Pursuing A New MMO Style
December 20, 2010 Page 2 of 3
It seems you can't really do that on consoles. There's been very few examples. Final Fantasy XIV is not coming to 360 even though Final Fantasy XI did, and it's unclear why. It seems like the consoles are very resistant to moving into this space. Are you actually interested in going there if you could, or is it just something that you see as not even appealing because of the distance between what you want to do and what's possible?
EY: The console idea is definitely a possibility, but we're not close to the idea. We actually have been talking to Microsoft -- not very frequently, once in awhile. But, like Mabinogi, even if the technical issues are something that can be resolved, we have to work up the business model first, so that's the first hurdle in this.
You were talking about how games are becoming more what-you-see-is-what-you-get, and that is more action-based in effect; but specifically the South Korean industry doesn't have a lot of experience developing action games.
I was wondering if you are looking towards any examples from other markets or if you're developing your own style based on your own inspirations.
EY: The action game genre is actually pretty popular in Asia, so there is a market for it already. For example, Dungeon Fighter Online in Korea, they usually have 200,000 concurrent users, and China is 2,000,000 concurrent users. So it is a pretty well established market.
Though that was a 2D game, so it's a little bit different.
EY: Yes, that is true.
So from a development perspective, did you look at any sources, or is this about establishing the style of this game yourself with your team from scratch?
EY: In the Korean market, Dungeon Fighter kind of set a standard for action games, so there were many, many 3D games that were trying to make a 3D version of that successful game. Most all of those games were just an exact copy of DFO in 3D, but Vindictus had differences that were unique and more refreshing. That wasn't just a carbon-copy of a 2D game, so it was really well received in Korea.
Is this game made for a global audience, or is it primarily in any one of the specific markets that your company is active in?
EY: Yes, the game is globally targeted because, in terms of visual style, as you may know, with some Asian games, Western audiences are still "That's not my type." Also, when we take Western games to the Asian market, they are like, "Oh, this is too tough and not very delicate." Asian users don't like it, and we were very well aware that the tastes of these two user bases is very different. We tried very hard and spent a lot of time creating this art style that appeals to both bases and makes it attractive.
So is art style the primary difference, do you think, and not so much gameplay mechanics? Do you think the gameplay mechanics are more universal, and the art style has been more of the place that was a sticking point?
EY: The differences are in the game mechanics, as well. There is a world of difference. For example, the typical American style is very badass; kill them all and shoot them up. It's very gunfight [oriented] and very tough. Whereas Asians like it too -- they like those types, but Asian users prefer melee types and very detailed gameplay, not so tough. Maybe crafting and that kind of stuff. So I think that there is a difference.
Asian users grew up watching Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee on TV, and they are very used to this type of choreographed, almost dance-like fighting style which is sometimes different from Hollywood, which is like bashing in somebody's face. So they have that kind of expectation from their games, too. And they do not shoot guns.
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