We tracked down PWE's Clifton Chu, product manager for Forsaken World, to give us some info on the new game and the company's MMO presence. If you have been excited to play it or any of the other titles in the Perfect World lineup, 2011 is going to be a very good year for you. Not only can you try out every title on its roster, but you can do it at your own pace. No subscription fee also means that you'll have more money to blow in the cash shop. Hey, everyone needs vanity items!
Click past the cut to read the interview!
Clifton Chu: Out of our current game lineup, Perfect World International has been our flagship game to date, and we recently released the Genesis expansion for the game. As for which game takes up the most resources, it depends on timing, since we can be working on multiple expansions for different games at different times.
Forsaken World has just gone into open beta. Are you ready?
This has been our largest and longest closed beta to date, and with the help of an active closed beta community, we've been able to launch two weeks ahead of schedule. We've been putting the final touches and polish on Forsaken World and are confident that players will consider it well worth the wait come launch.
Graphically your games continue to get better and better, yet they still seem to keep generally the same system requirements. What's the secret?
Necessity is the mother of all innovation. Since our games have to run on a variety of computers, we developed our own proprietary 3-D engine, Angelica, which does a great job in scaling graphics whether it's on a computer in an Internet café or gaming machine at a LAN party. Forsaken World is the first game to be developed on the updated Angelica platform, and with future updates, we hope to upgrade all of our games based on the Angelica system to the same high-quality graphics.
The Spring Content Update announced in Jade Dynasty is aimed at bringing new content for hardcore and veteran players alike. Players can look forward to mastering a new skill system as well as two new maps that unlocks more content based on server progression.
Your social platform, Core Connect, seems pretty advanced. Have players really taken advantage of it?
Yes, we've seen a lot of players embrace Core Connect, and one of the biggest features being used is the built-in guild management pages. Prior to Core Connect, a guild would have to create, manage and communicate with players out of game about its page. Now, guilds have pages that are automatically integrated into the games that they are playing and can even add members that they meet in-game on the page.
How does Perfect World's cash-shop policies measure up to those of other publishers? Some players seem to think that, in some of your games, "buying power" is common-place... what's the truth?
Something that is unique to Perfect World Entertainment's games is that the cash shops are focused on convenience. Players aren't able to directly "purchase power" but instead buy items to help their existing weapons and gear. Many of these cash-shop items can also be found through natural progression of the game as well. We also have a system where players who have all of the time in the world but not a lot of money can exchange in-game coin with other players for cash-shop currency. In this way, all players have access to the cash shop, regardless of whether they originally spent real-world money in the game or not.
We have two new third-party games coming up that we will be showing at this year's E3. One is called Rusty Hearts and is an action-based 3-D side-scroller. The other is called RaiderZ, and fans of the monster-hunter genre can rejoice as they battle against huge monsters with their friends.
Has Perfect World Entertainment thought about moving into the social space? With all of the successes of Facebook-style gaming, how would Perfect World Entertainment approach it?
We are definitely looking into it, and with the launch of Core Connect, we are heading more toward integrating our gaming experience into the social space.
Forsaken World just hit open beta... will the game be developed in similar ways to your other titles or will it be something completely different?
Forsaken World is our first game built from the ground up with the western audience in mind, but like we do in our other games, we will continue to support it through future content updates and expansions. We will also take player feedback into consideration, and they will help shape the game moving forward.
We'd like to thank Clifton for taking the time out of making games to answer our questions. Now get back to work, sir -- those games won't make themselves!