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E3 Look Forward

By Jon Wood on May 11, 2006 | Previews | Comments

E3 Look Forward
DOFUS expands and Jon Wood gets the scoop

Today, I sat down with Thomas Bahon, the Director of Products for Ankama Games, the company responsible for the 2D MMORPG, Dofus.

For readers who may not be aware, Dofus is a Flash-based MMORPG, two dimensional of course, that is billed as “a heroic fantasy world and a highly colored 2D design.” They also see the game as “both a role-playing game and an interactive cartoon”. Looking at the game, that seems to be the case. Created in an anime-style, the game lends itself well to its 2D Flash production.

The game has a scheduled extension coming in July of this year. The extension is interestingly named “Riders of the DragonTurkey”, and will focus on adding mounts to the game. Given the name of the extension, I wouldn’t expect to see too many of the standard fantasy mounts. With this extension, along with the mounts, they are also going to be adding new quests and new jobs to reflect the addition. One job, for example, would see players raising the mounts.

They are calling this addition an extension rather than an expansion for one simple reason. It’s totally free. The only cost involved comes in the form of the game’s $6.90 USD monthly subscription cost. A low price by industry standards.

Recently, Ankama announced that their subscriber numbers had reached nearly 1,000,000. When I asked Thomas about that, he said that the bulk of their numbers come from French-speaking countries. The game, which was originally created in French, has since moved into an English version, which they consider to be a little more international. Their short-term plans include a more aggressive campaign in the United States in particular. The plans don’t stop there, however, as

In the future, the company is looking to move into even more markets, in even more languages. From what Thomas told us, they are going to be localizing the game next into German, and then into Spanish. They are also looking to eventually move themselves into the Asian market as well.

When we started talking about these moves into new languages, the conversation naturally moved itself into the logistics of localizing a game. Despite what some people may think, the process requires more than just translating the direct words. Dofus, says Thomas, is a game that includes a good amount of humor. Direct translations can’t always convey that properly without a great deal of care and a very talented localizer.

I would like to thank Thomas and Ankama for taking the time to sit down with us today from the France Pavilion at E3.

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