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 probably 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 anonymous source and ex-NCsoft employee, the company is heavily focused on both Aion and GW2 right now. After a successful launch 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 explain why GW2 was pushed into 2010-2011 when many fans were hoping for a 2009 launch. Given the marketing costs of promoting Aion in Korea, it would be quite a financial burden to promote both titles simultaneously around the world.