Blade & Soul to make debut on June 30
By Cho Mu-hyun
NCsoft will start the official service for its new game Blade & Soul on June 30, the company said in a statement Monday.
The firm has set the monthly fee at 23,000 won for unlimited access to the game that is drawing a huge number of subscribers since it started its open beta test last week.
The price is lower than the company’s previous release Lineage where it charged 29,700 won but slightly higher than Aion’s 19,800.
The two previous games also limited access time to a maximum of 300 hours a month, while offering 100- and 200-hour packages slightly cheaper.
“Aion was four years ago and we spent 23 billion won for four years on it,” said an NCsoft official.
“Blade & Soul cost substantially more in time and money to develop, while cultural content prices have increased in general recently. We think the price is very reasonable.”
The official added that the company was thankful to consumers who have showed “great support” for the new game over the weekend and vowed to continue providing excellent content after commercialization.
Considering the company’s investment ― NCsoft spent 55 billion won and over 5 years on its latest release ― analysts say the price is reasonable.
“The fact that the monthly fee for Blade & Soul has been set higher than Aion means that NCsoft is confident in the quality of the game,” said Choi Hoon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities. “As Blade & Soul is an adult game with higher ratings than Aion, I judge that there will be little resistance by the users to the fee.”
Mirae Asset Financial Group analyst Jung Woo-chul said that initial services for the new game were much better than its predecessors, which is likely the reason for the fast commercialization.
The massive multiplayer online role-playing game marked 20.35 percent on user occupancy at Internet cafes on Sunday to force Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo 3, which held 17.74 percent, to concede the top spot, according to game research firm Gametrics.
NSsoft says the martial arts-themed game has recorded a company high of 250,000 simultaneous players.