thirds or more, are ex-Origin companies. And the founding members of Spacetime, most of their previous work was with games like Star Wars Galaxies for Sony, and most of that group's previous work was on the Wing Commander team back at Origin.
So it's a team we know the members of very well. We know their skillsets very well. I think they're one of the premiere development groups in the world, generally doing things associated with sci-fi and space travel. And those guys are working in the general area of their comfort zone, and embracing the next generation of sci-fi games. So I have really high confidence in the team, but the details of the game are still secret.
Thursday - February 22, 2007
NC Soft - Richard Garriott Interview @ Hollywood Reporter
Titled Dialogue, The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Richard Garriott on Tabula Rasa and the market:
The Hollywood Reporter:It's ironic that most of the Ultima games you created were for Electronic Arts (EA), but then you left when they seemed to you to be less-than-enthusiastic about the MMOG sector. EA still publishes your "Ultima Online" (UO) and recently bought the MMOG developer Mythic Entertainment to expand its MMOG offerings. What made you leave EA and what did you learn from the experience?
Richard Garriott: The short explanation was, as they say, fundamental creative differences. If you've seen any of the Ultimas, you know they contain very large virtual worlds, deep story lines and they took me each years to develop. But EA's core business is making sports games, and they've got a machine and a process that does that very, very successfully. Frankly, EA wasn't convinced that the MMOG business model was the way of the future and so that ultimately led to my retirement from EA. In fact, when I left in 2000, I fully anticipated that if EA wasn't interested in MMOGs, that Microsoft or some other big company would dive into this bold new world that we'd opened up and then dominate the market segment. After a year of retirement -- and with no one approaching us -- my brother Robert and I decided to put together a company to create MMOGs that we briefly called Destination Games.
Sunday - February 18, 2007
NC Soft - Richad Garriott Interview @ GameDaily BIZ
Robert Garriott has been interviewed at GameDaily BIZ about the evolving MMO market. Here's part of an answer:
BIZ: As one of the pioneers of the MMO genre you've witnessed a lot of changes in this space over the last decade or so. How would you assess the evolution of the MMO market?
RG: Ten years ago, when UO came out and Lineage came out it was interesting because... and even until very recently if you put an online game, an MMP, versus a console game and you put those two on a screen... five years ago, you could be across the room and point out which one was the online game and which one was the console game. The visual differences were so striking that everyone enjoyed the depth of the online game, but they thought that the graphics sucked, the interface sucked... it was nothing compared to the ease of getting into and the visual stimulation that a console game provides. That was one of the reasons why the players were so segmented. You had the people who liked the console games, you had people that liked the depth of the online games but they really didn't overlap. I think one of the exciting things is how this has changed over the past 5 years. Today, if you put the top online games, Lineage II or World of Warcraft, on a screen versus the top console games and you go back across the room. Now you can't really tell. The graphic quality of online games have come up to the same sort of level, the user interfaces have come up to... well not quite the same sort of level, but they're getting there where the ease of play is better.
Tuesday - October 31, 2006
NC Soft - Halloween Events
NCSoft is holding Halloween in-game events in several of its MMORPGs this year. For more information visit the official sites at the links below.
Source: NC Soft
Tuesday - August 08, 2006
NCsoft posts second quarter loss @ GamesIndustry
Korean-headquartered MMO publisher NCsoft has posted its second quarter financial results, showing a marked decline in profits which is largely attributable to a poor market performance for Auto Assault.
For the period ended July 30th, NCsoft posted sales of KRW 85.5 billion (69 million Euro), up 7 per cent on the same period in 2005 and primarily driven by the release of the Guild Wars: Factions expansion pack, launched in North America and Europe in April.
Country: Korea, Republic Of