First announced back at G-Star 2019, Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is finally ready for launch… but just in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan for a start. Developer Netmarble also announced a launch month of June 2021 for this mobile MMORPG based on the popular console game IP owned by Japan-based studio, Level-5. Similar to the original settings, this mobile version lets players explore 2 vastly different worlds.
Q&A session with Netmarble development team
Q: In the competitive mobile MMORPG market, what unique selling points do Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds have?
A: The game genre itself is MMORPG, something which Netmarble is really good at crafting. For Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, there are many more community-focused elements which players can interact and enjoy with their friends. In the open world, players can play a dice game with their friends, or start activities such as playing music and more. With these features, we look forward to players organically create community groups.
Since the game’s reveal in 2019, the team has been working hard on improving the game based on player feedback, especially on new content and overall quality. The main aim is for players to feel engaged with various content and prevent early drop-off.
Q: Community features are apparently a core element in Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds. Could you share with us on the team’s philosophy on designing these features?
A: Without a doubt, MMORPG titles are filled with many PVP features. But what we focused on is really the “fun factor.” Players wouldn’t feel the fun through pure fighting, and this “fun” will arrive with players working together, building communities, and feel a sense of belonging. Hence, there is the “Kingdom” system. This allows players to create and maintain their own kingdoms, and other than combat, gives players the freedom to change how it looks. There is also a “Kingdom Defense Battle” mini-game, so please look forward to it!
Q: What difficulties did Netmarble met when developing this title based on the Ni no Kuni IP?
A: There were many hurdles during the initial development phase. It was not easy trying to balance all elements, such as conserving the IP and its origins, the characters, story, adding in MMORPG elements, while also implementing many community features. Eventually, after many internal test plays, we arrived at a version which we were happy with.
Q: How are the 2 games, Ni no Kuni and Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, linked?
A: Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds features a brand new story, with no direct link to the story in Ni no Kuni. While having the same worldview, Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is set far in the future from Ni no Kuni 2. Players will feel the same familiar emotions from the original games. Former characters, locations, monsters and more from Ni no Kuni 2 will be making appearances!
Q: The previous console games all had a proper “ending” to them. How does this translate to Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds?
A: With a different story and genre (MMORPG), there is no “ending” in Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds. We will continue to prepare excellent content for the game!
Q: Why choose South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan as the launch regions?
A: Based on our experience and data analysis with Lineage 2: Revolution, these 3 regions were chosen as the launch pad for Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds. This will allow over 2 million players to play the game at the same time. Note: In the official media event in South Korea, 2022 was mentioned as the launch schedule for the western regions.