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Several Articles out in the wake of City of Heroes closure and it's finally appearing to hit bigtime in the media now that the election is over.

City of Heroes Goes Out With a Roar and a Bang - Kotaku

When Rejected the #SaveCOH Campaign Looks for Another - Article on Lorehound about how the Save City of Heroes movement is looking to Disney to buy the property and the organizers, including Mercedes Lackey, have put together a 31 page proposal detailing the strengths and advantages of doing so.
EuroGamer - The Final Hours of City Of Heroes
Watching the World End - New York Post
'Unethical' Game Closure - this one is very important - as it is the Korea Times! Right in NCsoft's own backyard!

All of these articles are very well written, but it is that last one that's the most significant - that's the Korea Times! That's right in NCsoft's backyard!

And now...
Breaking News: NCsoft Seattle offices undergoing “realignment”
Something major appears underway at the Seattle-based offices of Guild Wars 2 publisher NCsoft.
Quote:Something major appears underway at the Seattle-based offices of Guild
Wars 2 publisher NCsoft. After a tip from an anonymous source, PC Gamer
contacted Public Relations Director Lincoln Davis who denied that the
Seattle studio had closed, but confirmed today that a “realignment” was
taking place.
“NCsoft is realigning internal publishing resources to better suit
the needs of our game development studios,” Davis told PC Gamer. “As a
result of the realignment, several employees and contract positions were
affected. This was a very tough decision to make and wish the best for
all NCsoft employees in their next ventures.” Davis didn’t elaborate on
the extent of the restructure nor of any possible effects to Guild Wars

In October 2011, employees at NCsoft’s Seattle, Austin, and Brighton
studios were also hit with layoffs, and today’s news follows last
summer’s report of a nearly 12 percent reduction in revenue suffered by the South Korean publisher compared to the previous year.

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available from NCsoft.
Sound familiar?

Now - one last thing - I want you to take a close look at this stock chart. Notice where it rises and falls? The first major fall in stock took place right after the weekend of the Unity Rally on September 7th. And the trend has been steadily downward ever since. And the most recent jump off the cliff came after that article in the Korea Times and the announcement of more layoffs at the NCWest offices.
I feel sorry for those losing their jobs in Seattle, I think this is
just indicative that NCSoft is nosediving faster and faster and there's
no way for them to pull up out of their deathdive. To which I can only say - "Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of idiots." (The home office in Korea I mean)I've
said it before, and I'll say it again - I have no hate for Arenanet (Guild Wars 2) or
Carbine (Wildstar) and I very much hope they can go independent or get bought by a
publisher who will actually respect them when all the dust settles. And
I hope that as NCSoft tanks, they'll be FORCED to finally loosen their
miserly grip on those IPs they've held onto. Including and most
especially City of Heroes.
You can't keep screwing over your customers and expect not to eventually have karma come and bite you on the ass.
Every day for weeks now, I put "NCSoft Reuters" into Google, and pull up the current stockwatch. it's been illuminating as heck.

Because of timeshifting, S. Korea's trading day is mostly finished when I check, so the current price reflects the most recent day's trading. It's been trending down for months now, ever since the CoH shutout. But today may have been the final nail in their coffin. Their stock plunged off a cliff and settled at 147,000 Korean Won. They've been holding above 151,000 for about a month now, but have finally plummeted below 150K in a big way.

This means their stock is worth less than half of what it was when Nexon bought 14.7% of the company's stock. It's worth noting that since that purchase, NCSoft's stock has been fairly reliably trending down. Even the brief boost when Guild Wars 2 came out didn't change that much.

The worry here isn't that NCSoft will go toes up and be forced to sell us the IP we want. It's that Nexon will just buy up a controlling interest, thumb their noses at us, and do what they've been doing, which is focus on the Asian market to the exclusion of all else.

I suspect this will be what happens. NCSoft will become a division of Nexon, and they'll tune out everyone who isn't living in that part of the world. I also suspect they'll tweak Guild Wars 2 so that it becomes more Pay to Win than it is now, in keeping with the S. Korean gaming model.

I hope I'm wrong. But I doubt it.
Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.
If the appeal to Disney pays off, I wonder if they'll have enough clout to get whoever ends up owning the IP to sell...
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Are you asking if Disney will have the clout? 

If so - I have to say, Disney is the the 800 pound gorilla of the entertainment world. I'd say they have more than enough clout. 
Oh by the way, just to summarize the NCSoft stock graph in a concise way - 

Their stock is down to 44.7% of their 52 week high and at 39% of their 5 year high.


http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/c ... =036570.KS

Excuse me while I indulge in my oft neglected redside.... 
"We'll show them! We'll show them ALL! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!"
(Can you tell my favorite redside arc was Vernon Von Grun? ^_^)
Logan Darklighter Wrote:Are you asking if Disney will have the clout? 
Yes, I'm asking if Disney will have the clout.  In the West, it's a foregone conclusion.  But in Korea?  I'm not so sure, especially with how irrationally NCSoft has been acting about keeping anyone from buying and using its moribund IP.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
This is probably ethnocentric, but being Asian and living in Asia, I probably have some basis to comment. Okay, I'm not Korean, but whatever. I get Korean news digests in my work mail, and there's kimchi someone brought back from Korea in the shared break fridge. Close enough, right? Okay, don't answer that. Right, where was I?

Corporate accountability and transparency isn't exactly a huge thing in the Asian business tradition. That's changing, and obviously companies are waking up to the fact that customers and users have a voice - but being open about decisions? No. It doesn't surprise me that NCsoft is being all opaque about their reasoning. They don't want anyone looking too hard, pointing fingers, questioning them, or causing them to lose face. 

Of course, this is ultimately counterproductive. The more you clam up, the more people are going to ask awkward questions. Westerners are used to this. Asian audiences are as well; the Korea Times piece gives some indicator as to sentiment there. Obviously most Korean folks wouldn't care about City of Heroes per-se, but they would care about a Korean company making decisions that's pissing off people, a Korean company getting vilified online, and a Korean company losing money/employees like it's going out of style.

Still, the fact remains, it's a very Asian thing to clam up, stick your fingers in your ears, and go LALALALALALA in times of crisis. This is hardly unique to Asians, of course. It's a very human thing. A very big business thing. But I suspect the Asian pride and face-saving mindset doesn't help in this regard.

So where does that leave us? I don't know. But what I'm saying is, it's not about the money. Economically speaking, it probably does make sense for NCsoft to sell the IP to someone - it'd earn them money, and it's not like, reasonably, they're gonna be doing jack with it. But it's not just about money, is it?
-- Acyl
Speaking purely economically, it makes more sense to keep the game open - it was making them more than $10 million per year, and showed no signs of slowing down from the conversion to F2P, from what I've seen.

And yet that is clearly not what they chose to do.
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
In June, when NCSoft announced that they'd chosen to allow a major MMO competitor to acquire 14.7% of their stock, the president of NCSoft said that this was part of a bid on both their parts to acquire a major company. It was assumed that they meant another company. Valve was tossed around a few times, although the CEO and owner of Valve categorically shot that idea down.
What if the goal was to acquire NCSoft? The fact that the value has trended downward almost from the moment the stock was bought means that it's moving into ideal acquisition territory by Nexon. What if the whole point of all this was that the president of NCSoft is arranging to make it possible to sell the company to Nexon?
As Obi-Wan once said, this makes a lot of sense from a certain point of view...
Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.
Some people think Nexon would be more willing to sell and/or reopen the game. Supposedly they have better relations with the US than NCSoft has been, and I've heard reports that they might be taking a dim view of these shenanigans. (Who buys stock in a company thinking the price will drop like a rock within months?)

As far as the economics, I read someone suggest that there might be some kind of tax advantage in not having CoH anymore, but I don't know. It sounds a bit too much like generating money from the curvature of space to me... but then, taxes in the US are pretty weird to begin with.

Either way, if things keep going as they are, it may stop being their decision.

Well, I think I read on the Reuters page that the end of fiscal year for NCSoft is February. There's usually a full shareholder's meeting around that time. If they haven't repaired things by then, NCSoft may well have a new CEO following that meeting.
Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.
Was it posted here that some of the motivation behind NCSoft's behavior toward COH might have had something to do with Richard "Lord British" Garriott stiffing them in some way? If so, we're back to dealing with saving face and nothing rational may change their minds short of a management coup.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
That was their previous debacle, with Tabula Rasa. Short story is that they wanted to shut down the game. Rather than go through all the red tape they forged a closure and resignation letter from Garriott while he was actually out taking a private space tour, done in part to promote the game, ironically. When Garriott got back and found out, he sued them (and won) because the forged resignation would have lost him a good chunk of money in stock options, which was still worth something back then.

There's bad blood between NCSoft and the Western Markets, but I don't think that was directly involved in the closure of CoH. It might have contributed by way of past experience, though.

The Master said: "It is all in vain! I have never yet seen a man who can perceive his own faults and bring the charge home against himself."

>Analects: Book V, Chaper XXVI