This week we bring you an interview with ChangYou (EU) Marketing Director Mirko Gozzo which hopefully bring you a step closer to the behind the scenes of TLBB!
1. What was the reason behind naming this game ‘TLBB’ and do you think it’s a good marketing decision for the target audience in Europe?
In China, the book this game was based on is called Ti?n Lóng B? Bù– Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils - a famous martial arts novel written by a well respected writer called Louis Cha. The book later spawned into several movies and television series and is a well-known story amongst Chinese communities. We believe that the storyline behind TLBB is so strong and genuine, that we shouldn’t shy away from anything other than authenticity and so we decided to keep the original name.
2. What type of game is TLBB?
TLBB is a 3D, martial arts MMO game with lots of fantastic features for all to enjoy. Its easy-to-use interface and navigation system is tested daily by millions of players and with over 100 pets and 70 mounts available, players have a wide variety of choices to suit them. This beautifully rendered ancient Chinese world is depicted both from the book and historical Chinese culture; therefore players can enjoy lots of different scenes along their journey as well as the well thought out battle scenarios that have been developed. Players will be able to enjoy a unique storyline as well as an addictive MMO.
3. Why did you decide to license a smaller game client with graphics that aren’t as strong as some of the other modern day MMO’s?
Many factors are taken into consideration when developing game content including graphics and performance on “average” computers. Imagine a game that has fantastic graphics and the deepest PVP system that allows more than 5,000 players to fight in one area; this game would probably only be played by a very small audience who can afford a high level-spec PC. When TLBB was developed, we wanted to allow as many people as possible be part of the game experience. Developments are being made for future projects and we’re extremely excited about what’s in store.
4. Is TLBB out in Europe?
Yes. TLBB is currently in the Open Beta phase in Europe and has had incredible feedback since the launch in April 2010. Gamers should be aware however, that they will only be able to play the European version IN Europe. Players can find out more here.
5. How many TLBB players are there in Asia?
The user base of our games has been growing steadily with aggregate peak concurrent users (“PCU”) for all of our games in operations, reaching a total of 990,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
6. Why is TLBB so popular in Asia?
TLBB has a very loyal following throughout Asia; our PCU figure alone is testament to that. Since the release of TLBB, ChangYou has strived to develop the game further and has seen a positive effect among communities. Derived from the famous novel by Louis Cha, TLBB (Tian Long Ba Bu) brings about a phenomenal storyline that the public love. Not only does the game represent a journey for players, but its beautifully adapted landscapes, characters and features have helped TLBB become one of the top games in China. The game also offers a large and friendly community within TLBB which bodes well among players and, more importantly, has excelled in the market as an addictive MMORPG for its game-play.
7. When is the game being released?
In the EU, we have recently launched the Open Beta version and have lined up some exciting in-game events and giveaways for the upcoming months. TLBB started its Open Beta phase in China in May 2007 and now ranks as one of the Top 3 MMO games there, winning various awards for its popularity and quality. In the US, the game was released last year and an improved and modified version is now available for the European market. Players can enjoy a number of special prizes up for grabs. To find out more, click here.
8. How much does TLBB cost to play?
It’s a free to play MMO with micro transactions inside the game. We want all players to have the chance to enjoy TLBB and get a taste of its playability.
9. What are ChangYou’s long-term ambitions in Europe?
In recent months, we’ve been working hard on the launch of TLBB and have reaped the rewards since the Open Beta kicked off in April 2010. Players have taken to it in a positive way which is a good sign for the game. However, TLBB will not be the only project we launch in Europe. There are a number of plans in place for future titles to be published by ChangYou EU and so we’re looking forward to a bright year ahead of us. The focus will now be to maintain the success of TLBB and build on the interest for our players inside Europe.
10. How big is the ChangYou (EU) Team?
Our company is growing quickly and we’re very excited about the future prospects of the European subsidiary. Based in London, the team is close to 20 strong and counting. We love hearing from candidates who could potentially bring something extra to the team so all enquiries are welcome. For more details about jobs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. How will ChangYou make money out of F2P TLBB?
We have a secure payment method within the game and an in-game online shop that can be visited by players. The gifts & items on offer vary and we have a fantastic selection for gamers to choose from. The F2P element of TLBB is something, we feel, should be standard for players as we’d like this to be a long-term benefit for them.
12. How often do you host in-game events?
TLBB hosts in-game events around the clock. It’s one of the things that players enjoy on a regular basis. All our events are unique and cater for the European market. To view all current and past events, you can visit the events page of TLBB.