So, we've been having a bit of discussion about Pocket Legends in this thread: What if they could sell Pocket Legends?. The idea is, if Spacetime won't create a new expansion or serious, large scale development of Pocket Legends, could they sell the game and someone else would? The short answer to that question is no. Check out that thread if you're interested.
I wanted to give some background as to why in 2013 we didn't put out an expansion to Pocket Legends.
Preface: We Care
First, I want to preface this that everyone at Spacetime cares a lot about all of our games. This comes top down from our CEO Gary Gattis, who, for those who might not know, is JustG on these forums. Some good background about his sentiments can be found at: http://www.spacetimestudios.com/show...=1#post1293272
I care a lot too. Check my forum registration date: Feb 2010. I've been here since the start of Pocket Legends and I care a lot about it and Spacetime too. That's why I'm taking time out of my busy Sunday looking after my 2 and 3 year old kids (my wife works on weekends) to write this.We built PL, it has our hearts and souls in it. Many of the NPCs are named after our family (my kids are in there too). We love this game as much, if not more than you do. It is, quite literally, our baby.
Spacetime is a small company. We're apx 35 people (that's all told, everyone: Customer Support, HR, QA, Design, Art, Tech, Operations, Production). We're not fat cat executives sitting in ivory towers. Far from it. We're middle class dudes and gals trying to follow our zen and make games we love. If you want to learn more about Spacetime's history check out this video done by local TV station KLRU about Spacetime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vePaOAey2AA
For perspective, that video was done just a bit before Arcane Legends launched, so the "coming soon" game referenced at the end is AL.
Rewind to Winter 2012
If we roll back to Q4 (Oct,Nov,Dec) of 2012. We put together the "Rediscover Alterra" plan to re-energize Pocket Legends. 2 new classes (Fox and Rhino) and did a big PR push to try and get new users. http://www.spacetimestudios.com/show...rfest-and-More
Unfortunately, it didn't work. We saw pretty small pickup from a lot of work. Why? Well, I chalk it up to PL being dated and probably the time of year. People get really excited about new things, you know? Despite how much shine we put on Pocket Legends, it isn't new anymore. Over the past 4 years we've tried a lot to grow Pocket Legends: TV commercial, hardware promotions (remember the Xperia Play?), PR outreach, expansions, features and lots more. We have a pretty good sense of what Pocket Legends will do. It is a testament to the game that after all this time it has a vibrant community with thousands of people playing daily still.
Ok, back to winter of 2012. At the same time that we were trying to re-energize Pocket Legends, we launched Arcane Legends. Arcane is the spiritual successor to Pocket Legends. When we considered trying to re-vamp Pocket (new graphics engine, fix balance issues, etc.) you just realize that it's easier to build a whole new game rather than change up an existing game. That's basically what we did (along with everything we learned from Star Legends and Dark Legends).
Arcane Legends was a huge hit and remains our biggest game yet. Over the course of 2013 it made the most sense to feed that beast. We have aggressively developed Arcane to maintain it's momentum. It is a testament to Arcane that it has received critical acclaim (Best Mobile MMO Awards for 2012) and continues (Best Mobile MMO Award for 2013). I know that some Pocket Legends fans might get tired of hearing about Arcane Legends, but it's the truth.
Servicing your Fans
In the earlier thread forum poster Oldcoot wrote:
We do continue to support Pocket Legends. Check out DocDoBig's Timeline: http://www.spacetimestudios.com/show...-PL-s-Timeline Sure, it isn't the expansion some of you want, but we're not doing "nothing."
Running a Business
As I'm sure Oldcoot can attest, running a business is not easy. For anyone who's evaluated a Profit/Loss statement or been involved in the running of an actual business with employees, overhead, facility, insurance, taxes, payroll, etc. I'm sure you can agree. If we don't run Spacetime well, then yeah, we could go the way of many other companies that can't continue making a go of it and fold up shop. That means we need to make some hard decisions.
The cost of a full on 5 level expansion, 5 new zones, 5 new bosses, new minions, all new items, new class skills, etc. Pocket Legends expansion is the same (if not more because we haven't done one in a while) as an Arcane Legends expansion. Now, if you can do something for 100 people (just making up numbers for the sake of discussion) or do something for that costs the same for 10,000 people, which do you think will pay back better? The 10,000 audience option. That, in a nutshell, is why we haven't done an expansion for Pocket Legends (or that sort of expansion for Star Legends or Dark Legends, even though we did expand those two games level caps in 2013).
Why don't you just hire more people?
Another argument I hear is, well just hire more people to make stuff for Pocket (or Star or Dark). This goes back to running a smart business. You have to make the tough choices that keep your business running. You can't play loose and free with other people's livelyhood and drive your business into the red and force you to close up shop. The short answer is that it won't pay back. Again, we know how these games perform. We have run them for years. As free to play games, the vast majority of our players download the game for free to their device, have some fun with it and never spend anything. It's just how they work out. We really appreciate those who value the games enough that do go on to make a purchase and support us.
If we were to hire more people just to make a Pocket Legends expansion and then have the $$ made from that expansion not pay back enough to allow us to keep those people, should we do it? No. Simple enough.
What we can do
2014 is an exciting time. We have the next thing cooking for Arcane and the Battle games. We have a good line up of events for all games coming (if Double XP or the like isn't your thing, ok fine, but for some people it is a lot of fun, so please don't rain on their parade). Yes, we will also continue to develop new games. For those who hate on us making new games - come on, don't you like new games? We know now that making a great new game is the best way for us to "raise the water" of our company. Honestly, if we hadn't made Arcane Legends, Spacetime very likely wouldn't be around (at least in its current incarnation). We want Spacetime to grow. Exciting new games is the way to do that.
For Pocket Legends specifically, JustG wants us to do more so we'll find a way. That won't be a full on expansion, but we can take swings as we have done before: http://www.spacetimestudios.com/show...t-Nerf-of-2013
Thanks. Seriously. If you care enough about Pocket Legends to have read all of the above, then I want to hear from you. This ended up a bit longer than what I had in mind. If yer a hater that is just gonna hate because I haven't committed to a level cap raise and expansion well /sigh, ok. But if you have some constructive input about Pocket Legends, then please reply.