Blog Archive

Friday, October 28, 2005

Live blogging fr AGC: East versus West: design differences in MMOs in Asia

28 October 2005, Texas, Austin, Austin Game Conference

East versus West: design differences in MMOs in Asia Jessica Mulligan; East versus West: design differences in MMOs in Asia
//i was late, missed beginning

Chinese players often dont want to be totally immersed: having a video on in the background, shrinking the screen. Likes leaning back looking at cheats that simulate game play

Q: What about the fantasy genre

A: will have expansions with different lores.
East marked, not so interested in the killing part, more about items... Also more into cuteness. Also extensions of the MMO to mobile phones.

Q: Cheating
A: (2) Big issue in china. Sophisitcated cheating programs that players pay for. Sp players both pay for the game, and for a program that plays the game for them, and then they look at it once in a while how the characters are going. Maybe play once a week. Even if you dont have a certain feature in your game, players will do it for you.
Chinese are less used to playing computer games than US players.
(3) if adding rel money trade into game, creates a strong insentive for asian players.

Moderator: the enormous sums spent on marketing. How is it in asia?
(3) 7-11 in corea... Putting codes on little food things that gives ceratin in-game items. Sales went up 60%. Companies _want_ to do the marketing for the games since their own sales go up!

(2) china, wow pics on cocacola cans. Sales up. Shendot tried to copy it w pepsi, but it didnt work. Has to be a killer app. Need <100 k players.

(4) ...indonesia... Marketing those areas, what languate to use, chinese or english?

(2) too many games right now, too many releases in asia. No efficient way of promotion. Players in a cafe will not pay for download time. Shenda once paid 300 k rmb to put up poster. Another company paid a lot to had them taken down. Seen marketing budgets of hundred k dollars get blown away in a week.

Q: how come the cafe culture is so successful in china

A (3) infrastructure. Went to cafes to get broadband. Started the cafe industry. Also a way to control piracy. Publishers selling "ip-blocks" dierectly to the pc cafe, not to the end costumers. Player doesnt pay a subscription, pays for the play time in the cafe instead.

Q so if 300 games come out each month in asia, how do ppl get to know about them, viral marketing?

(2) ppl dont have pen and paper to write down webadresses, so for marketing names must be very catchy, so one can google them up. Billboard on busses, parkbench, but depends on game, in some cases better o it via internet. Big guys are now loosing money because of the enormous marketing budgets.

A: how do ppl pay?

(4) subscription for bundle of both mobile (3g) client and PC client. Separate interface on mobile. Updates of stats. Still play,
2 models: unlimited. Or per month for the mobile component.
(2) micro payments.

(1) big licenses are not so popular in asia.
(2) not so into sci fi. Lots of japanese licenses that chinese like. Same problem in console life... When new console comes... Liscenses

(1) shorter playsessions...

Q: what about usercreated content

2: not so common. One game example where one can put in own face.
A wierd game by shenda... Pay to upload content...
It is very rare with user created content in china. Technology issue.

Q: differences when it comes to grinding?
(2) some very popular games in china are extremely boring. ... 60% of the players are unemplyed. Not teenagers. Wives sending letters being grateful... Got that the husband doesnt gamble or do more expensive things.

(4) big online crowd... 7 second games. Is that casual?