Earlier today, various Korean gaming websites posted interview articles with Jake Song, the prodigy who was part of the original Lineage team and went on to create games such as ArcheAge and Moonlight Sculptor under XLGAMES. The big reveal was ArcheAge 2, which is now being crafted using Unreal Engine 5. Jake Song has met with obstacles throughout his journey in game development, and the recent investment by Kakao Games really enabled XLGAMES to remain financially stable and plan big for the future. Seen below are some key points translated (and re-phrased) from the interview. Are you excited about ArcheAge 2?
1. While Unreal Engine 5 has been confirmed, it is definitely still the early development phase for ArcheAge 2. The team at XLGAMES is in the midst of developing prototypes, discussing key features and testing basic gameplay
2. There are about 40 to 50 staff working on ArcheAge 2 now, and the aim is to have a shorter development to launch time than the original ArcheAge. The number of staff will gradually increase.
3. The key design principle behind ArcheAge was “freedom,” and it will continue to be an “inseparable” symbol under the ArcheAge brand. The team will also focus more on elements which gamers want and core content while subsequently refining them.
4. Jake Song admitted that during the development of ArcheAge, he was “greedy” and tried to satisfy all types of gamers. As a result, the development time took much longer than expected which snowballed over to live development as well once the game launched. hence, many processes and tasks piled up by being too ambitious.
5. Jake Song also reflected that “countless and quantitative” features are not what players want, but content with “density” and “completeness.” Therefore, the mantra for ArcheAge 2 is to focus on the core content and improve them rather than just keep adding new features. He understand that the many features of ArcheAge are what draws some players in as well, hence ArcheAge 2 will still have enough to satisfy them.
6. He also noted that ArcheAge has been in service for years, which caused many game functions and elements to be irrelevant. The team tried to make some changes, but were unable to due to the sales/revenue mechanic. Hence, the power gap between existing and new users continued to widen leading to a severe imbalance in player power.
7. Overall, there is a desire for Jake Song to learn from the development of ArcheAge and to make a truly refined PC MMORPG in the form of ArcheAge 2. There is also less financial stress after the major investment from Kakao Games.
8. ArcheAge 2 will have a variety of elements beyond ArcheAge’s experience, from housing, to sea warfare, to cars and ships with physics simulation, but it is still a little too early to give specific explanations.
9. Jake Song was also very happy that more than half the total sales of ArcheAge came from the North America and Europe servers. According to him, ArcheAge also has the highest Metacritic score amongst Korean-developed MMORPG titles. A major positive is the fact that the team got to understand the culture and ecology of gamers in each region.
10. ArcheAge 2 will share the same worldview as the original ArcheAge, but takes place in a different time in a parallel dimension. The lore will be written by Jeon Min-hee, who also created the story of the original ArcheAge.
11. More details on ArchAge 2 will be provided in the first half of 2021.