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David Reid sets the record straight on NC West: Part 3

Adrian Bott

Dungeon Runners

Now when you're talking about stepping more in the direction of the triple-A titles, that sort of implies that you're getting away from some of the smaller games that you guys have been working on in the past. We know that the Dungeon Runners team is experiencing some changes – can you talk specifically about that game, and what's going to be happening with those folks?

David Reid:
Even before the NC West announcement, the Dungeon Runners team went through some changes. You're probably referring to the announcement of the reduction we had of about 21 people, several weeks before the announcement of NC West, and Dungeon Runners was part of that. And that was about the fact that – yes, we like Dungeon Runners as a service, but there was a decision not to port that product on to other platforms but to keep the game intact as it is right now on the PC platform.

There were a number of other projects that had not been announced that were part of that, and they too were what we'll call lighter and smaller MMO fare, rather than triple-A types of products. Beyond that, Dungeon Runners is as healthy as it's ever been, and is still a vibrant part of the NCsoft portfolio. It's just that it's a different sort of business, and one that is a very successful kind of business overall, it's just not where NCsoft is going to continue investing its product development publishing resources, going forward.

Massively: So it would be fair to say that people who enjoy Dungeon Runners shouldn't expect it to go anywhere, but as far as a ton of new content in the future... that would probably not be the direction that the company would be going in for that product?

David Reid:
I'd clarify that answer just a bit. We were thinking seriously about 'should we bring Dungeon Runners to other, alternative platforms?' And that's what a large amount of that team was working on, and other parts of NCsoft. That decision has been: no, we're not going to. I wouldn't read into that anything about the amount of content that the Dungeon Runners team is going to be making on a regular basis. That will continue to go forward.

Console Ports

You mentioned porting to other platforms a couple of times now. We think it's a little more than a year ago at this point that you announced you had that agreement with Sony to think about doing some stuff for the PS3. We haven't really seen that so far. Is that part of this announcement, sort of refocusing NC West on getting some of Ncsoft's more stable games over to the Playstation 3?

David Reid:
Yeah... I can tell you that we do think console development is an incredibly important part of our future. We do think that, you know, you look at companies like... NCsoft today is a PC only company, and we've seen what's happened with some of these formerly PC only (or predominantly PC) companies who have successfully brought their properties to the console.

As a gamer myself, I take a lot of inspiration from what the Tom Clancy series did for UbiSoft, or what Morrowind as a shifted Xbox and PC title did for Bethesda. And we believe that there is a transition like that that NCsoft can have, by taking some of its triple-A properties, and making a great triple-A MMO that works on the console.

"As a gamer myself, I take a lot of inspiration from what the Tom Clancy series did for UbiSoft, or what Morrowind as a shifted Xbox and PC title did for Bethesda."

So yeah, it is true. You can't do everything all the time, and at some level we recognise that the best prize for NCsoft to be focused on is the triple-A space, and that's on the PC platform and on the console platform. But beyond that, I don't have an announcement that I can make for you at this time!

Not a problem. We just wanted to clarify, because it seems like a natural progression from where you guys are talking about with triple-A titles being your focus.

David Reid: We passionately agree. Absolutely.

We really appreciate you guys' time. We know that the readers have been... we guess the best word is confused, because as we said, it sort of came out of nowhere. And we're glad we had the chance to talk!

David Reid:
You bet! Well, at the end of the day, I hope that for folks who are fans of these giant triple-A games, these big investments in the MMO space with high production quality, there should be no confusion: this is good news for that game. We are going to get back to doing this all day, every day, in a world class way. The lighter side of the business, the free-to-plays and things like that, those are great businesses, but there will be other companies who will be delivering that form. It won't be NCsoft so much, going forward.

Read what David Reid had to say on Tabula Rasa and Guild Wars.

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