Com2uS’ “Summoners War: Sky Arena” is considered as one of the leading mobile games in Korea.
Summoners War recently reached 1,000 days of global service and is the only game developed by a Korean company that occupies the top ranking of all continents including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.
Now, Summoners War is preparing to leap higher with the newly added real-time PvP, “World Arena”.
Com2uS has been gathering various opinions from users via the test period and is now expecting to satisfy the users with World Arena.
I met and interviewed the director of the game production division of Com2us, Min-Young, Jung.
Congratulations on 1,000 days of global service!
Thank you. I’d like to thank our users first for their loves and supports. It’s the best thing that can ever happen to a mobile game developer. To be able to service a game for this long, you know (laughs). It’s almost 3 years since we first started servicing Summoners War and we’ll continue to try our best to provide the users with better gaming experience.
What do you think is the reason for the success of Summoners War?
Summoners War is a classic RPG game. We could easily change the classic elements of RPG to be trendier as we operate the game, but we decided not to. I believe that’s the reason why our users started to have faith in our game.
It took quite a time to update the real-time PvP content.
Yes, indeed. We wanted to run enough tests and be confident about the elements that can be attractive to our users. So, we had to take our time. We especially had some serious debate within our team regarding whether to go hardcore with the World Arena content or to make it easier for accessibility. We’ve also changed the meta on the current Arena System. We made sure to run many tests and monitor the World Arena during the test period thoroughly, so I hope the users will understand.
Did you find any problems during the test period?
Some parts have been enhanced but the big frame hasn’t changed. Since World Arena is proceeded in real-time, we had to adjust few things, such as how much time a player should wait for the opponent to take his or her turn to prevent the tempo of the game from loosening.
What else did you change to improve the system?
The most concerned issue was how much users would be stressed out when we update the World Arena because they don’t want to play PvP where they lose all the time. Also, we needed data on how many users would enjoy the real-time PvP. What we earned during the test period helped a lot on determining the direction of the World Arena.
There seems to be complaints about the crash error.
We’re still working on this matter. There’s a limit on how much we can improve the game because each device has different features. Before, users would lose if the game crashes while playing, but now, they can continue playing once they reconnect to the game. Of course, AI would be handling the battle in the meantime. I strongly encourage the users to play the game while the network connection is stable (laughs).
I believe you’re running some final tests before the update. Which part do you put most emphasis on?
I’ve briefly mentioned about the direction of the game before, but we were mostly concerned about targeting. World Arena is hardcore content. We’ve been discussing, can anyone enjoy the hardcore content? But as you know, hardcore content is hardcore as you can see from the name, and users must try their best to win. That’s why it’s fun. We thought that it wouldn’t be satisfying for both hardcore users and casual users if we make the hardcore content easy, so we decided to make the content more suitable for hardcore users.
Then, do you have any plans for casual and mid-core gamers?
We added a Replay Feature where users can Spectate the gameplay of high rankers or watch their replay. With this feature, high rankers will be able to show off their decks while lower rankers learn how to form their decks from the high rankers. Additionally, most of the rewards available from the World Arena are decorations, so it’s not absolutely necessary for the users to play World Arena. There are also items that the users can acquire by collecting points even if they’re not high rankers. We tried not to make the users to play World Arena as mandatory.
You just mentioned the Spectate Feature, but I heard that this feature won’t be added with the update.
Right. We still need to run more tests and improve the UX for more convenience. We try not to rush if we’re not sure that we’re completely ready (laughs). It’ll probably take us another 2-3 weeks.
There’s a Pick and Ban in the World Arena. Please elaborate.
I was inspired from playing other games with the Pick & Ban System. The combination of Monsters is especially important when fighting a 4:4 battle. It can have a huge impact on the result of the game when the key Monster is banned. I think the users will enjoy the strategic play during the Pick and Ban Stage.
I noticed that the nationality is displayed. Any future plans on holding a battle where users of the same nationality team up to fight against others?
We haven’t figured out any details. I learned a lot from watching users battle against other nationalities in the Homerun Battle in the past. All we did was adding the nationality flag and the reaction at the community was overwhelming. (laughs) I think it definitely plays an important role in the excitement as an emotional aspect.
There’s an offline tournament this week. Is it a one-time event, or are you planning on holding these events more frequently in the future?
We’ve done an online broadcasting with OGN 4 times in past, and we’re about to hold an offline tournament for the first time this upcoming weekend. This is a one-time event for now, but I think there will be more events if the users like it.
Did you have any balancing issues regarding a specific Monster being too popular or used too often?
That’s one of the reasons why the test period took a while. We need to verify the Monster combinations in the Pick & Ban System. Luckily, there was no phenomenon of uniformity since the users are banning the Monster by taking turns during the Ban Process. However, we found some strange Monster combinations. (laughs) Sometimes, we’d be fighting against each other while the Monster combination of both sides is completely destroyed. There were many variables that could affect the battle and there’s a skill balancing patch once every 1-2 months which prevents any critical balancing issues. So, we’re not too worried about balancing in the World Arena.
You must have some expectations or goals with the World Arena.
Actually, I think this is only the beginning. We also believe that there can be more game modes within the World Arena. For instance, in the Goodwill Battle, users make their own rules, such as, “let’s not include someone” or “let’s have a battle using only 3 ★ or below Monsters” to enjoy the PvP. We believe that the World Arena can also be expanded in various modes.
Rift of Worlds, Homunculus, and World Arena have been updated so far. What’s next?
We are preparing an update to improve accessibility for the beginner and intermediate users. Guild related content is also under preparation. We need to unlock the last map and also create a different type of Homunculus. There are too many things that need to be done now that I’m listing them up (laughs). All of the content can be expanded in depth, there’s still a lot that can be added to the game this year.
Some say that Summoners War has high barriers for the new users. Any thoughts on this?
We’re working on content that can guide the new users. It’s not about just completing endless missions but rather about users properly get used to the game. We’ve been making modifications so that the new users can acquire and grow faster. The same goes for this year. We’re improving some of the old graphics from the introduction.
Any last words you’d like to add?
I often hear that I’m too slow. (laughs) Although I may be slow, I try to be thorough when updating the game, and when I do, they say “You did a good job. You deserve a break.” (laughs) World Arena is a major update so I think it’ll take some time to stabilize the content. I can say this for sure. I’ll try my best until I hear people say, “You deserve a break.” I’d also like to thank our users for playing Summoners War and I’ll repay their love and support for the game with more exciting content. Thank you (laughs).
Summoners War is now available worldwide on App Store and Google Play.