Time for your monthly update on all things NCSoft from our good friends at Korean investment firm, KDB Daewoo Securities — and they’ve got a doozy of a proclamation this time.

Last month’s report hinted at a Q3/Q4 2013 surge in profits, which we speculated as being related to a Guild Wars 2 expansion in the latter half of the year, an impression KDB representatives may have received after visiting NCSoft’s Korean offices. This month’s report is somewhat less vague:

[quote]We anticipate NCsoft will also launch a mobile version of Blade & Soul in 1H through one of Japan’s leading mobile-gaming platform operators, DeNA. NCsoft plans to roll out its new title WildStar (currently being developed by US-based Carbine Studios) in 2H using CD packages in the US and Europe. It also intends to launch Guild Wars 2 in China, Taiwan, and Japan. An expansion pack for Guild Wars 2 is slated for a 2H release in the US and Europe.[/quote]

Well, then.

While that’s not quite as set-in-stone as hearing it straight from the horse’s (i.e., NCSoft’s or ArenaNet‘s) mouth, KDB obviously has a direct pipeline to NCSoft bigwigs, as evidenced by their recent office visit, and as we learned during the 38 Studios fiasco, folks who aren’t in the gaming industry and who don’t understand the importance of leaking release dates… well, tend to do so.

As for other NCSoft-related properties — hey, there’s a second half of 2013 launch predicted for WildStar! The report alsocites Blade & Soul‘s launch as “underwhelming” and singles out Aion as a game that exhibits “a decline in the number of players.” The report also praises GW2 and Lineage as primary reasons for the company’s 654.4% (!) increase in year-to-year operating profit.

So what do you think? Does this pretty much solidify for you the notion that we’ll see a Guild Wars 2 expansion before the end of the year?

Jason Winter has held several positions in the tabletop and video-gaming industry since 1996, including writer, editor, marketing coordinator, and game designer. He's the former editor of Beckett Massive Online Gamer and almost considers himself competent in PvP. In addition to his work with Gamebreaker.tv, he also blogs about video games at http://jasonwinter.wordpress.com.
  • http://twitter.com/greencactaur green cactaur

    I doubt we’ll see an expansion this year, but I’d put my money down for 2014 or 2015

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1273890747 Karl Pedder

      lol reckon you will loose your money then no way is it going to be that long I cant see how anyone would have any doubt that there would be a paid expansion this year….

  • http://twitter.com/AgeNightroad Adrian Lloyd

    It really wouldn’t surprise me if an expansion came out 2H. Factions and Nightfall came out the following year after Guild Wars 1 release and Eye of The North Expansion the year after that. Factions came out almost exactly a year after release so a GW2 expansion a year after release is very likely unless ArenaNet has different plans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

      Factions was a year later – April 29th, 2006 (as I recall) as the official live date (not including head start access). Nightfall followed 6 months later. Since GW2 is a much more expansive game I am actually surprised that a full blown expansion is planned for about a year after release. Of course “expansion” might not actually mean what we think it to mean.

  • Nick Cattane

    Time for an Over/Under poll – August 28, 2013.

    • http://twitter.com/Luke_Malcolm Luke Malcolm

      Over November 2013

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

       Over. September 23rd.

  • http://twitter.com/QSatu QSatu

    I’m sure we will see gW2’s expansion this year. but it will be end of the year. November/December.

  • http://twitter.com/willypallen William Allen

    I personally hope that there isn’t one this year. I’d rather them continue to pump out a little content every month and continue to work on some of the larger game play issues. Not that I don’t love this game, but there are some things that need to be fixed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

       We likely will see an expansion this year simply because it is already under development. It was confirmed even before release that Arena Net’s plan was to split their team day-one; with one team working on new live content, one team working on balancing and bug fixes, and the third team starting on the first expansion as soon as the server populations stabilize.

  • http://www.kaiketsu.enjin.com/ Corey “Crimzen” Jenkins

    I wouldn’t put it past them to put out an expansion late this year. In August the game will officially be a year old, but I could see a holiday release. Looking at games like Rift, they put out an expansion in about the same time period. Also, going by Arena Net’s track record with Guild Wars 2 and also Guild Wars 1. It seems like a reasonable thing to expect.

  • RBHgamer

    Well, heck, if they finish a polished expansion with the team that is working on it then they should release it even as the other dev teams strive to perfect the basic game and expand on content already available. One thing I’ve noticed about Anet is that they can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  • Fabio Pizzini

    Poor Gw2 a game already dead most of servers empty wswsw fail, pve boring, trinity missed by all who still play it …

    Really GG ahahahahahahahahhaahhah

    • http://twitter.com/JAPeters7 Alex Peters

       Can’t tell if trolling, or just having a personal vendetta

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

        Probably a troll, but with some basis in fact. I’ve popped into quite a few of my favorite F2P and sub based MMOs and have talked with quite a few people who stopped playing GW2 for one reason or another – a lot cite the lack of trinity and the boring zergfest battles as part of the reason. The unfortunate part of the model is that there is nothing to sustain a vast majority of players in between new content updates. You will only have the core playerbase that stays in game on a regular basis – pretty much the way GW1 has been for a while.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lord-Styx/1800631029 Lord Styx

          Doesn’t matter when that core is stronger then swtor ever was.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

            SWTOR has nothing to do with the matter. The point is that the actual numbers are irrelevant to the core playerbase. It is the “fringe” players for which these numbers matter, and with only the tiniest bit of irony, it is those very players who actually affect the actual numbers.

            Neither Guild Wars game was designed to keep the player logging in every day. There’s nothing wrong with that, and as a result GW1 has been a great success and continues to satisfy the core playerbase. In the end, if players want to see continually high numbers in GW2, then the design of the game needs to change in order to compel people to log in every day. We already see that happening to some extent, but  to do so any further than that would be to make GW2 something it was not designed to be and that could end up being a disaster.

          • Nick Cattane

            Yea, if you’re farming any type of high end cosmetic gear you’re definitely logging in every day.  And with the additions of Laurels you are starting to feel like there is something to do/work towards.  Really excited to see what guild missions are going to entail.  Hopefully its not just some massive world event zerg-fest.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

            That’s the kicker, and a cause for a lot of the negative feedback I have seen. For me, the combat has been one of the things Anet hasn’t seem to be able to get right. In GW1 it resulted with the use of gimmicky combat to make encounters artificially harder (and as a result needed gimmicky builds to counter). Here, with the “removal” of the trinity, it has turned epic boss fights into trivial zerg fests.

            I suspect, that for the guild missions, they are going to look to get more of the feel from GW1 and then see how to improve upon that.

          • arenasb

            I really like the actual combat in the game. It’s one of the best I’ve played in an mmorpg. But I do agree that encounter design is not the best. At best it is inconsistent (there are some interesting encounters) and at worst it is poor and just zergy. As the game matures and the developers have seen how the players play I am hopeful that they come up with some more interesting encounters.

          • Nick Cattane

            Yea, I agree here – Just look at FOTM – huge step up from all their dungeons/world events.  I think either way you look at it, ArenaNet at least hasn’t taken a step backwards since the release of the game (just a steady slow release of improvements).  Hopefully this continues to remain the case!

          • Nick Cattane

            I actually really like the combat, just more the mechanics of some encounters need to be worked out – world events don’t end up being too skill based once it reaches huge numbers, but there are a couple of cool events they worked out well in cursed shore like Grenth – even with a large group it still requires you to avoid aoe’s, kill shades, then focus boss, etc (as opposed to just a blind zerg).

          • Spammerbam

            I half agree with you on that. The combat is pretty much a zerg during a massive PvE event, but if you play in sPvP or 1v1 in WvW, then it becomes a whole different story; that is where the combat system shines the most, imo. It’s just filled with intensity and balance — one or two wrong moves can really cost you the battle. Another thing that stands out is the dynamics and flexibility of being able to change builds/play-styles of your character’s roles.
            But yeah, I also really hope that Anet continues to improve on the PvE events where it could require more strategy and not just a zerg.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/W76UOX2IDTRMMYTPASSJDLXLRM Bob

            GW2 wasn’t designed for people to keep logging in but according to XFire, it is easily the 2nd most popular MMO after WoW in North America. The server populations are very healthy after 6 months.

        • Chris Martin

          Stopping from playing GW2 isn’t a bad thing. The no sub model makes it comfortable for people to drop in and out when they want. My gf loves to log in during the monthly events to check out the new content. I play WvW mostly because I am insane! 
          However, when I stopped playing Rift and WoW for a while, returning to those games made me love GW2 even more. I think I’ve made more friends in my short months in GW2 than all my time in both WoW and Rift. The social aspect of MMO’s is a really big thing for me. The fact that you help people up from the ground, then team up after doing so in GW2 makes the “whack a mole” healing of holy trinity in other games feel limited and dated. I do not miss it at all.

      • http://twitter.com/dndhatcher David Hatcher

         Either sarcastic or trolling.  Reads as sarcastic to me.

        Anyone who has logged in and tried to change servers can see that they are mostly FULL or HEAVY.  Even late at night I get into overflow Lions Arch for 15 minutes before I get to my home server.

      • Jado Cast

        He’s been trolling GW articles and posts since months before launch.  Anybody want to see how active PvE is for daily’s hang out in some of the low zones and you see tons of people doing events.  go to Gw2LFG dot com and see 100’s of people looking for groups every 30 minutes to run dungeons and fractals.  Try to Queue in WvW on Friday Night and wait a couple of hours to get in.  I can assure you he’s just trolling and still bitter that his Favorite MMO, Tera bombed.

    • Spammerbam

       Woh! Really?

      Oh man,  “dead most of servers”… that pretty much explains why I’m in Overflow the majority of the time and still have to que in WvW.

      *awkward moment*

    • Chris Martin

      And this is one of those times that the internet shows you the difference between the imaginary visions in your head compared to the real world…

      Whiteside Ridge: Medium
      Fissure of Woe: Medium
      Miller’s Sound: Medium
      Dzagonur: Medium
      Vabbi: Medium
      Arborstone: Medium
      Fort Ranik: Medium
      Gunnar’s Hold: Medium
      Ruins of Surmia: MEdium
      Piken Square: Medium
      Drakkar LAke: High
      Ring Of Fire: High
      Kodash: High
      Augury Rock: High
      Seafarer’s Rest: High
      Abaddon’s Mouth: High
      Jade Sea: High
      Blacktide: High
      Far Shiverpeaks: High
      Riverside: Very High
      Barach Bay: Very High
      Aurora Glade: Very High
      Vizunagh Square: Very High
      Elona Reach: Very High
      Gandara: Very High
      Desolation: Very High
      Underworld: Very High

      I play on “Gunnar’s Hold”. Which is Medium pop mostly. LA is always packed full of people. I enter overflow almost each time I visit there. Orr is a zergfest pretty much any time of the day most days through the week. WvW I have to queue to get in.  I have not been over to a V High pop server yet since mine feels packed as it is. 
      Yeah GW2 is dying! Be sure to visit again after they finish the lobotomy!

      • Sharuko

        You actually believe that data.  It is really cute and means nothing.  The devs can simply program the system to say 200 players = Very High.  And trust me SWTOR and Rift did that.  Servers were dead yet servers were “High” or “Very High”, when people went out into the world they saw no one.  They had difficult finding groups but it was still “high”.

        Go to the Mists, see how many players are playing.  Yes you will find only 100-200 players across all sPvP servers.  Go to almost 95% of zones in the game and there will be no one with you. People always use the “IM IN OVERFLOW” while they are in Lion’s Arch because everyone is in that game and by everyone it is like 100 players.

        The devs are covering up well, but they can’t do it for too much longer.

        • Chris Martin

          “devs are covering up…”
          Let me grab my tin foil hat! XD *double face-palm! Emo-troll is emo!

          Sorry, but you are very truly wrong. Even without the stats, I can tell you personally, that, even by the medium server I play on, GW2 *is* ALWAYS populated. And friends say the same about their worlds. There are always people running by me while out in PvE. And I’m not just talking about some random zerg team-up. Off in the distance past all the culling you can see people attacking things (the particle effects are a dead give away, or maybe its those GW2 devs lying to my eyes?), people running to the same resource nodes, helping people up that are down on their ass. The only places I notice that are usually dead are “Divinity’s Reach”; but how many people hang out there?

          If you think WvW is empty, then you obviously haven’t played much against a 25 man TS co-ordinated zerg, with portal bombs. If you ever feel lonely, try fighting that! In general, PvE chat has people grouping for dungeons or hooking up to kill champs and do events or general chit chat. LA is always “LFG Fractals” & people crafting…

          Of course you’d know this because you log in every day, and your opinion is totally non-biased right?! 

          You are also, sadly, wrong about Rift servers. They were pretty much on the button the last time I checked. I logged into a bunch of their low pop servers, and they were truly dead. It was only “Icewatch” that had people on. Maybe (hopefully) it has improved since, but it has been a month. The reason I left Rift – was because I couldn’t find people to hang with. If GW2 was the same, trust me, I wouldn’t be playing, because the social aspect of any MMO is a big thing for me.

          Sorry you feel butt hurt about GW2 success. However, I’m only a player, so there is little I can do to help you during the emotional time in your life.. XD 

          • Sharuko

            Honestly, there were a lot denial about Rift at one point and almost sounded like you.  I am not talking about Rift now but at launch.  Within months of launch servers were dead, most zones were empty but Rift servers were “High”.  Pretty much exact situation as GW2.

            I just logged on to the high population server in GW2 on my level 35 character ran around for 10 minutes in several zones and saw 1 person. You are in the denial phase, you will get over it eventually.

          • St_Draco

            What you did what?  I thought you returned the game and got a refund. Did you repurchase that game again?

            Thank you for supporting the game you hate so much =D

          • Spammerbam

             He didn’t get his digital deluxe refund. Now you know why he’s been crying for over a year now.

          • St_Draco

            He claimed he did and he asked for that refund before the game released. 

            On top of that he played to at least level 35 O.o

          • doomguardian

            get some glasses buddy, because i always see people around me no matter where i go, or mabe they just run when they see ya bud. But honestly get the facts straight or anyone who plays the game will see that your just slamming a good game, and if u dont like it THEN STOP LOGGING IN to slam a game better then the one u created, and failed at

          • http://www.facebook.com/henry.medina.716 Henry Medina

            you think guild wars 2 is dying you want it to die because you hate the game… how about just leave it to the players and let them enjoy what they want… stop Trying to force people into what you like … I don’t care what you say I brought the game I like if if you don’t… don’t play simple….

        • Spammerbam

           “You actually believe that data.”

          Says the person who wraps his head around Xfire.

  • Diequex

    I hope not. There is still a lot of current content that needs to be improved and bugs that also need fixing. 

    • 7BitBrian

       Two separate teams. That stuff is already being worked on and will continue to be so. Seen recent patches? Not worked on by the same team doing the Expansion.

  • http://twitter.com/dndhatcher David Hatcher

    These KDB guys are right more often than not.  I would say there is a good chance.

  • Sharuko

    Seems like good news for the 500 player still left playing the game.  I wonder if this “expansion” has “expansion worth of content”.  I hope the expansion is good because I feel sorry for the fans of GW2 as they have such a low quality, lifeless, souless and badly designed product.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

       Doesn’t Guild Wars 2 have about three times as many players as Tera?

      • http://twitter.com/MiZTiiX MiZTiiX

        the thing about MMO’s without subscribtions is that you can’t tell how many of those are active

        • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

          True enough. Although the concurrent player count keeps climbing from month to month, so clearly those reports of the game loosing players is exaggerated. Guild Wars 2 is still growing all the time, and by some reports is the number two most played MMO out right now, second only to World of Warcraft. Sharuko’s pet game; Tera, isn’t even number three. That is EVE Online. 

      • Sharuko

        Now?  I doubt it.  I honestly think Tera has more players than GW2 which is shocking really because to me Tera is a niche game and I said months before it launched it was a niche game.  Tera cost 35 million dollars to make, ArcheAge will also cost 35 million dollars to make.  GW2 was no were close to that low yet they failed to deliver.

        Enjoy being in 95% of the zones in GW2 and being by yourself.  Enjoy having less than 200 players to play with during peak time in sPvP.  While I play with the exodus of GW2 players that have joined Tera. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

          Funny. You say there is some kind of “exodus” from Guild Wars 2 and that the game is empty, yet actual facts and statistics say there is a steady month to month increase in both box sales and concurrent player numbers. Keep trolling Sharuko, maybe one day you won’t suck at it.

          • Sharuko

            I will give you some stats:

            Traffic of Guildwars2 down 48% from Sept ’12 to Dec ’12. (Source: comScore)
            Traffic of Guildwars2guru down 63% from Sept ’12 to Dec ’12. (Source: comScore)
            Traffic of Guildwars2 Subreddit down 62% from Sept ’12 to Dec ’12. (Source: /r/guildwars2)
            200 people in sPvP concurrently during primetime (Source: In Game – Mists)
            90% drop in player activity per Xfire from Sept ’12 to Dec ’12 (Source: Xfire)

            Now provide one source to back up your claim.

          • Spammerbam

             To be honest, I wouldn’t even doubt that. GW2 is more of an events/holiday game that’s played casually; people come and go and they always come back when there are content updates every month.

            When people stop playing a grindfest game like Tera, they quit for good. The population jumped when Tera finally when F2P.. looks like more kids can join now to play just another mindless game with no real competition.

          • Sharuko

            These “kids” are flocking from GW2.  In Tera they will need skill.  They can’t click.  They will have to aim.  They will have to earn their gear.  They finally see what a true MMO is and not settle for a “MMO lite”.  They will see true action combat.

            GW2 should have been a single player console game.  A bad one at that as the story and gameplay is pretty bad.

            I mean even popular GW2 youtubers like WoodenPotatoes quit the game in a couple of months. That is really sad.

            As I said for your sake I hope the expansion is good. Because you settled for second class and sub par. You guys deserve something better.

          • Spammerbam

            Kid who plays the most and has the best gear wins.. talk about balanced competition. So to aim and dodge, is that the only strategy? The action combat in Tera is a joke. If I wanted to play a traditional MMO, I would rather play WoW.

            WoodenPotatoes quit the game couple months ago? That’s strange as he’s still uploading countless GW2 videos. I mean, its sorta surprising that you’re still following all the GW2 media. What for, really?

            And yeah, I also hope the expansion is at least okay. I just hope it doesn’t make a recycled game like Tera look too bad..

        • Spammerbam

          “Best MMO of 2012 is now free, what a good deal.” – Sharuko

          LOL. Yet, Tera is a niche game at the same time. Interesting.

          • Sharuko

            It is not a fair comparison because GW2 is barely an MMO.  It takes the MMO genre backwards about 5 years.  

          • Spammerbam

            Right, GW2 is its own game. I wouldn’t call it a tradition MMO anyway.
            Tera is just another tradition MMO that should’ve been released 10 years ago; there’s nothing innovative about it other than the slapped-on “action combat”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hornsby.7 Jonathan Hornsby

            To be honest I sometimes doubt he plays Tera at all. He just likes to troll. Clearly his favorite game is making an ass of himself on the internet.

          • http://viddesign.com.au/ Vid_Ghost

            LOL .. you must still be playing WOW and think its the best thing around in 2013? .. it came out in 2004 lol and GW2 is not just an MMO its the best game i’ve ever played in my whole life and i’ve been playing videogames starting from back in the 1980’s with a Commador64>atari>Sega Master system>Megadrive>Snes>N64>PS1 and now only PC Gaming – Averaged Gaming 4 hours a day over 25 years. (36,500 hours) lol thats allot of gaming and i still stand by the fact that GW2 has been the best game in my lifetime!.. And over that time i’ve mostly always played only RTS & FPS games ( 33 Year old Australian Gamer / IT Admin )

          • Chris Martin

            Sorry, but after reading this on one of your previous posts “A massive exodus to better MMOs like Tera.” – I just can’t take you seriously anymore.

            “Obvious fanboy is obvious!” XD

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.cox.5817 Kevin Cox

      Welp, Sharuko’s entitle to his opinion. 

      As are we entitled to completely and utterly ignore it. 

    • Chris Martin

      Congrats bro, you won the internets! And it isn’t 500 players, it’s 499! And they were all in a zerg we were fighting last night in WvW! Well at least it felt like it.
      You should become a professional games reviewer! However, I think you are lost… shouldn’t you be with the other sheep over in the Legendary forum?

    • Jado Cast

      Your Trolling is too obvious.  Some use to be funny, but now they are not even worth reading.  I think you ran out of material.  

    • Spammerbam

       “such a low quality, lifeless, souless and badly designed product that shouldn’t even be called an MMO.”

      Isn’t that what you’re playing right now?

      *cough* Tera *cough*

    • Nick Cattane

      Oh Sharuko, I haven’t seen you on here in a while – I miss the mindless trolling! Welcome back!

      And damn, my guild (according to your stats) has 50/500 (10%) of the active population online daily.  I didn’t realize we were such a prominent guild!

  • Ben Taylor

    Now that the numbers have calmed down I find the GW2 open world content much more interesting and enjoyable. Sometimes you find yourself playing an event on your own or with a couple of others and it’s great. The open world wasn’t designed to support huge numbers (hence the zerg problem) so I’m glad it’s calmed down.

  • Chris Martin

    I’m all ready for an expansion. Although, I’d rather see more time and effort put into bolstering the existing game. WvW needs some serious attention. PvE could do with more things to do; hopefully that will come along with the living story. I’m playing a lot more of GW2 now, than I used to. I think they are doing something right, as I see more friends wanting to pick up the game and old friends logging back in. If they carry on the way they are going – I think an expansion this year will be the cream on the cake.

  • Jado Cast

    I guess I should finish my personal story now, got sucked into WvW and haven’t done it yet.  Looking forward to an expansion, especially if that means more maps for WvW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/henry.medina.716 Henry Medina

    O_O xfire has nothing to do with guild wars 2… so before you talk work for the company :P then talk… you know nothing because you don’t work for guild wars 2…

  • Kincayd

    Looks like no expansion this year.