Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Interview: Com2uS

Recently, I reviewed The Chronicles of Inotia: Legends of Feanor, and at the end I mentioned that I’d be contacting Com2uS and asking them some questions about their game. After being published to the iPhone Games Network, here it is, in all its glory. Enjoy:

Prior to developing for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform, Com2us has been active developing and publishing games for traditional cell phone platforms like Java, Symbian, etc. Was the transition a difficult one, or are there separate development teams for each platform?

Com2uS: Yes, the transition has been challenging. It is not easy to develop games across different platforms. It isn’t as simple as just porting the same game from one platform to another. It requires taking advantage of the individual strengths of each platform and its devices. We do have separate development teams for each platform. Though they work on the same games, each team approaches the game in different ways according to the platform and tries to optimize the game to the platform to deliver an original game play experience and more.

How long is the development time for a mobile game? Do you use internal betas or play-testing for your titles?

Com2uS:: It varies depending on technical functions and design features of the game. We do have a quality-assurance team, and they do internal beta tests before every game goes live. We also recently started recruiting open beta-testers for upcoming iPhone games.

Legends of Feanor

Legends of Feanor isn’t the first Chronicles of Inotia game you’ve produced. How many earlier games are in the series, and are there plans to make them available in the App Store?

Com2uS:: The game actually debuted in the Korean market where RPG popularity is one of the highest in the world. So far, there are two games in the series. For App Store users the sequel will be coming on the second half of this year.

Although the core theme and framework of Legend of Feanor were influenced by the mobile series, large portions of the game, including the graphics, animation and control system, were newly designed and adjusted to optimize the game for iPhone.  The same will apply to its sequels. Considering the amount of design changes made, and the considerable development time spent on the Inotia games for iPhone, the games should be regarded separately from the mobile versions.

At the moment, Legends of Feanor is one of the most popular RPGs in the App Store, if not the most popular. When developing the game, is there a clear effort to make something with wide appeal, or do you simply put the game together and hope it does well? How do you determine what will make a successful game?

Com2uS: We try to listen to the users a lot and do our best to implement their suggestions into the game whenever possible.  We are taking the user feedback we’ve received for the first game into account as we develop the next game. We hope these user-centric improvements made to our new title add fun and please our audience. If our audience is satisfied, then the game is bound to be popular.

The game has also had several updates since originally being released last year. Are all of the changes made due to customer feedback, or were there bugs fixes and additional features you’d already planned to incorporate?

Com2uS: Mainly customer feedback. Some updates were based on additional internal QA testing. As I said, we make an effort to listen to feedback in forums, blogs and community sites in order to continuously enhance our games.

Do updates make an impact on sales? If so, how much?

Com2uS: Updates increase customer satisfaction, and often change complainers into praise-givers, which is good for viral marketing. It’s not the updates per se that increase sales, but the enhancements made to the game’s quality that attract a larger audience.

The App Store has a decidedly different approach to sales than what most cell phone providers use. How does that impact your success?

Com2uS: App Store users are typically more familiar with their applications. This is because Apple’s devices are better at presenting their applications. Another good aspect of the App Store is that users can easily access abundant information on the games they are keen on purchasing. In general, prices in the App Store are going down, as CPs are more interested in generating more downloads to gain revenue than keeping the prices up. In the end, the price is up to the CPs to decide. A CP that builds a reputation for high-quality games will be able to generate more downloads even with a higher price. That’s where the market is going.

Apple’s mobile platform is also a bit more robust in terms of hardware than your average cell phone. Does that make coding easier or more complex?

Com2uS: Well, it’s good that the SDK is rather revealing. But in the long run, complexity is not an important issue from the development side and it’s hard to compare various platforms.

Can you tell me about additional features or updates you have planned for the game?

Com2uS: We are reviewing features requested by users and setting up priorities, while the same team is working on the new game as well.

In Korea, Com2us has a Chronicles of Inotia game that is a mobile MMO. Are there any plans to add this capability to Legends of Feanor, or release a new game that is a mobile MMORPG?

Com2uS: Com2uS has an MMO for mobile, but it’s not necessarily the same game. We do hope to introduce an MMORPG for the iPhone; however, that’s all we can say at this time.

Though it’s been on sale recently for $4.99, Legends of Feanor is regularly priced at $7.99, which is on the high side for games in the App Store. How do you justify that price to consumers who haven’t played the game?

Com2uS: A wide range of content, many hours of gameplay, high-quality graphics, intimate customer service and quality maintenance make Legends of Feanor worth the price.

Com2us offers a wide variety of games in the App Store, from a cooking game to a zombie-infested action/horror hybrid. Can you tell me anything about future releases?

Com2uS: We launched a real baseball game, 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2009, 1 – 2 weeks ago. Another baseball game, more specifically a home-run derby game, Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D, and a rhythm action music game, World of Tunes, will be released at the end of this week, and there are more games coming this year.

Are you building on the success of current titles by creating sequels, or branching out and widening your offerings with new IP?

Com2uS: We are mostly working on new IP games; however, we’ve received so many requests for sequels to games such as Chronicles of Inotia: Legend of Feanor that we feel we need to deliver additional games within some of our existing IP as well.

So there you have it. Expect sequels to Legends of Feanor, some MMO capabilities in their upcoming games, etc. My contact there also mentioned that they would be at WWDC this June, where I’m willing to be they’ll be announcing more games for the second half of 2009.


May 6, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming, Interview | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Originally posted here: Interview: Com2uS « Tech + Lifestyle: Enhance Your World […]

    Pingback by Interview: Com2uS « Tech + Lifestyle: Enhance Your World | My Funny Phone - All about mobile phones | May 6, 2009 | Reply

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