War of Omens: Kickstarter Success Story
War of Omens is Fifth Column Games newest game that was recently funded on Kickstarter. The game is a competitive deck building card game that follows a F2P model. The developers have released a lot of content for the game, and also provided a variety of payment methods to help increase their sales.To celebrate the developer's choice to use the Xsolla payment solution, we took a look at how War of Omens reached it's current position, as well as ask the developers about their plans for the future.
War of Omens may have started as a hobby project, but it quickly evolved into something bigger. Gabe Johns would casually work on the game on his commutes, but quickly grew to admire his project . The entire team fell in love with the concept as well, and they soon decided to put all of their resources into making the game their next premier title. To help fund the product, Full Column Games launched a Kickstarter with a goal of $30,000. Displaying their passion for card games, the developers made it clear that they wanted consumers to experience their unique twist on Deck Building and collectible card games. Every donation after $10 gave consumers access to the main beta , and the developer even made the game available to everyone between Jan 11 – Jan 12.
The game managed to reach it’s goal without the help of the public beta weekend however. 5th Column Games Kickstarter went on to reach $32,335, and the developers remain to be hard at work on the game. Currently, consumers can play the game at http://play.warofomens.com/ and it currently features tutorials, multiple decks, randomized booster packs, single player gameplay, random multiplayer game, and more. Xsolla recently talked to the CEO of 5th Column games, Andrew Marsh, as well as CTO Adam Lipski to hear about how the game is doing presently and the future of War of Omens.
Tell us a little bit about the origins of War of Omens? When did you decide to make this game and what were your main sources of inspiration?
“The lead designer, Gabe, started working on this game as a commute project a couple years ago. The original design was to combine the fun of the deck builders, like Dominion, with more traditional CCGs, like Magic the Gathering. About a year ago, after several iterations of the prototype, the founders decided it was so much fun it would be worth putting the full force of the company behind.”
I really enjoyed the multiplayer for the game, but I noticed it was limited to random play. Do you have any plans to expand this in the future?
"Yes. We're planning on expanding this to have both better matchmaking and the ability to play against friends. For now, we only have a handful of players online at any given moment, and the current system ensures that there is usually a match available."
Are there any future plans to add more deck types in the future?
"Assuming we have enough financial success to keep developing, definitely. We already have some plans for 3 new factions and several new cards and heroes for the existing factions. A new faction is a ton of work though both with art and balance, so it won't be for at least a couple months."
In terms of the F2P model, I noticed that the game did a great job of showing players the advantages of investing money in the game, but also guaranteeing that it isn't a necessity. Has this been successful so far?
"It's hard to tell. We have a mix of low and high quality users that makes the analytics kind of tough to interpret. Time will tell. It has helped to foster a positive relationship with the players."
I really enjoy the game and I have already put quite a bit of time into it. How has the feedback been on the product overall?
"Generally, it has been very positive. The bulk of the negative feedback has come from people who are confused about the game, so we're working on making things more clear."
What drives the public interest to card games? Recently a whole bunch of new card-based games appeared on the Web including the almighty Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. What makes these games so popular?
"I'm not sure people agree on what makes card games so popular. I believe that the action of drawing random cards is very rewarding. It combines progression with gambling in a very satisfying way. Also, cards are a very simple and well understood metaphor, so people can understand the game more easily than other strategy games"
Tell us a little bit about your Kickstarter campaign. Are you happy with the amount of money you've received and the amount of backers? Did the campaign help you get more PR and appear on the pages of major news-websites?
"It was net positive, but I don't consider it a big success. Some games receive huge amounts of money, and while we didn't know what to expect we were hoping for more. We did get some decent PR out of it and some really strong initial users, but nothing that will break the bank."
What were the main reasons for choosing Xsolla as your payment partner?
"Xsolla had the right set of features for us: a comprehensive set of international payment options, a full service customer support team, and a relatively simple API to implement. The simple fee structure was a big plus as well."
Tell us a little bit about your monetization model. Do you plan to sell game cards only of the whole decks as well? Are there going to be some founder’s packages? Is there a Pay to Win system in War of Omens?
"We're not entirely sure yet where our monetization model will go. We want to add some vanity, but we're going to monitor forums and analytics and see what we can learn before we add new card purchase/upgrade features. We don't want to create a "pay to win" experience, but "pay to advance faster" is part of our model."
Do you agree that having as much payment methods as possible will help make the game more profitable than just relying on Paypal?
Are you planning to localize the game to Russian, Brazilian or Chinese markets?
"We're still feeling out our business plan. If the game is successful in the US, we'll likely push it out to other territories. Either way, we're looking for publishers that are interested in partnering in distribution in other regions, or in the US for that matter. We're also looking for publishers to partner on the mobile and tablet markets. A lot of work is going into War of Omens, and it is being done by the right hand. The developers clearly have a love for every card game, and is being very careful to make sure everything is balance."
There are a lot of big plans for War of Omens, and Xsolla is looking forward in seeing how the game progress in the future. As of right now, the game has a great start by offering a wide variety of account, payment, and gameplay options.