Netmarble, a Seoul-based mobile game developer hoping to list on the market soon, was named among the world’s top three mobile publishers by App Annie, an industry research firm, on Friday.
The latest index has Netmarble in third among app developers around the world by revenue from Apple’s App Store and Google Play for the month of March. Tencent, an internet giant from China, topped the chart, while NetEase, a Chinese online service provider and mobile game developer, followed close behind in second.
Netmarble first entered the top three in February on the back of its success with Lineage II: Revolution, a mobile multiplayer online role-playing game that it developed with intellectual rights from NCsoft. “When the company was first ranked within the top three, it was significant that it posted the highest revenue in the world, excluding Tencent and NetEase,” a spokesperson from Netmarble said, since the two Chinese companies benefit from a large domestic market.
Netmarble first climbed up to fifth when Lineage II: Revolution was released in December. The game raked in more than 200 billion won ($175.7 million) in profit. The popularity of the game has yet to subside, as Lineage II: Revolution has been ranked second in the world by revenue since January, according to App Annie data.
While Lineage II: Revolution continues its run in the domestic market, players are eagerly awaiting the release of Netmarble’s Pentastorm, a mobile multiplayer online battle arena game. This game is based on a player-vs-player format where two teams of a certain number of players battle each other while developing their characters along the way, the degree of which becomes crucial to the team’s success.
Pentastorm is currently being tested on Google Play, where it has already ranked second in the new free apps category, according to App Annie. The recent performance bodes well for Netmarble, which is preparing to list on the Korea Exchange as early as May.
“Compared to its global competitors, Netmarble’s growth in sales shows the most rapid increase,” said Kim So-hye, an analyst at Hanwha Investment & Securities. “It also has a stable portfolio with a number of hit games and should be given a valuation premium in comparison to its competitors.” Kim estimates Netmarble’s year-on-year sales growth this year will be 107 percent and operating profit growth to be 291 percent.