3 min read
Video: Combat Arms postmortem: The art of selling guns
In this video postmortem from GDC Online 2011, Nexon's Jungsoo Lee explains how the free to play Combat Arms taught the Korean studio some important lessons about monetizing games in the West.
[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website] While free to play games are commonplace throughout the industry today, Maple Story publisher Nexon was one of the first companies to really push this business model in the West. The company's 2008 shooter, Combat Arms, was one of its biggest hits in North America, and it taught the team quite a bit about tuning and refining free to play titles. At GDC Online 2011, Combat Arms' associate director, Jungsoo Lee, shed some light on its development, noting that Nexon came up with a multi-step process to prepare the game for its Western debut. "First, you have to identify user needs," Lee said, adding that "you need to guess and go through trial and error. It's pretty simple." With Combat Arms, Nexon experimented and sold a wide variety of virtual items in a number of different ways in hopes of honing in on what players want most. Next, the team had to optimize its marketplace to make sure the game could actually bring in some money. Once it was satisfied with its return on investment, Lee said the team looked back at Combat Arms' design to pick out and eradicate any remaining flaws. That way, the team could prepare the game for future updates and hopefully long-term growth. "We don't have concrete solutions, but we're trying lots of ideas," Lee said. To learn more about the history of Combat Arms and how it shaped Nexon's free to play strategy, check out the above presentation, courtesy of GDC Vault. Simply click the Play button above to start the video.