NCsoft quells Tabula Rasa speculation

Korea Times reporting "sloppy, erroneous".

NCsoft has moved to calm fears that it will pull support for its science-fiction MMO Tabula Rasa after a report in the Korea Times claimed that the game was a "financial disaster".

"Please take any Korea Times articles about NCsoft with a grain of salt," said community manager Amy Crider in this forum post. "Unfortunately, their writer has been responsible for several inflammatory articles containing sloppy reporting and erroneous content in the past year. They are by no means an 'official' source of information."

The Korea Times report was based on a conference call between NCsoft's chief financial officer Lee Jae-ho and investors which took place last Thursday. The newspaper quoted Lee as saying "because of this disappointing result, some downsizing... is inevitable" at the Austin studio which developed Tabula Rasa.

We would love to be able to confirm or deny this, but the conference call is only available as a large audio file on NCsoft's Korean website, and it's downloading very, very slowly. Only 27 hours to go.

An NCsoft spokesman declined to comment. However, MMO blog Massively has run a rebuttal from an NCsoft source. It says the Tabula Rasa development team will indeed be downsized, but that the company will continue to invest in the game, including a Japanese launch later this year.

The cost of Tabula Rasa's development as quoted by the Korea Times - 100 billion won, which is roughly 100 million US dollars - is thought to be wildly inaccurate.

NCsoft announced last week that Tabula Rasa had recorded sales of KRW 5 billion (USD 5.4 million). "I think Tabula Rasa did what we expected it to do," European MD Geoff Heath told GamesIndustry.biz. "It is yet another genre that we've gone into, with our portfolio approach," he added.

The Korea Times has had run-ins with NCsoft before - notably when the same reporter claimed last year that the MMO giant was looking to expand beyond its games.

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