Pursuing A New MMO Style
December 20, 2010 Page 3 of 3
In light of some of what you've said, there's fundamentally different expectations. For example, for fighting styles, maybe it means you have to put in multiple characters: one that's very elegant and one that's more brutal. It seems like what players might expect out of the game could be addressed by putting in secondary gameplay mechanics.
EY: I noticed that American gamers are very focused about the worldview and scenario of the game, whereas Asian users sometimes don't really care; they just pass it off. So, as a developer, I'm very glad that they are serious about the story. Another difference of the Asian market might be that the countries within the Asian market tend to vary too. You notice that the Korean users' main focus is to get better than everybody else faster than everybody else.
Have you noticed that this game has gotten more attention from people in the West -- and not just people in the West, but core gamers maybe different from the audiences for Mabinogi or Maple Story?
EY: You mentioned Mabinogi, and we were thinking about that too because we noticed that, although it was very popular in Asia because there are a lot of people who like the Japanese animation style, it's not so popular in the Western world.
There is a definite fan base, but it's not a big fan base. When we started creating Vindictus, we wanted to make it global, so we gave up on the style. Maybe that is why there is a different fan base and wider fan base.
Also, I could be wrong, but I'm thinking that, with your older games, you were developing them primarily with the Asian audience in mind and probably not getting much feedback on them until after they'd been completed or close to completed. Are you getting more feedback from people in the U.S. offices about the U.S. market, doing things like focus-testing or anything like that?
EY: Working with Nexon America actively gives us feedback a lot. Nexon America does focus-testing with American users, brings them into the office for usability tests, sets up stations, records their first experience during the game, and really focuses on modifying the game to fit the North American user. When they get those test results, they forward it and discuss it with the Korean developers, who really try to tweak the game to match.
Also, Nexon America really gives us localization feedback: like this works in America, and this doesn't. Also, the developers go onto Nexon America's forums and sees what the users are saying first-hand. So we're actively getting feedback and actively working on those improvements.
Do a lot of the developers on the team read English or speak English?
EY: I think a lot. (Laughs) A lot of them are good readers, but they can't write. (Laughs)
Most of your games have been a very big download, which works better in Korea because of all of the PC cafes but doesn't work as well with U.S. users; it seems like things are moving more to streaming, whether it's a small client download and streaming of the content or using Unity and being browser-based. Have you given thought to moving towards solutions like that? Have you implemented anything like that with this game?
EY: We are aware of the infrastructure issues, so we are thinking about those kinds of solutions and looking for ways to make the download less of a hurdle.
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