Update: NCsoft has shot down multiple claims made about its sci-fi MMO Tabula Rasa in a "sloppy and sensational" Korea Times article, but admitted potential layoffs may be in the works following the game's lackluster performance.
Read the full story over on Next-Gen.NCSoft's chief financial officer, Lee Jae-ho, has told The Korean Times that Tabula Rasa has proven to be a financial disaster.
Original story below:
NCSoft's chief financial officer, Lee Jae-ho, has told The Korean Times that Tabula Rasa has proven to be a financial disaster.
Featuring heavy involvement from Richard Garriott, the sci-fi MMO was supposed to rattle the genre and take it to the next evolutionary step courtesy of the game's real-time combat and battlefield strategy. But it's gone down like a cup of cold sick.
As a result, NCSoft Austin - the company's arm responsible for the game - is being downsized, Lee explained, "We are going to revamp our Austin development organization."
Apparently Tabula Rasa made around £2.7 million (or five billion won) in revenue last year, and NCSoft then projected that it'd make around £8 million (15 billion won) this year. That's nowhere near enough cash though. It's estimated the game's cost NCSoft over £54 million to date.
"Half a year ago I communicated with investors and analysts we had very high expectations for Tabula Rasa", Lee continued. "After six months, I just put down 15 billion won as an annual revenue target and that's very disappointing. But I should admit that the actual result of Tabula Rasa has been disappointing.
"If you talk about our development cost we spent in the past several years, probably we are not making any money from this Tabula Rasa project. That should be the reality."
It's not confirmed how many staff at NCSoft Austin will get the boot, but the Austin studio will retain a workforce large enough to continue to support Tabula Rasa and will continue to develop other projects as well.
Richard Garriott will still be working on the MMO too, in between training to become a space tourist.