NCSoft Drops the Ball

From the Story Arc: NCSoft Drops

(posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012)

In a display of ineptitude that has not been equaled since Captain Hazelwood decided to take a little nap while his ship hit a rock NCSoft has canceled the profitable City of Heroes MMORPG in a "refocusing of company interest to the East.

Now, when companies from, say, the US decide to enter an unfamiliar market, they actually research how things work in the new market. They spend millions of dollars in adapting to the new market. They accommodate how other countries do things, from Pizza Hut taking the cheese off its pizza in China, to the bewildering variety of vegetarian options at MacDonalds in India.

Not NCSoft. Oh no. Giant grindfests sell well in Korea, so by Confucius, they must sell well in the US, right?

At this point, NCSoft stockholders, you should be experiencing some alarm. You should, because NCSoft is managing to get itself the name in the online gaming community of The GameKiller.

City of Heroes will be the fith game that NCSoft has killed, fully a third of all games canceled since online gaming began. Either by murdering it in infancy like Auto Assault, by ignoring all ideas to save the game, as it did to Dungeon Runners, or, most notably, in a move that cost the company 32 MILLION dollars announcing Tabula Rasa was closing while its creator was literally in outer space, then forging a letter of resignation the creator refused to sign.

And why all the closings? Apparently because NCSoft seems to be unable to believe that what works in Korea doesn't work in the US. This is to the point that the employees of NCSoft West have given the company one of the one of the worst ratings the ratings site Glassdoor has ever seen.

Over and over, when employees in the US attempt to educate NCSoft on what works here, NCSoft refuses to act on the advice, or even acknowledge the advice was given. Well, Mr. Kim, Albert Einstein had a few words for behavior like that. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

City of Heroes survived--and even began to thrive again--despite, not because of, NCSoft management. It was growing in subscribers again, thanks to a robust development by an amazing team, and word of mouth, astonishing in light of the fact that there was no advertising budget.

But oh, NCSoft gets better. Hold onto your hat. Because New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey, a faithful player since 2005, offered to endorse the game for five to ten years...for free. And it gets better...or worse, depending on your viewpoint. As I will reveal in an exclusive interview, she had already discussed with City's Hosun Lee, and was mere weeks from implementing, a huge free advertising campaign tied in with the popular Humble Bundle's first ever e-book bundle, a bundle that went on to sell over 80 thousand copies.

NCSoft Stockholders? At this point, you should be picking up the phone to call your broker with a sell order, while you still can get a few bucks out of your stock. Because what is NCSoft replacing City of Heroes with? Another Korean grind, this time crossed with soft-core pornography. Oh THAT will make it popular with Moms in the US....not to mention the extremely vocal and influential Parents Television Council. Want a game to fail in the US? Make a game that Wal-Mart won't carry. And Wal-Mart won't carry this one.