How about an anniversary interview? We had the chance to sit down with the Lineage II team and ask some questions about the last five years with the game. What were their biggest challenges? Will there be a Lineage III? Follow along after the cut below to find out more!
Massively: First of all, congratulations on reaching the 5-year milestone for Lineage II. What has been the biggest challenge so far with keeping the game going this long?
Lineage II Devs: Thanks! This is a great milestone for us. I'm not sure this would be considered the biggest challenge of the last 5 years, but most recently our biggest challenge has been transitioning to our headquarters in Seattle while keeping game operations seamless. We've had team members transitioning to different roles and moving to Seattle on different schedules, so that has been a challenge given the amount of work involved in getting the latest update, Gracia Final, out to the players. I think we were all able to adapt to our new routines and overcome the obstacles quite well. In the end, we were able to provide a very large, fantastic update to our fans in the process.
Historically, MMO sequels haven't been as successful as their originals. Have you found this to be the case with Lineage II, or is it an exception to the rule?
I think this can be considered an exception. While the original Lineage is by far the largest MMO worldwide, with
regular concurrencies in the Eastern markets well into the hundreds of thousands, Lineage II is greatly successful as well. Lineage was a "hard act to follow" but Lineage II has similar concurrencies in the East and a customer reach more than 19 million worldwide – it is a success story in its own right.
Do you think part of Lineage II's success stems from the fact that it's a prequel, and people tend to find more interest in their (or their character's) origins?
The Lineage franchise has a very deep backstory, and I think that helps a lot with its success. With two MMOs using the same storyline, players experience rich lore which spans from one generation (Lineage I) to the next generation (Lineage II). A player can feel much more connected to their character if there is a unique and compelling story behind it, and the Lineage franchise definitely provides that.
How has the development team changed in the last 5 years since launch?
The team we have here in North America have actually been involved with the product for years. I have personally been involved with the Lineage II team in some capacity for over 5 years. I joined the team a few months prior to launch and have worked on a few different teams within the company, but have always been involved with Lineage II. We also have a new Assistant Producer joining the team. Marissa McWaters has been with NCsoft for three and a half years and has been working specifically on the Lineage II QA Team since 2007. As with any team working on a long term MMO, we have evolved, but we have seasoned veterans who have been a part of Lineage II for many years.
Lineage II's core playerbase seems to center within Asia. Are there any upcoming promotions targeting North American players, specifically?
Right now we've got two exclusive promotions that are happening in conjunction with the Lineage II 5th anniversary and the launch of the biggest Lineage II expansion to date, Gracia Final, which just went live on the 28th.
First, we were so excited about the new expansion that we reactivated the inactive accounts in good standing, for the next two weeks so people who used to play and haven't for a while can check out the changes to the game. Second, we're offering a great one-time money saving opportunity for players who sign up for six or twelve months during the Lineage II 5th anniversary promotion. The best part about the Lineage II 5th anniversary promotion is that if you're already a subscriber you can still enjoy the great savings, since the subscription time and bonus time will be added on top of your current subscription plan. The details are here.
Looking towards the future, we've got some other great ways to give back to our North American and European players which we'll reveal more details about once we're closer to those dates. For now, check out http://www.Lineage2.com for more details on our current promotions and the most recent expansion Gracia Final.
Can you tell us what the next 5 years has in store for Lineage II? Perhaps a Lineage III?
Obviously there are many great things coming to Lineage II that I can't divulge just yet. I will say that the reduced leveling curve that players have overwhelmingly praised as a great addition to the game will continue to impress them. My hopes for the next five years are to share this world that our team loves with many new faces and that Lineage II continues to be a favorite amongst our current players. We have a fantastic, dedicated community and we plan to continue giving them great game experiences for the years to come.
Thank you for your time.