Massively: So first of all, how did your second free weekend for Champions Online go on Cryptic's end?
Bill Roper: Very well! We had a lot of people come in and play the game, especially considering it was a holiday weekend with a lot of other noise out there in the online and retail space. We saw both new and returning players, and a good number of those started or re-upped their subscriptions based on how far the game has come in the past 3 months.
How would you say the community has reacted to the update and free weekend?
We've received great reviews and praise from our players for encouraging more gamers to get into Champions Online through these types of promotions. We're really proud of what we have, and we want to be able to expose it to more and more gamers around the world. Things like free weekends really help get the word out about the game.
In what ways do you feel Nemesis Confrontation strengthens Champions Online?
It is focused on supporting our players that want more for both end-game content and play that centers on groups. Using the Nemesis system as a catalyst for this, we also allow players to share their villainous creations with each other and bring a new random twist into the Lair structure. Nemesis Confrontation is the first step in us combing existent game systems with new technology to create compelling new content and challenges.
Will smaller, more frequent updates be the norm for Champions or will future updates require a few months of development time but add considerable new content?
We're really doing both. We like having something always around the next bend for our players to look forward to, but we're also putting more time into some bigger updates that you'll see in 2010.
Where is the majority of the team's focus post Confrontation; any hints at what's in store for the holidays?
In December, we're going to be launching an event that takes advantage of new technology that allows players of any level to fight side-by-side against a common enemy. This is huge because it allows us to balance an encounter for a number of heroes regardless of their level. The event will be based around traditional winter holidays and has some until now, unseen rewards that should really have players smiling and enjoying the season.
Thanks so much for your time!