Here we will talk a little about successful launches and communities (that “abstrat” thing we aren’t really having here in NA/EU).
With ArcheAge we managed to beat China, but with what cost? And do you think that we were at the table when the first contracts were signed? As you probably guess the answer is no, we were as always late, but we got a faster or weaker localization that moved us towards the front of the que. Even with this fast process we still came after Japan (July 23, 2013) and RU (February 16, 2014).
Back to China and Tencent, let’s take a look at XLGames and ArcheAge short history so you can cleary see where Trion Worlds was on the deal. XLGames was founded somewhere in 2003, and after playing with some small titles, three years later, in 2006, they decided to start aiming for the top with a next generation MMORPG, that was officialy announced in 2009 (this is when the first license agreement was signed with GameOn for Japan service). Shortly after, in September 2010 Tencent signed the deal, followed by GigaMedia for Taiwan.
After the official KR launch, in January 2013 Trion Worlds signed the deal to bring ArcheAge to the Western Market and extend their business as publishers (they were already well respected developers with successful games like Rift).
How come we started before China? For Tencent the localization process is very important and in this case it took longer than expected, but as oposed to our well known “soon to be released” remark, they are customizing their titles to meet their community needs, and it’s something more than just translation, voice changes and some censored content (yeah it’s China afterall so they usually get a “light version” on different features).
Why don’t we get unique/exclusive localized version (this applies to every MMO that came to the West)? Maybe we are paying less, although I doubt it, but the real guilty person behind this is me or you. We lack a strong gaming community and we fail to create a common voice and get us heard.
After 2 hours of searching the web’s ArcheAge archives I finally found the video that best ilustrates what I am talking about. On 28.09.2013 during a press event held in Moscow, Mail.ru officialy presented ArcheAge, a show where they also talked about a new bussiness model. The entire community failed betrayed and they decided to make a stand at Igromir 2013.
The most well known guild leaders and other attending gamers decided to peacefully protest by putting down two red flowers (you can see it from 2:40 in the video below) at the feet of those girls who were there handling beta keys, creating a funeral place (for orthodox/catholic people, at funerals you bring a pair number of flowers), in order to raise awareness of the p2w model.