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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Subscription
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

Horizons: Ownership Change Interview: Page Two

 

Carolyn Koh:

How are you going to entice old players back to the game and attract new subscribers?

Rick Simmons:

We know that Horizons' reputation has suffered for the last year and the first thing we need to do is rebuild our relationship with players. If we advertise and bring in new customers or previous customers and don't have the support of existing players, we're going to have a hard time getting those people to stay in game. Word of mouth and the support of existing players needs to be the primary way that new and previous people come back to Horizons - once we have that, we can supplement with on-line advertising and special promotions.

Carolyn Koh:

What about the Unity Server? What are you doing for the European players?

Rick Simmons:

We haven't forgotten about Unity players. There should be no doubt that we would like to see Unity players brought over. Three points:

  • From a business perspective, what company wouldn't want to bring in many passionate, dedicated customers who are likely to sign up as long term subscribers? We'd love to have those customers.
  • From a game perspective, Unity players are passionate. It's been a while, but they still haven't given up - some of the players have even posted YouTube videos from Unity days - that's awesome. We'd love to have that intensity and vibrant energy become part of the Order or Chaos shards.
  • From a technical perspective, the process of moving the characters over is similar to a character move, but there's some database issues related to character data and account mappings, and how we transfer those characters over properly.

Bringing over the Unity characters is not a simple thing to do. Like most things of this importance, it's a very serious job that must be done pretty close to perfect. I can only imagine the fallout that would occur if we brought the Unity characters over, but mapped them to the wrong accounts or lost data because of some differences in the way plots are associated to accounts in the Unity database. Even worse, if we put an Ancient Dragon head on top of a petite female Fiend - let's just say we understand the gravity of our work. If we're going to do this, we need to do it right. That will take time while we figure out the best approach (or approaches) and put together a solid plan. When we know what we're going to do and how we're going to do it, we'll be able to talk with players about moving Unity characters to a new home.


Carolyn Koh:

Why "Virtrium?" What does it mean to the founders?

Rick Simmons:

 

"Virtrium was founded in 2006 to support the Evolution technology and provide consulting services based upon the technology and our live product development in the MMO industry."

As a company, we have a lot of hard earned experience, both on the technical side and product development side in making MMO games. The name Virtrium was selected because it sounds like it should be listed on the Periodic Table of Elements (maybe the virtual table of elements). We see ourselves being "Elemental for Virtual Worlds" (our slogan) - and is also why Virtrium is shortened to Vi to suggest that we are a core building block of virtual worlds. The logo has three electron paths colored red, green and blue to symbolize standard RGB colors used in rendering 3D scenes. I know it all sounds very geeky - and it is, but we're not trying to be the coolest kid on the block. We are game developers working with computers to build a fantastic virtual world that allows people from all over the planet to have fun, make friends and create. That's a great thing and we're focused on making that happen in Horizons.

 

 

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