NDOORS CEO on Atlantica Online succeeding in the West
Massively multiplayer online games operating on the free-to-play business model are definitely a mixed bag in terms of quality. As such, they get a mixed reception in the West. Those who like more variety in their gameplay choices than the standard subscription model offers them tend to be more open to alternative business models. Staunch supporters of the AAA subscription model typical of the industry in Western markets have some serious misgivings about what the new crop of free-to-play titles could mean for the industry climate.
NDOORS Interactive hopes to change some of these perceptions with Atlantica Online, their strategic turn-based MMORPG. Danny "Ralsu" Gourley from Ten Ton Hammer interviewed NDOORS Interactive CEO Peter Kang about Atlantica Online and how it fits into the industry climate in the West.
Kang's responses touched upon how NDOORS Interactive had more players joining the game than expected at launch, the systems in place to hinder gold spam, and their motivations for encouraging more grouping among players. Noteworthy is mention of the Satisfaction Guarantee in Atlantica Online, where players dissatisfied with the game upon reaching 'the halfway point', or Level 50, can sell their character to NDOORS for $20. While Kang may not convince many gamers that item malls are truly a replacement for subscription fees, the interview is certainly worth a read to get a different perspective on what some game companies are doing to counter the stigma that is F2P.