Obsidian's Fruitful Partnership with My.com
My.com and its parent company Mail.ru are quickly becoming a powerhouse in both publishing and developing new games for the worldwide market. Once mainly centered in Russia, the organization is looking to expand into North American and European markets, a fact that its partnership with California’s Obsidian Entertainment bears witness to.
Since 2013, My.com has produced a number of games with over 100 million players taking part around the world. Games are considered to be free to play and free to use with absolutely no money up front. Development is spread across all types and genres from casual mobile games to AAA million-dollar plus PC-only titles, most notably Skyforge and Armored Warfare.
Skyforge – Updates in the Pipeline
There was no provided opportunity to see Skyforge’s updates in progress (via demo or test server etc.), there was a great presentation giving some of the game’s statistics since launching into open beta this past summer, some of which are:
- Over a million immortals have been created
- Over 12,000 pantheons have been formed
- The most played class: Paladin
- The least played class: Monk
- 2,915,292,830 enemies have been killed in PvE
- 499,126 PvP battles have been started
Developers aren’t resting on their laurels with regard to Skyforge, but have two significant updates coming yet this year and several more in the pipeline for 2016. Players can look forward to rated PvP with tournaments, Pantheon academies for low-level characters (think Pantheon training), avatar fights, territory wars, new classes, new zones and missions, and, according to the presentation, “much, much more”.
Armored Warfare – Rumbling into the Future
For those who do not know, Armored Warfare is a game that stands in direct competition with Wargaming’s World of Tanks, but a game that is more focused on modern technology and vehicles. In addition, Armored Warfare features a robust PvE game as well as a competitive 15v15 component.
It is exactly the PvE component that caught my attention from the standpoint that it is something vastly different. Obsidian, no stranger to some of the finest RPGs on the market today, is dedicated to bringing some of those elements into what many would call a lobby-based shooter. The future holds such standard fare as story arcs; fleshed-out NPCs with their own motives and lore to share; conversation and interaction with characters that drive progression throughout the game; factions and reputation gains that can lead to titles and exclusive machinery; even a type of housing in the Base mechanic; and more. All of these combine to make Armored Warfare much more approachable to the traditionally RPG or MMO-focused player. This in mind, I had the opportunity to chat with Obsidian’s Josh Morris about this particular aspect of Armored Warfare.
“PvE is designed to give players a way to get into Armored Warfare without the prejudice that can sometimes come with jumping straight into a heavily competitive game. Players are working cooperatively towards a specific set of objectives, something not all that different than a traditional MMO’s dungeon experience.”
When asked if the potential exists for a type of raid for players, Morris responded that it is certainly something the team has discussed and is part of the forward look for the game, though right now the focus remains on creating the best possible core game play experience. Integral to that goal is community input, something Obsidian and My.com are committed to hearing in order to drive game improvements and future development. In fact, several key game components were altered as a direct result of player feedback: The reduction of ammo and repair costs for high tier vehicles; increased base rewards; and increased PvE reputation and credits rewards. In addition, Operation: Reactor was added, the game’s largest map to date.
The team isn’t finished either. The upcoming months promise more additions and improvements too. Just rounding out 2015, players can expect:
- Coastal Thread, a new PvP map
- Operation: Cerberus and Operation: Albatros, new PvE maps
- Custom matches
- Observer mode
- Battle-hardened tanks
- Eight tier-9 vehicles
Also in development for 2016:
- An enhanced narrative experience
- Loot system
- Base 2.0
- End-game competition
All in all, Obsidian’s partnership with My.com has been a fruitful one and one that is bringing new thoughts to existing game spaces. While no new games were announced during the event, it is clear that there is much more to come, both in terms of Skyforge and Armored Warfare, and potentially for new IPs as well.