Korean game maker Netmarble saw significant declines in both revenue and EBITDA in Q1 2023, according to its latest financial report.
The company drew 603 billion won ($451.3 million) in the quarter, representing a 12.3% decline from 687 billion won ($514.2 million) in Q4 2022 and a 4.6% decline from 632 billion won ($473 million) year-on-year.
EBITDA for the quarter stood at 20 billion won ($15 million) for the quarter with a margin of 3.3%. This represents a quarter-on-quarter decline of 43.7% from 36 billion won ($37 million, a margin of 5.2%) and a year-on-year decline of 56% from 46 billion won ($34.4 million, a margin of 7.2%.)
Netmarble attributes these declines to the absence of a new game launch and seasonality in its overseas business.
Markets and genres
Overseas markets generated 504.3 billion won ($377.5 million) in the quarter, 84% of the total generated over the period. North America proved to be the company’s single biggest market, generating 48% of all Netmarble revenue for the quarter. This was followed by Korea (16%), Europe (13%), Southeast Asia (10%) and Japan (7%), with all other markets generating a combined 6% of revenue.
Casual games proved to be an exceptionally lucrative genre for the quarter, generating 283 billion won ($211 million) of Netmarble’s revenue for the quarter – 47% of the total. This was followed by RPG at 163 billion won ($122 million, 27% of the total) and MMORPG at 95 billion won ($71.1 million, 16% of the total). All other genres contributed a combined 10% of the company’s revenue.
Jackpot World is identified as the company’s top performing game, generating 10% of the total revenue for the quarter. This was followed by Marvel: Contest of Champions, Cash Frenzy, and Lotsa Slots (9% each) and The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross (7%).
Looking towards the rest of the year, Netmarble highlights the upcoming releases of several multiplatform titles, indicating the potential that its financials could rebound throughout the year. These releases include Grand Cross: Age of Titans and Tower of God: New World in Q2, both of which will see mobile releases.
Additionally, the company has five games slated for release in China, including The Seven Deadly Sins and Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds.
While 2022 proved to be a challenging year for the Chinese market thanks to regulatory changes, a lengthy hiatus in games licensing, and new restrictions on playtime among young gamers, the country remains the world’s biggest mobile-first market, and these releases could lead to significant increases in revenue throughout the year.
Q1’s somewhat grim financial report for Netmarble follows the company going into the red in Q4 2022.