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News & Features Discussion  » [General Article] City of Heroes: Profitable or Not?

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252 posts found
  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 12:34:20 PM#81
Originally posted by s4ndm4n2006
Originally posted by botrytis

Please stop drinking the conspiracy Kool-Aid people.

LOL this. 

Shoot I'm more apt to say that even in the worst case it had nothing to do with profitability, NCSoft had the right to close and dang game they want even if just bored with it.  I mean, of course it would be stupid to close down an obviously big game such as GW2 but bottom line is, they could... and they would be totally in their rights to do so. 

I get so sick of the automatic attack on any big company just because of that fact.  If it was a small game house and they simply said they closed due to profitability I bet it would have gone unquestioned.

 

In other words, might makes right?

 

By extension, we are also well within our rights to drag NCsoft, with its history and all its mistakes into the spotlight simply because we can.

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

1/04/13 12:35:27 PM#82
Originally posted by Starsman

 


Originally posted by BurntToast6
CoH DID NOT have a 95% retention rate let's be VERY clear about that - that information is easily accessed. CoH was running at approx 25% of it's peak subscriber base at the end.

 

Retention rate is not calculated from launch, but month to month.

Nice, so they could have had 10,000 people playing 2 months before shutdown and was down to 9,500 at shutdown. OMG they retained SOOOOO many people, proof it shouldnt have happned right? WRONG. That is not how business works. They compare quarter over quarter and year over year. if each quarter shows a steady drop and year over year shows a drop with no chance of change in the coming quarters...its axe time.

So, maybe that last month over month they retained 95-98%...but what was it the month before? how about the month before that? If it was a CONSTANT, that means every single month they were LOSING 2-5% of its playerbase. Over a year long period that is 24-60% of players LEAVING.

Yeah...think about the flip side for a minute.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  adam_nox

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2047

1/04/13 12:36:24 PM#83
Originally posted by TheQuinch
Originally posted by s4ndm4n2006
Originally posted by botrytis

Please stop drinking the conspiracy Kool-Aid people.

LOL this. 

Shoot I'm more apt to say that even in the worst case it had nothing to do with profitability, NCSoft had the right to close and dang game they want even if just bored with it.  I mean, of course it would be stupid to close down an obviously big game such as GW2 but bottom line is, they could... and they would be totally in their rights to do so. 

I get so sick of the automatic attack on any big company just because of that fact.  If it was a small game house and they simply said they closed due to profitability I bet it would have gone unquestioned.

 

In other words, might makes right?

 

By extension, we are also well within our rights to drag NCsoft, with its history and all its mistakes into the spotlight simply because we can.

Besides this, it's not conspiracy, the facts are on the side of CoH being profitable, that's all there is to it.  I agree it doesn't matter why they shut down CoH.  What matters is that they didn't have to, and for that they deserve every bit of hatred directed their way.

  WildFire15

Novice Member

Joined: 12/15/12
Posts: 12

1/04/13 12:38:04 PM#84

On the matter of retention, I have noticed this plenty of times: People leave City of Heroes to try something else (even I'm guilty of it) but before long, they come back to CoH. There was a stage where I was the only member of my SG still actively player, but over time everyone came back, along with a few new people.

I'm not sure how accurate the retention thing is, it's likely high as former players would likely dip back in from time to time to play it once it went F2P, but it was clear to me with personal experience that people would happily come back to CoH.

  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 12:41:44 PM#85
Originally posted by WildFire15

On the matter of retention, I have noticed this plenty of times: People leave City of Heroes to try something else (even I'm guilty of it) but before long, they come back to CoH. There was a stage where I was the only member of my SG still actively player, but over time everyone came back, along with a few new people.

I'm not sure how accurate the retention thing is, it's likely high as former players would likely dip back in from time to time to play it once it went F2P, but it was clear to me with personal experience that people would happily come back to CoH.

Pretty much this. One of the biggest strengths CoH had was that not only was it easy to get into, it was also easy to get back into. If you look around, you'll see plenty of posts from people describing how they left to try out MMO XYZ and came back when it didn't live up to expectations.

  Ozmodan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6560

1/04/13 12:43:28 PM#86
NCSoft is a poorly run studio.  They have a very inflated view of what their products are worth.  A smart corporation would have disposed of Tabula Rasa and City of Heroes, you have to know that there are respectable buyers out there.  Sitting on them is fiscal idiocy.  The studio is run by a bunch of nutcases.
  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 12:45:37 PM#87
NCsoft is a publisher. Studios are the sub-organizations it owns that actually make stuff - NCsoft just pulls the strings.
  Naevius

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 315

1/04/13 12:52:02 PM#88
I'm pretty sure it wasn't consistently profitable. Assuming a minimal staff and server cost, the $4 million overhead seems reasonable. (About the same as a small development project I was on.) And the earnings report shows about the same for revenue, so it was about a break-even or losing business, with little chance of bringing in a lot more money.
  Hoochler

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 11

1/04/13 12:55:43 PM#89
Originally posted by jtcgs

Rabid fanboyism...dont let details, specifics, truth or anything else get in the way of blindly defending, throw out any and all conflicting information and try to form reality to your personal wants.

jtcgs, your rabid attacks in the name of anti-rabidism are fun to read.

I thought we were discussing the details. You want to use numbers when you think they suit your case, but when your numbers don’t show what you want you throw out the use of numbers.

Along with many others, I would like to learn the truth of what happened to CoH. If that curiosity along with spotting math errors makes me rabid in your book, well then I guess I feel sorry for you.

From everything I have seen so far, NCSoft misjudged this whole thing from the beginning and made a bad call and they are trying their best to save face and obfuscate what happened as best they can to hide this fact.

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

1/04/13 12:58:17 PM#90
Originally posted by Ozmodan
NCSoft is a poorly run studio.  They have a very inflated view of what their products are worth.  A smart corporation would have disposed of Tabula Rasa and City of Heroes, you have to know that there are respectable buyers out there.  Sitting on them is fiscal idiocy.  The studio is run by a bunch of nutcases.

 NCsoft is also a game maker, They made Lineage 1 & 2 and Nexon paid 688 MILLION dollars for a 14.7% share in the company...so NCSoft is worth more than almost any other game maker. Not bad for a "poorly run studio".

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

1/04/13 1:00:27 PM#91
Originally posted by Hoochler

jtcgs, your rabid attacks in the name of anti-rabidism are fun to read.

I thought we were discussing the details. You want to use numbers when you think they suit your case, but when your numbers don’t show what you want you throw out the use of numbers.

 I am still waiting for someone to actually refute my points directly without being shot down in the reply, which was already done...and ignored by you in this post containing nothing short of just a personal attack. Troll attempt failed.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  Hoochler

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 11

1/04/13 1:09:19 PM#92
Originally posted by jtcgs
125,000 x 14.99 per month =  $1,873,750 x 12 months = 22,485,000

As SAID BY THE PERSON TELLING US THEY RETAINED 95%+ of its subscribers yet at the same time told us it made $12,000,000.

12 million is NOT 95-98% of 22.4 million.

This person is a flat out LIAR, I dont CARE if the game was GOOD or not or deserved to be shut down or NOT...he is a liar.

If you were so concerned about time frames, why post your math scenario in the first place?

All I am trying to say is that is that the anonymous guy’s math DOES add up under the scenario you laid out if that math is done properly. If anyone is trolling here, its not me.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

1/04/13 1:12:00 PM#93


Originally posted by TheQuinch
@lizardbones: If that's the case, then here's a question back at you - CoH is a game with well over eight years of development behind it, well past the point of content crunch that's the make-or-break factor of starting MMOs, with a built-in playerbase. In a market where enduring,  MMOs are few and far between, and given that CoH managed to remain profitable despite a total lack of marketing, what are the odds that NCsoft hasn't been approached with a valid offer from a serious publisher?  


I'd say the chances are pretty close to zero.

The game was making less and less money every year. To the point that NCSoft thought about shutting the game down. Why would another publisher want to buy a game that has lost the majority of its profit making potential? They would be buying the game so it could wind down and become a liability a lot quicker than having a new game written.

Paragon Studios could run CoH, but they would not be in a position to develop a new game. Not while running CoH at the same time. This would not make them attractive to anyone as a development house. The only product would be the game itself, which wasn't worth enough for NCSoft to keep it running.

Not to mention that it would take a publisher with five to ten million dollars sitting around to buy the game and the studio. It would require an investor to have the money to buy the game, and an investor isn't going to green light a game that another investor doesn't think is worth keeping running.

I'll say it again, it's not a mystery. The game just wasn't financially worth running and selling it would waste even more money. They didn't shut the game down to be mean, they did it to not lose money.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 1:12:16 PM#94
Originally posted by jtcgs
Originally posted by Ozmodan
NCSoft is a poorly run studio.  They have a very inflated view of what their products are worth.  A smart corporation would have disposed of Tabula Rasa and City of Heroes, you have to know that there are respectable buyers out there.  Sitting on them is fiscal idiocy.  The studio is run by a bunch of nutcases.

 NCsoft is also a game maker, They made Lineage 1 & 2 and Nexon paid 688 MILLION dollars for a 14.7% share in the company...so NCSoft is worth more than almost any other game maker. Not bad for a "poorly run studio".

You're right - but at the same time, also not.

 

See, NCsoft is hugely successful, but only in Korea. A quick glance at their revenue breakdowns by region will show you that anything outside the Korean market - especially NA and EU regions - are barely a blip on the radar, with brief exceptions when they push new releases. So while they know and pretty much have a choke-hold on Korean-style grinders {and just so we're absolutely clear, I've got no beef with Korean MMO players and their tastes - if that's what they enjoy, then who am I to argue}, but that doesn't sell nearly as well anywhere outside of Korea. Yet that's what they keep trying to push on everyone, maybe in some desperate, deluded hope that if they just keep throwing enough of them at the wall, one will stick. They made MMOs that broke away from the mold and released them outside of Korea, but they never bothered supporting them - how many players would recognize the names of the four MMOs it killed off before CoH? Heck, how many can you name?

 

So yes, for all their success, they're poorly run. They don't understand anything outside their tiny specialized niche - they don't seem to want to understand anything outside it. Their way is the way, and from their perspective, it's not their failure that they're not a worldwide success, it's everyone else's for not getting on with the program.

  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 1:20:09 PM#95
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by TheQuinch
@lizardbones: If that's the case, then here's a question back at you - CoH is a game with well over eight years of development behind it, well past the point of content crunch that's the make-or-break factor of starting MMOs, with a built-in playerbase. In a market where enduring,  MMOs are few and far between, and given that CoH managed to remain profitable despite a total lack of marketing, what are the odds that NCsoft hasn't been approached with a valid offer from a serious publisher?  



I'd say the chances are pretty close to zero.

The game was making less and less money every year. To the point that NCSoft thought about shutting the game down. Why would another publisher want to buy a game that has lost the majority of its profit making potential? They would be buying the game so it could wind down and become a liability a lot quicker than having a new game written.

Paragon Studios could run CoH, but they would not be in a position to develop a new game. Not while running CoH at the same time. This would not make them attractive to anyone as a development house. The only product would be the game itself, which wasn't worth enough for NCSoft to keep it running.

Not to mention that it would take a publisher with five to ten million dollars sitting around to buy the game and the studio. It would require an investor to have the money to buy the game, and an investor isn't going to green light a game that another investor doesn't think is worth keeping running.

I'll say it again, it's not a mystery. The game just wasn't financially worth running and selling it would waste even more money. They didn't shut the game down to be mean, they did it to not lose money.
 

Because there was plenty of profit-making potential? Hell, the genre alone would be worth millions - the superhero trend is still going strong, and even the big-budget hitters like DCUO have been quickly floundering. CoH's supposed declining population could easily be chalked up to an increasingly crowded MMO market, coupled with the fact that NCsoft barely ever bothered to even market it. If you asked a CoH player how they found the game, nine out of ten would probably tell you it came recommended by a friend or family or some other word of mouth. Add actual marketing into the mix, and the player influx would have exploded. Compare it with GW2 - NCsoft ran ads for it in the Hobbit showings - are you going to tell me that showing an ad for a make-your-own-superhero MMO at theaters showing the Avengers wouldn't have been worth the investment? Instead, NCsoft simply couldn't have been bothered. That, or the decision to axe it had already been made, profits be damned.

 

Second, you say that Paragon Studios wouldn't have been able to develop another game while still running CoH - and yet, they've been doing exactly that for years now.

  rochrist

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/06
Posts: 81

1/04/13 1:20:43 PM#96

As someone who had a CoH subscription for 8.5 years without interruption, I damn well KNOW that it was not losing people every month. On the day of the closure announcement it was /far/ healthier than it had been two years previously. Why all the NCSoft suckups escapes me. They have a horrible history. Why would anyone trust them for a single moment?

 

As for me, you can add me to the will never, ever buy or play an NCSoft product again.

  Ryowulf

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 667

1/04/13 1:24:07 PM#97

I think the game was making money, but its profit margin wasn't increasing and was likely slowly decreasing.  NCSoft could have kept it going, but they may have wanted to focus on the future.

Maybe they had better use for the resources the game was using.  Wouldn't you rather put time/money into something you think will grow and/or give you high profits for a time then deal with a game that's making only a little bit of money?

 

  TheQuinch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/12
Posts: 22

1/04/13 1:31:19 PM#98
Originally posted by Ryowulf

I think the game was making money, but its profit margin wasn't increasing and was likely slowly decreasing.  NCSoft could have kept it going, but they may have wanted to focus on the future.

Maybe they had better use for the resources the game was using.  Wouldn't you rather put time/money into something you think will grow and/or give you high profits for a time then deal with a game that's making only a little bit of money?

But that begs the question, what resources? What money?

None of it was reused - no development reassignments, no way to reuse the IP. The game was profitable and supporting itself - closing it down was a net loss. So the only way to salvage something from the closure would be to sell the IP - something that NCsoft refuses to do.

 

Logical, it ain't.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

1/04/13 1:44:04 PM#99


Originally posted by TheQuinch

Originally posted by lizardbones  

Originally posted by TheQuinch @lizardbones: If that's the case, then here's a question back at you - CoH is a game with well over eight years of development behind it, well past the point of content crunch that's the make-or-break factor of starting MMOs, with a built-in playerbase. In a market where enduring,  MMOs are few and far between, and given that CoH managed to remain profitable despite a total lack of marketing, what are the odds that NCsoft hasn't been approached with a valid offer from a serious publisher?  
I'd say the chances are pretty close to zero. The game was making less and less money every year. To the point that NCSoft thought about shutting the game down. Why would another publisher want to buy a game that has lost the majority of its profit making potential? They would be buying the game so it could wind down and become a liability a lot quicker than having a new game written. Paragon Studios could run CoH, but they would not be in a position to develop a new game. Not while running CoH at the same time. This would not make them attractive to anyone as a development house. The only product would be the game itself, which wasn't worth enough for NCSoft to keep it running. Not to mention that it would take a publisher with five to ten million dollars sitting around to buy the game and the studio. It would require an investor to have the money to buy the game, and an investor isn't going to green light a game that another investor doesn't think is worth keeping running. I'll say it again, it's not a mystery. The game just wasn't financially worth running and selling it would waste even more money. They didn't shut the game down to be mean, they did it to not lose money.  
Because there was plenty of profit-making potential? Hell, the genre alone would be worth millions - the superhero trend is still going strong, and even the big-budget hitters like DCUO have been quickly floundering. CoH's supposed declining population could easily be chalked up to an increasingly crowded MMO market, coupled with the fact that NCsoft barely ever bothered to even market it. If you asked a CoH player how they found the game, nine out of ten would probably tell you it came recommended by a friend or family or some other word of mouth. Add actual marketing into the mix, and the player influx would have exploded. Compare it with GW2 - NCsoft ran ads for it in the Hobbit showings - are you going to tell me that showing an ad for a make-your-own-superhero MMO at theaters showing the Avengers wouldn't have been worth the investment? Instead, NCsoft simply couldn't have been bothered. That, or the decision to axe it had already been made, profits be damned.

 

Second, you say that Paragon Studios wouldn't have been able to develop another game while still running CoH - and yet, they've been doing exactly that for years now.




If there were no super hero MMOs, then you could say that there's lots of potential. There have been three super hero MMOs, and it just didn't work. It doesn't really matter why, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Right there. Three games, three mediocre performance records.

I'm pretty happy with the super hero movies, but that doesn't mean anything in regards to the MMOs. Just because people like watching super hero movies doesn't mean they want to play a super hero in a game.

Finally, Paragon Studios added to the existing code base of Heroes. They had to or Villains and Going Rogue wouldn't work with Heroes. They've been writing updates, not new games.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5492

1/04/13 1:55:42 PM#100
Originally posted by TheQuinch
Originally posted by Ryowulf

I think the game was making money, but its profit margin wasn't increasing and was likely slowly decreasing.  NCSoft could have kept it going, but they may have wanted to focus on the future.

Maybe they had better use for the resources the game was using.  Wouldn't you rather put time/money into something you think will grow and/or give you high profits for a time then deal with a game that's making only a little bit of money?

But that begs the question, what resources? What money?

None of it was reused - no development reassignments, no way to reuse the IP. The game was profitable and supporting itself - closing it down was a net loss. So the only way to salvage something from the closure would be to sell the IP - something that NCsoft refuses to do.

Logical, it ain't.

This has been explained to you in several other posts above.  You just don't want to accept or address those points.  Like I said, the fanboys will never see the reasoning behind the loss.  It's not unexpected, but these posts pretty much support my point.

There are good business reasons not to release assets.  There are good reasons to shut down a marignally profitible asset.  There are other considerations and factors in making business decisions than just is it profitible.

There could be and likely are unknown factors in making this decision.  Even the inside anonymous source likely doesn't know all the considerations being made by NCSoft in Korea.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

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