Diablo 3 takes a Hit in Korea to New Released Blade & Soul.
Korea is generating most of the traffic on the Diablo 3 servers in Asia. Even if things seemed to be stable, Blizzard received a big hit with the starting of the open beta test of the new game from NCsoft called Blade & Soul.
The company was prepared with 15 servers to accommodate the players but the flood of gamers forced NCsoft to raise the number to 30.
Gametrics already prepared some preliminary data and it seems that on Saturday morning, 17.38 % of the internet café usage time has been dominated by Blade & Soul. Diablo 3 is very close with just 18.42% but let us not forget that the number of Korean players of the Blizzard title is stagnant since a lot of them started to claim refunds and quit playing. NCsoft on the other hand made a great first impression with their initiative to double the server capacity during the beta test.
Domestic data shows again how tight the competition between the two titles really is. During the first day of the beta period, Blade & Soul held the second spot on the podium with 17.93 percent in the domestic area. The number went even higher on Saturday morning when 18.04 percent of the total gaming time was allocated to the NCsoft title.
This beta test launch caused Diablo 3 to lose 3% of its audience in just three days after holding the first spot on the gaming charts for five consecutive weeks.
Blade & Soul managed to get 150.000 simultaneous users to authenticate on the NCsoft’s servers during the opening day. The developers were caught by surprise by the success of their title and had to double the number of servers to balance the load and create a better gaming experience. Each individual server supports 10.000 players but the company stipulates that the current growth will lead to an impressive number of 200.000 players online at the same time. When Aion was launched back in 2008, their absolute record for the most players online was 100,000.
To achieve this amazing milestone, NCsoft invested over $46.9 million dollars and five years of development. The company is putting all its hopes into the game due to its revenue decline recorded in the past 40 months. After five years of development, NCsoft recruited more than 100 voice actors to give life to 800 ingame characters.
All these costs and the financial decline caused serious cost reduction measures including layoffs.
In the past six months, the stock price for NCsoft’s shares declined by 50%. If Blade & Soul does not manage to live up to the financial expectations of the company, the firm might have to face a total collapse. However, experts estimate that the game will generate a revenue record for the game developer, overpassing Aion.
So far, the beta test was promising, revealing the true potential of the game. The statistical data did provide sufficient numbers to point out an obvious fact: Blade & Soul might just become the most feared competitor for Diablo 3 in Korea. However, until the full game launches, all these numbers are just speculations. The success of a game during the beta will not guarantee a top spot after the launch.