NCsoft on schedule for new games

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NCsoft on schedule for new games

Guild Wars expansions also on target, analysts say.

NCsoft, publisher of the hugely successful Guild Wars, is expected to hit release deadlines for upcoming games despite rumours of delays, say analysts in South Korea. 

The Seoul-based video games firm is working on several new massively multiplayer online games, as well as expansion packs for Guild Wars.

"NCsoft's new games Tabula Rasa and Aion, highly anticipated by the market, are likely to be commercially released as scheduled and wipe away concerns over delays," wrote S T Hwang of Seoul-based Hyundai Securities.

"Tabula Rasa should begin a closed beta service in the second quarter of 2007 and be commercialised at the end of the third quarter, and Aion will be available for closed beta service beginning in the third quarter and full commercialisation at year-end."

An expansion pack for Guild Wars will not be released before the third quarter, Hwang believes.

The pack, titled Guild Wars: Eye of the North, is the fourth such expansion product released.

Unlike many other popular online massively multiplayer games, Guild Wars is free to play, forcing NCsoft to generate revenue from the original game and expansions.

"Unlike in the past, buyers of Chapter 4 must own at least one title among the preceding three chapters in order to play the game," said Hwang.

"In this regard, the new expansion pack should accelerate operating revenue more sharply than the three preceding expansion packs."

NCSoft also plans a separate sequel to Guild Wars, titled Guild Wars Chapter 2, in the second half of next year, and will also release a sequel to its original hit games series, Lineage.
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