After hearing recent news of NCsoft's lay-offs/restructuring at their European studio, it may not come as a surprise that their latest financial report for Q4 2008 is showing a 22% net income loss compared to Q4 2007 even though sales were up 11%. This loss was attributed to higher marketing costs for the quarter. Their overall 2008 net profits plummeted 40% compared to 2007. The high quarterly marketing costs most likely had a lot to do with their Korean release of Aion, which accounted for 3% of their overall sales by games in 2008.
What does this mean for fans anxiously anticipating the release of Guild Wars 2? It means you'll have to wait a while longer. According to an anonymouscause and ex-NCsoft employee, the company is heavily spotlighted on both Aion and GW2 right now. After a successful commence in Korea, NCsoft plans to release Aion in Japan and Taiwan in Q3 2009 and in the US and Europe in Q4 2009. With such a strong Aion push in 2009, it seems to leave little room for GW2 in the calendar year. Their strong dedication to each title might clarifywhy GW2 was pushed into 2010-2011 when many fans were hoping for a 2009 commence. Given the marketing costs of promoting Aion in Korea, it would be quite a financial burden to promote both titles simultaneously around the world.