It’s also about the service and methods to keep a cherished title going, right?
When someone comes up with some new cool idea to bring free-to-play to the next level, it’s still about making better games in the end. We have about 2,300 people in our offices worldwide. Approximately half of them are programmers and developers. And the other half are service and publishing people. Even if it’s for one game, you need at least 1,000 service people to ensure a smooth launch, a working website and forum, and an orderly eSports event. It’s not only about making cool graphics or coming up with the ‘free-to-win’ formula, it’s about ensuring the elements of the process.
More after the break...
Wait, you haven't mentioned USA? How is the reception for WoT over there?
Good. Like Korea, this market is competitive. America is competitive with everything; cars, films, and so forth. It’s growing, but not as fast as we would think a year ago. Not because of just competition, but also because of consoles. PC isn’t the primary gaming platform.
That’s why we’re currently in the late stages of polishing the Xbox 360 version of World of Tanks [announced during this year’s E3 in Microsoft’s press conference]. No date yet; we need to go through Microsoft’s technical approval system, which isn’t as free as releasing something for the PC. Not just that, we also need to test it a lot.
And no, it’s nothing to do with the Xbox One’s release this month. Frankly speaking, after working on World of Tanks for so long, timing doesn’t matter. So there’s no such thing as a ‘Christmas F2P launch’ date; you can launch a game any time of the year. You just have to make sure the game is ready, the game is polished and has no bugs. You can release it on any peak day or holiday season, but if your game has a bug, 10 million people pop up on the first day and the servers crash, all your days will become Black Friday.
Unlike normal retail games, the point of our model is that we don’t want you to play for one week or a few days. This is a game where we want you to be engaged for half a year, two years or even three years. It’s all about steady growth. When you talk about millions of players, it’s always about server size capacity. If some little thing goes on, they crash. If you bring in 10 million in one shot, it’ll crash.