The "Inven Global Esports Conference (IGEC) - ESPORTS DEEP DIVE," took place in the UC Irvine Conference Center on the 1st of May. The conference featured 47 speakers and diverse side-events that attendees can volunteer for or participate in.
At the IGEC, the developers of the hit PC MMORPG "Black Desert Online," Pearl Abyss (PA), installed a booth featuring the English version of their mobile game, "Black Desert Mobile." On this part playtest and part preview presentation, many company representatives and UCI students joined in to give their valuable feedback to PA. The following are pictures of the attendees enjoying the rich PvP environment of the game, in addition, to an interview with the devs.
▣ 'Black Desert Mobile' Preview Booth - The First Look into the English Version of the Game
▣ Interview With the Devs - Program Director, 'Yong-Min Cho'
You guys just held a preview booth for Black Desert Mobile that had a "play-test" feel to it. How was it in your opinion?
I found out that the attendees have not played too many mobile games before. And in a way, our presentation today got rid of my biggest concern regarding the English version of the game. In addition, I saw hope that our game will be enjoyed by the people of NA. Today's presentation was definitely a meaningful one for us -- it'll aid us in our international affairs in the future.
When hearing the feedback from the American gamers, was there something that caught you off-guard?
The things that we cemented as "the best choice" in our direction of the game back in Korea were removed. We believed at first that the American gamers will tend to dislike the "auto" feature of the game. However, that wasn't the case -- as a matter of fact, depending on the platform, we found out that some may come to prefer the auto combat more than the manual combat. We were first afraid of how the American gamers would react to the auto combat, but today's presentation made me think again. The gaming era is constantly changing, and we'll need to find a good balance between the auto and manual features of the game.
Although you guys will probably need to process all the feedback before making a large decision... but are you fully willing to make large changes to the game's build if the American gamer's opinion differs too greatly to the Korean ones?
Localization of the game is definitely a necessity. However, I'll need to consider the wellbeing of my staff before making a big move. And for your question regarding the build of the game -- I don't think we'll change the actual content of the game but rather, the order of tutorial and character progress to better appeal to the western audience.
Is there a difference between how the Korean/Western gamers take part in game-testing?
Not really. However, if I'm forced to find a difference... it'll be that Korean gamers give more specific feedback, pushing out everything that's on their mind. On the other hand, I think the American gamers that attended today were more positive. In truth, both audiences enjoy the game in the same manner, but there are little cultural differences here and there.
The presentation seemed to have gone well. The attendees also wore satisfied looks on their faces throughout it.
While developing 'Black Desert Mobile', I felt that we found the type of RPG that we're good at making. With today's FGT (Focus Group Testing), I gained a lot of confidence. I want to hear from the players that "this company makes great games." In addition, I want us to create a valuable and unique IP. Please watch over us without any bias.
When will we see the release of the English version of the game?
Nothing is set in stone yet. But through this FGT, I received a feeling that it won't take too long. However, please take note that we're also working on releasing the game in several other countries, so we won't know for certain exactly how long the process will take. I do believe that it's best to release the content of the game as soon as possible.
▣ Short Interviews With the IGEC Attendees and UCI Students
Over 100 people came and left the Black Desert Mobile booth. By processing the valuable feedback that they've received today, PA is planning to better their game and services before release.
As the leader in English-based worldwide esports media coverage, Inven Global will open the first IGEC-ESPORTS DEEP DIVE for enthusiastic esports fans and related parties at the University of California - Irvine based in California, USA, on May 1st.
Pearl Abyss comes off sounding like they have never developed a game before and view the "American gamer" as some obscure reference to anyone that can recognize a controller. They definitely used the wrong method for forming any sort of concrete decisions with feedback that seems to contradict the large number of existing American players that have already played their Korean version. Why would they think going from a large-scale beta test to a small booth placed in a college would provide them the entire baseline for making decisions? You get the target audience first and work your way out, not find the least familiar person and redesign the entire platform over his feedback.
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