Yesterday marked the kickoff of Beijing's tenth annual Internet Culture Festival, bringing together net users and especially gaming fans from across the country to meet each other, play some games, learn about other games, gawk at cosplayers, laugh about internet memes, and sometimes do those last two things at the same time.
Tencent Games has been talking to a lot of gaming luminaries at the conference, including Zhao Jianfeng, the lead strategist behind Giant Interactive's internet free-to-play role-playing smash-hit Long Journey 2.
Zhao told reporters that the dev team continues to work on balancing the game to ensure that the non-paying players, who he calls "a cornerstone of the game's environment" aren't left in the dust by those who do choose to pay for things like equipment and weapons. While this might seem like common sense, many free-to-play web games in China are designed to be quite mercenary, rewarding players to who pull out their pocketbooks and punishing -- or just boring -- those who don't. The fact that the Long Journey 2 dev team shares a common "faith" (as Zhao puts it) in the idea of balance may go a long way towards explaining why the Long Journey games are so massively popular.
But Zhao also offered some answers of his own as to why Long Journey has been successful, so Chinese game devs, listen up. Zhao pointed to three factors that have made the series good. First, he says that Giant's corporate culture and policy of hiring gamers has led to an atmosphere where everybody wants to make good games first and foremost. Second, he pointed out that the core dev team of Long Journey 2 had a lot of experience, and more than a few setbacks and failures in their past. Finally, he stressed that listening to and responding to player feedback is crucial and needs to be an ongoing process for this kind of game.
For those interested in the game's future, Zhao said that the team is continuing to work on it and will release a new version with additional content at some point in the future.
[via QQ Games]