|NCSOFT's "Lineage 2M" scheduled to be released later this year. / Courtesy of NCSOFT|
By Jun Ji-hye
Expectations are growing that NCSOFT will accomplish a big growth in sales next year with the launch of its much-anticipated "Lineage 2M" in this year's fourth quarter, according to securities analysts, Monday.
They encouraged investors to buy stocks in the game company, saying an upswing in stock prices is expected.
NCSOFT began taking preorders for the new mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "Lineage 2M," Sept. 5, saying the company has applied a variety of cutting-edge technologies to create a game that surpasses the limits of existing mobile games.
NH Securities analyst Ahn Jae-in said the number of users who preordered the new game has reached 2 million in 18 hours since the beginning of the preorder event.
"NCSOFT's work to promote the new game is smooth sailing. Expectations toward the game will lead to a rise in stock prices," he said. "I expect the company's operating profits next year to grow 111.8 percent to 1.04 trillion won ($872 million) compared to this year."
Noting that "Lineage M" achieved 1.3 billion won in sales on the day of its launch, Ahn added "Lineage 2M" is expected to achieve more than that on the back of its realistic 3D graphics and improvement in other elements of the game.
He set target stock prices for NCSOFT at 750,000 won.
"Lineage 2M" is the mobile version of the firm's PC online game "Lineage 2," which was released in 2003. The new game is drawing attention as "Lineage M" released in June 2017 has taken the top sales position on the Google Play Store.
Meritz Securities analyst Kim Dong-hee raised target prices for the game company to 700,000 won from 550,000 won, saying the current stock prices seem to be at a low point.
"Prices of stocks in NCSOFT will change in accordance with the results of Lineage 2M, and there is clear upward momentum," the analyst said. "NCSOFT is also preparing to launch Aion 2 and Blade & Soul 2 in addition to Lineage 2M. Stock prices will raise sharply if the company keeps recording successes."
Mirae Asset Daewoo analyst Kim Chang-kwon said NCSOFT is expected to speed up its efforts to release "Lineage 2M" in the global market as well.
NCSOFT's stock price closed at 552,000 won Monday and last Friday, up 1.66 percent from Thursday.
During a media showcase held in Seoul, Sept. 5, NCSOFT founder and CEO Kim Taek-jin said "Lineage 2M" is filled with realistic 3D graphics available in 4K UHD resolution.
"This will be the highest level among any other mobile games," he said.