At this year’s PAX East, Firefall (official website) can be said to be one of the most anticipated MMO globally, together with ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2. The game is being developed by various industry veterans, costs up to a tune of USD 60million and 5years and one of the rarer open world multi-player online shooter in the industry. This time round, one of China’s top gaming website, 17173.com, managed to grab an interview with Red 5 Studios’ CEO, Mr Mark Kern and also try the game out. Please ignore the music in the video below, it is to muff out the noise at the convention.
Q: How is the plan for Firefall’s beta testing phase going for North America and Europe? Which business model will the game be using?
Firefall will enter the beta testing phase (edit: to be clearer, Open Beta testing…) near the end of the year, with the game currently still in internal testing. Firefall will be using the Free to Play (F2P) business model.
Q: How complete is the game currently?
From a technical point of view, it is currently 90% complete. What is left now is to add in content to buff the game up.
Q: What is the main selling point of Firefall? How many players can each map hold in PvP?
The main selling point of Firefall will be placing the concept of online shooter into an open, persistent world without opening game rooms like other shooters. Maps can hold up to hundreds of players for PvE and PvP, but here (PAX East), we will only have a 5 Vs 5 demo for attendees to try out.
Q: How about plans for the game to be released in China?
China is a very important market for us. Once the game has been released in North America and Europe, we will immediately focus on the region. There is no fixed schedule yet.
Q: Do you think Firefall will be a hit in China, seeing that classics like Counterstrike is still very popular?
Of course we are confident of the game being successful in China. We have added much content, including quest system, a co-operative PvE system and more which will no doubt attract the Chinese players.
Q: In China, the average computer system is still not able to play high end games. What kind of a system is needed to play Firefall?
We have not gone into specific system requirement details at this point of time, but we will be doing alot of research about the China users’ average system and scale the game accordingly without compromising the quality.
Q: Any final words for the players in China?
Red 5 Studios has just opened it office in China, and I look forward to bringing success to the game in the region. I myself is of Chinese origin (now that’s new), thus having a special relationship to the people here.
Below is a photo of the reporter with The9’s head honcho, Mr Zhu Jun, who ranted recently about not knowing much about Firefall *giggles*. There are a few bigger English gaming websites covering the preview of the demo, so I shan’t translate it.
A small snippet from The9’s vice-CEO, Mr Tony Park. On his Chinese version of “Twitter”, he stated that he had a go at the Firefall demo. He commented that in most games, PvP is almost near instant kill. However, in Firefall, players go into a “immobile” mode when HP is decreased to zero, with an option for teammates using 5 seconds to revive you. An enemy can also use the same amount of time to click on a “dead” opposition to initiate a “total death” once the time is up. During those 5 seconds of activation, the enemy cannot move or defend as well.
And yes, Mr Tony Park is on a plane back to Shanghai as I type. He is in a rush to prepare for The9’s next game, which is to be released in China by this year.. It is a an oriental themed MMORPG if you are curious. Here’s a photo of the 2 bigwigs from The9. Yes, I stalk them on their “Twitter”… Muahahaha.