Making a successful MMORPG is one of the hardest things a developer can set out to do in this industry. This is a genre that requires a great deal of time investment, consistent and solid updates and new content additions, and stiff competition from some giants of the genre that have become institutions in and of itself. Bluehole and Kakao Games’ upcoming Elyon is looking to take on that challenge that, and with a fast-paced combat system, large-scale realm vs realm battles, and a foundation to build off of thanks to its Korean launch, it seems well-positioned to get off to a steady start. We recently reached out to the people behind the game to learn more about it. You can read our conversation with Jim Lacorte (Project Manager, Kakao Games Europe) and Sunwook Kim (Director, Bluehole) below.
"We actually received a lot more survey responses than we were originally anticipating – it was a lot of feedback to go through for sure, but the overall sentiment was very positive."
How was the response from players in the game’s closed beta players?
Jim Lacorte, Project Manager, Kakao Games Europe: We actually received a lot more survey responses than we were originally anticipating – it was a lot of feedback to go through for sure, but the overall sentiment was very positive. The most mentioned topic was the cash shop, and we’ll be making a standalone post regarding paid products in the upcoming weeks. Looking forward to hearing your feedback.
What are your plans for additional beta periods before the game’s full western launch?
Lacorte: We are currently preparing a second Closed Beta Test set to run for a few days in mid-August. After CBT2, the next milestone is full release!
Elyon has been out in Korea for some months. Has feedback from your existing playerbase led to any changes that you’re making in the lead-up to the game’s western launch?
Lacorte: The short answer is yes, though it’s a bit more complicated than that. We’re absolutely making changes in certain parts of the game for the EUNA version, but at the same time our goal is to operate on a global build. Elyon’s content management system supports regional feature toggling which allows us to achieve both these goals – you can therefore expect major changes like class balancing and content updates at a pace close to Korea (once we’ve eventually caught up), while EUNA-specific changes are done on a per-content basis.
"We are currently preparing a second Closed Beta Test set to run for a few days in mid-August. After CBT2, the next milestone is full release."
The MMORPG space is tough to break into, especially given how many live games players have these days to pull their attention. What can you tell us about how Elyon sets itself apart from the crowd?
Sunwook Kim, Director, Bluehole: We believe the biggest strength and the most differentiating factor in Elyon is its active combat system. We are confident that players won’t be able to experience anything similar in other games.
How much of an impact does the choice between the Ontari and the Vulpin make?
Kim: The biggest difference is the direction of the story, but there is no big impact in your gameplay experience.
What can you tell us about Realm vs Realm battles in the game? What should players expect from these in terms of scale?
Kim: Our goal is not only focused in the scale of the content, but to provide an immersive RvR gameplay experience with a clear goal to win.
Once Elyon is out, what sort of cadence of post-launch players can players expect?
Kim: We don’t have any specific expectations as realistically speaking, we know there’s a lot of room for improvement. We will keep putting a lot of effort to make Elyon become a better game.
"We believe the biggest strength and the most differentiating factor in Elyon is its active combat system. We are confident that players won’t be able to experience anything similar in other games."
Do you have any plans to release Elyon on next-gen consoles?
Kim: No, we currently have no plans to release Elyon on next-gen consoles.