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Richard Garriott on cross cultural (Asian/Western) mmos

The ever popular man behind Ultima and Ultima Online, Richard Garriott, met up with Next-Gen.biz to talk about the difficulties and complexities in marketing and moving games from one cultural hemisphere to another. Many of you might already know that games that are vastly popular in the Asian market such as Lineage 2 receives little to no big name recognition in the western part of the world.

The reasons for that are many, as Garriott explains. The following excerpt is from the Next-Gen.Biz article:

Garriott says there are already signs of cross-pollination. “Ideas are merging over time. For example, when we first met the NCSoft folks and they had no interest in 3D and were completely against first-person. Everything had to be ‘click on the ground and walk to that spot’ because they said all Asian players wanted to just play with one hand while they smoked with the other, or had their arm around their girlfriend.

“It also had to be PvP pretty much entirely. They didn’t give a flip about PvE or story content. That was very different from the games that were being developed in the United States, so originally there were seen as very little opportunity to even try to overlap.

“Since then 3D shooters are becoming more popular in Asia, and they have started to care more about PvE content. Conversely, we have looked over to Asia and have learned that they do PvP better than we generally do in the United States. Players in the United States are starting to notice that and pick up on it and developers are starting to refine their skills in PvP. So over time - say another ten years - and I think that just like the US and Europe have found common ground I suspect Asia and the West will too.”

The entire article touches on some very interesting areas of game deployment and what is needed to be a big international hit. Garriott also makes sure to point out that games such as World of Warcraft who have managed to hit home in both markets not necessarily are the rule by which other MMOs should follow. To read the full article, click the link below:

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