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Dev Q&A with SE-Derek ~

By June 01, 2011, 22:48:50
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Score : 4394
Pentarius|2011-06-02 07:56:29
I don't know if it was mentioned but SE did a really cool thing with FFXIV, proving they're an awesome company that cares about their fans, and extended the free month to nearly half a year until they had all the major issues fixed and it was actually a product worth spending money on, and on that note I would also like to mention that FFXIV is in a fairly good state right now and still getting more improvements and if i had some money i would be playing it right now. On to the topic of this discussion though! the 1 real question i would like to have answered is if SE is just the producers and face of the game for the NA community or if they have a part in the programming of the game, as in, does SE work on fixing bugs or just send reports to ankama and deal with all our complaining?
it is fair to say at this point they just deal with our complaints... if that much... oh yea and this forum. As far as i can tell every patch/update change has only taken place after being released from France. Unless your going to tell me the SE staff is working for free at 3 am in the morning when the last one came out. if you check my posts you see i am still up around that time.tongue 
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I do sometimes wonder if there's anything written into the contract that states if Ankama fails to keep their deadlines development will be turned over to SE. Given the history of rewrites and long development cycle SE must have put something in the contract to make sure they get things done in a timely fashion.

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lol, this got off topic pretty quick... ~ not many questions from the community either..

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>_I do sometimes wonder if there's anything written into the contract that states if Ankama fails to keep their deadlines development will be turned over to SE.

Writing code is more akin to writing a novel collaboratively. You don't just hand in a novel you've been working on for 3 years to someone else. Understanding it requires full context of the all the ideas and directions, as well as the evolution of those ideas to really have understanding enough to add more content and tweak the small things with confidence. Adding more developers actually slows development, switching the teams will just break the project.

Nox is still in ankama server farm not SE's. He did admit they go have meetings with developers and he regrets not having enough time to interact with us. Does that mean he's managing a bunch of different forums at once? I wonder what all they talk about in their meetings, if the meetings occur online, and how often they talk to ankama.

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This game will not be turned over to SE if the deadline isn't met. The reason the contract was signed, pure and simple, was money. Ankama knows with the popularity of Dofus that they can get more money if they can get their products (not just Wakfu) advertised in this part of the world. SE is MUCH MORE VAST than Ankama is with a MUCH deeper pocket. SE can afford mass-advertising campaigns in this part of the world. And whatever the payment scheme is going to be for this game (it will be different with SE than Ankama), SE will make money too. It's really a win-win.

Ankama isn't stupid. They might do things we all don't understand or might outright baffle us, but they're not going to hand their game over to another company, especially since they put 3 or more years into it and as much money as they did. Not to mention they have a TV show, comics, plushies, t-shirts, etc. selling over in France. The whole entire world of twelve is Ankama's brain-child. While they do other stuff (as they are an art company that happens to make games), they won't be giving their stuff to other people to have.

-Thundra

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I wonder how the meeting went? *Scratch chin* sleep 

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8BitNack|2011-06-02 21:35:54
I wonder how the meeting went? *Scratch chin* sleep

wait.. wait.. is that a QUESTION!?... holy ***... DEREK!.. WE GOT ONE!?

lol, now to see if he's even paying attention to this topic XD
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I've been thinking about it a little, and I want to wager wakfu open beta won't be released in the summer. They're prolly going to announce they're delaying it a some point due to instability.

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Aegisub|2011-06-02 01:38:45
SE is a publisher, ankama is a publisher, but SE teamed with ankama to specifically be the distributor for the NA region. The same thing happens with other popular media from other countries. If they're not well established they grant a local monopoly to a specific company who can handle the distribution in X country with as you say, a cut of the profits. In that sense it's up to SE in which way they want to maximize their profits from the deal and in which forms they think are most efficient for distribution. It's up to SE though, so looking at what ankama has done in the past is probably not of any predictive value. On the other hand, looking at what SE has done in the past makes me cringe.

SE is not on thin ice financially. The stocks rise and fall based on consumer expectations, so they "lost" a lot of money when XIV flopped only because the short term profit expectations dropped dramatically, SE is still making ridiculous amounts of profits.

Because that's what ankama planned to do. We have no idea what SE will do. SE open beta went from a free download/terrible game into a $75 box with a terrible game in only a few short months.

1) Ankama is a developer who also publishes their own games. You're right in that they're not publishing the game in the NA. SE, as the publisher, localizes the game for a cut of the profits. Depending on the contract that was signed between Ankama and SE the distribution model could be anything, but I seriously would not expect SE to distribute this game ala FFXIV. They are two different games, and the only thing they have in common is that you play them online and sometimes you'll stab a goblin. Your logic doesn't follow, it's like saying that since Apple distributes music and computers Apple would sell their music only in Apple stores. You distribute the product in the method best suited to distribution, and it's not an easy or fiscally viable option to distribute Wakfu in stores. That requires push and marketing that SE:NA does not have for a game like Wakfu (keep in mind this isn't even SE's central offices, but it's western branch). Maybe if Wakfu had a few magazine ads, some billboards and a much stronger web-presence I would expect it, but it does not. Wakfu is a simple game with a solid fanbase that SE can use to turn a quick profit off of their servers which are obviously not being used to the full potential that they may be expecting. Comparing FFXIV to Wakfu is like comparing a three-course meal at an exclusive restaruant to a box of donuts from a regional chain store (not in quality however, I think most of us agree Wakfu is fun and FFXIV is laughably horrific.)

2) SE is on thin ice: _[url=http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=9684:JP]Click here
The market value of SE holdings dropped to half, and that was before FFXIV hit the streets. They've also fired over 10% of their workforce. They've been going down since before FFXIII; with the poor performance of the latest Final Fantasy games combined with a lackluster lineup save Dragon Warrior it's easy to see that SE does not have the capital to arbitrarily print a bunch of unecessary discs for an online game with a small fanbase core (the kind from a marketing standpoint that would collectively flip out that they have to go to Target to buy a game that should be downloadable) all because FFXIV, their biggest flop ever, was also an online game that they sold in stores. Their profits have plunged a full 76%!! The only reason they're even considering distributing Wakfu stateside, I think, is because it's a low-cost liscense that's expected to yield a modest and safe return. All they need to do is basic translation and server hosting (and it's Wakfu, it's not like a FF game where they need to translate tome of information. On top of that it's a game in French which makes localization incredibly easier.)

3) Of course FFXIV went from beta to a game that they sold for money. I don't even know why this is a topic we need to discuss. And, I mean... Dude, you know this game called Tetramaster? Did you ever have to buy it in a store or was it sold online? The answer was it was sold online because SE doesn't just print discs. FFVII for PSP, online-only. Mini Ninjas? Heard of that game? Gyromancer? Depth Fantasia? Crossgate? I could go on. SE has done this before a million times, and unless some random happenstance occurs chances are Wakfu is never-ever-ever going to be sold in stores.

Ever...
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SE is not at all on thin ice. Yeah, they peaked like at 3800, and now they're at 1300, but you can see they lost most of their volume in the 2008 market collapse. You can look at a lot of companies and you'll see the same pattern. The collapse essentially continued and the market still hasn't full recovered. Hopefully we see china's housing bubble collapse too to bring things even further, as it's said it's even worse than the one in the US =3. (china owns most of our debt, which we now have about $46,000 a person assuming children/babies/retired/disabled people could pay too). The over valuation of the stock was because of the artificially created money coming from wallstreet to begin with. The banks would take debt and use it as leverage at 10 times the paper value, when as we know now those debts were worth virtually nothing. You can see the value of the stocks increasing around 2002, 2003 around where subprime lending started to increase dramatically and the profits were already coming in. No surprise we're back at those levels. XIV did have an impact, but more along the lines of not creating growth than the small dent it created in their stock prices.

wakfu is hosted on ankama servers not SE's, check for yourself.
wakfu is a franchise in and of itself, they'll be distributing all related wakfu products not just the wakfu game. Any advertising they put in will be to their own investment and can easily be converted into profit later (ROI).
FFVII for PSP was definitely sold in stores. You're listing a bunch of phone/minigame style things too. List some MMO or major title that SE hasn't sold as a box copy.

Also, if they held back open beta 2 months so it would have heavier testing from the french side and iron out the most glaring issues, it was a failure. There's major issues, patches have had game ruining bugs and the stability of the new classes has been very weak. We still have a bunch of classes to go too and the whole thing seems rushed already. If SE is basing their open beta release to be stable so they can stop the speculators from associating XIV, they're going to have to push open beta release even further, and, lol, the game probably has more than a year to go if they don't want to be annoying subscribers with constant hotfixes. I bet the SE meetings are more about arguing with a french devs to get a more honest picture of when this game will be released.

They also announced a bunch of people as SE staff managing wakfu on the forum not too horrible long ago, and the forum has been _void_ of SE's voice. even on rabble rousing issues like the goon squad. I wonder what's going on.
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Aegisub|2011-06-03 04:07:35
I've been thinking about it a little, and I want to wager wakfu open beta won't be released in the summer. They're prolly going to announce they're delaying it a some point due to instability.

hmm, that would kinda suck.
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