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MOLI Co.,Ltd
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 03/23/08)  | Pub:IGG
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Tales of Pirates Interviews: IGG.com Three Year Anniversary Interview

By Jon Wood on June 10, 2009

MMORPG.com:

IGG is celebrating its third anniversary, can you tell us a little bit about how the company started?

Kevin Xu:

IGG was started in 2006, by the so called, the Three Musketeers of IGG. Duke Cai (CEO), Kevin Xu (COO) and Edmond Chi (CTO). Duke used to be the former CEO of 17173.com The largest game information site in China. Kevin was a Nano-technology scientist, and Edmond was former VP at NetDragon.

When we first started, we only had one game and a few employees. Yet we still structured the company to be an International MMORPG Publisher/Operator/Developer. It took us almost a year to finalize our data center infrastructure and payment processors. Afterwards, we launched two games in 2007 and 5 in 2008. On the game development side, we spend the first year and half developing our 3D game engine. Using this engine, we later build Godswar Online.

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MMORPG.com:

What sets IGG apart from other F2P companies currently in the market?

Kevin Xu:

Well, the greatest difference would be SERVICE, starting from day one, we understand that running MMORPGs is not simply just publishing the games, but also, operating them; providing the players with first class service, that is a labor intensive task. At IGG, for every 500 Peak Concurrent Online users, we staff one customer service personnel. For beginners, we provide them with 24x7 live support. For old players, we have VIP services customized to meet all their requirements. We currently have 550 employees, a majority of them are Game Masters, Customer Support and Community Managers.

MMORPG.com:

IGG has a diverse portfolio of F2P MMOs currently released in North America. Which of these has proven the most popular, and why?

Kevin Xu:

IGG do have a diversified portfolio, luckily North American players have a great appetite for different types of games. Tales of Pirates is currently the best performing game, mostly due to its cartoon style and pirate adventure storyline. Also, the two recent launch, Freesky Online and 2029 Online, is gaining a lot of traction, likely to catch up with Tales of Pirates in performance.

MMORPG.com:

Can you tell us a little bit about the localization process that IGG games go through before being brought to the North American market?

Kevin Xu:

Operating games globally, the key to success is to minimize culture difference. IGG has a 30 people localization team, whose key task is to neutralize some of the culture intensive designs within the game, and convert them into something that can be easily blended into different cultures.

MMORPG.com:

How has IGG grown and changed as a company over the last three years?

Kevin Xu:

In the past three years, our portfolio increased to 12 MMORPGs, with additional 6 more games in our launching pipeline, and 7 more games in our development pipeline. Our staff grew from 5 people to now 550 people.

IGG have acquired three development studios in the past two years, and the first few self-developed games, such as Godswar Online, Galaxy Online and Dreamland Online have already hit the market.

MMORPG.com:

What can we expect from IGG over the next three years?

Kevin Xu:

Over the next three years, we will continue on bring you more and more top of the line games from developers all over the world. Also, you will see more and more IGG self-developed games and co-developed games launching on IGG portal. These games will be solely designed for the North American players. We are planning to launch at least 12 games every year.

MMORPG.com:

What do you believe is the future of the Free to Play market in North America?

Kevin Xu:

We strongly believe that Free to Play MMORPGs will gradually take over the game market. Places like China and Korea, Free to Play MMORPGs are already dominating the market. With the advance in Graphics Chip design and 3D game design, the game visual and game play quality of these MMOs will soon catch up with other PC or Console games.

MMORPG.com:

Why, in your opinion, is the microtransaction-based MMO business model referred to as Free 2 play when the games do, in fact, cost money?

Kevin Xu:

When we say the game is FREE, sure you can download it for free and play it for free. The games are designed in a balanced way so that given you have sufficient time; you may not need to spend any money on the game. However, if you do have to work and time is of great importance to you, then spending some money to match other players pace may become necessary.

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