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  Click here to go to the first Dev post in this thread.   Thread: Why we didn't make a new expansion for Pocket Legends in 2013

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    Legends Team Producer Samhayne's Avatar
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    Default Why we didn't make a new expansion for Pocket Legends in 2013

    Hey gang,

    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

    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.
    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.

    About Spacetime:
    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).

    2013
    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:

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldcoot View Post
    @sam, thanks for the feedback. I wish we could speak face to face because I have trouble expressing myself in this medium but I'll try. I have owned and operated a small construction business for the last 20 years and it seams your not taking care of your repeat customers for the search of new costumers. Im good at building houses not typing so I'll put it like this, you must have a good foundation or the rest you build on it will crumble.
    To that point, we are servicing the majority of our fans, because that majority are playing Arcane (and to a lesser extent our newer Battle Games). On any given day there are 100,000's of players playing Arcane and the Battle Games (compared to thousands playing Pocket).

    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
    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.
    Last edited by Samhayne; 01-12-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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    Wow. Thanks Sam!
    Last edited by Reun; 01-12-2014 at 12:36 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    thanks for the feedback sam.

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    Hi, I do agree that it was a nice idea to put in Rhino and foxes, but the problem to get more new players hooked is not the lack of content anymore, it is the lack of beauty in the game. The reason why so many people stick around in PL is the mechanics are extremely basic and easy to understand, and it is super fast-paced. It's like the Call of Duty of mobile MMO's, game wise. However, the amount of people who will actually stay is very small, reason being because the game doesn't look good enough. I'm pretty sure many people stay in AL because the graphics there look so much better.

    If you just updated PL graphic-wise, I'm sure that it would both hook people and make them stay, much faster than AL does, because AL seems to be more complex than PL. I think this is the basic problem that you guys have with us now. You think that making new games might make you more money, and it could, but you also don't know what may happen if you make PL look better. The game is just so basic and addictive once you get started and are able to ignore the mediocre graphical content in the game.

    In fact, you did once update the graphics of Pocket Legends (from bubble heads to the more sleek design of characters) and maybe the landscapes in PL. It wasn't a big change, but it was a graphical change nonetheless. Anyway...all this build up was to ask this simple question:

    What are the statistics of jump in customer purchases or players online after the "big" graphic update of PL?

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    Thank you Sam.


    Legends never die, they just fade away...

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    Thanks for telling us whats up and checking in with us
    appreciated, and was a good read

    Thank You Aaroniero Arruruerie!
    Proud Member of Restoration

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    good read, thanks sam

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    Thanks Sam!

    I feel we already got more replies and custommer care in 2014 than in all long months of 2013 (just joking for sure, but theres something on it, isnt there...?)

    I absolutely understand all reasons you mentioned, I also agree with them. So now I only wish you happy time, good luck and hopefully some fun and satisfaction in your further work.

    Regards

    _________________EDIT_________________

    Btw, this post should probably be sticky, however i dont think it will get lost somewhere at the bottom. Anyway, just suggesting.
    Last edited by BroadCastle; 01-12-2014 at 12:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DivineMoustache View Post
    Hi, I do agree that it was a nice idea to put in Rhino and foxes, but the problem to get more new players hooked is not the lack of content anymore, it is the lack of beauty in the game. The reason why so many people stick around in PL is the mechanics are extremely basic and easy to understand, and it is super fast-paced. It's like the Call of Duty of mobile MMO's, game wise. However, the amount of people who will actually stay is very small, reason being because the game doesn't look good enough. I'm pretty sure many people stay in AL because the graphics there look so much better.

    If you just updated PL graphic-wise, I'm sure that it would both hook people and make them stay, much faster than AL does, because AL seems to be more complex than PL. I think this is the basic problem that you guys have with us now. You think that making new games might make you more money, and it could, but you also don't know what may happen if you make PL look better. The game is just so basic and addictive once you get started and are able to ignore the mediocre graphical content in the game.

    In fact, you did once update the graphics of Pocket Legends (from bubble heads to the more sleek design of characters) and maybe the landscapes in PL. It wasn't a big change, but it was a graphical change nonetheless. Anyway...all this build up was to ask this simple question:

    What are the statistics of jump in customer purchases or players online after the "big" graphic update of PL?
    DivineMoustache, I think you missed this part of my post where I said:

    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).
    As for your question, not a statistically significant change.
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    No Sam, I saw that part, that's what I was saying. Perhaps it could make more money if you revamped PL instead of making another game.
    And for the answer to my question, that's all I needed. It wasn't a big graphical change but if it barely affected it as you said, then I guess there's nothing else to do about the game except update it for the niche players. Thanks Sam.

    EDIT: could we just have the raw numbers anyway?
    Last edited by DivineMoustache; 01-12-2014 at 12:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DivineMoustache View Post
    ...could we just have the raw numbers anyway?
    I'm not at liberty to give out confidential company information and really, you shouldn't expect it. Except for public companies divulging information they are required to do because they are publicly held, most companies big or small, don't give out that kind of information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samhayne View Post
    I'm not at liberty to give out confidential company information and really, you shouldn't expect it. Except for public companies divulging information they are required to do because they are publicly held, most companies big or small, don't give out that kind of information.
    It really seems that nothing can get done though without both customer and company information in this kind of situation where the customer is not really happy with anything you all are doing.

    EDIT: I'm not saying it's good that we are unhappy with everything you do, it's just that maybe some set of numbers could help give context to both the company's and our frustrations.

    EDIT : not good with words...um by "context" I mean like it could further justify your reasoning and help us see your logical reasoning instead of just being frustrated.
    Last edited by DivineMoustache; 01-12-2014 at 01:12 PM.

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    Imo the problem is that even with new classes, new level caps, new gear, the new campaigns stopped being exciting and fun to drill if you weren't farming just the bosses.

    Everyone does Mega Maze now because the new areas give a low and slow amount of xp, there isnt a Mount Fang's Crypt, or a balefort sewers bandit boy hideout, or a AO3 crush the keeper. Levels like these simply don't exist anymore..

    If maybe at least one of the maps in BSM was like this, then maybe more non-paying customers would join or stay with the game. True, maybe the amount of plat bought might be a lil lower because people wouldnt be spending on the 5 plat xp anywhere elix, but considering you still need 10k+ xp a level from 72, it would be very tempting to buy anyway.

    If anything, just remake one of the 5 main BSM levels to be fun and faster for grinding xp
    O Hai Der

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    If you had taken the time and resources to revamp PL into much of how AL is, don't you think it would have brought new customers into PL added to the old community? So you could make the new content for even more people?

    Not trying to say you were wrong and there's obviously no way to go back and change.
    Just a legitimate thought in my mind.

    My guess is you didn't know how huge of a hit AL would be after PL remained on top after your two other games.

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    Thanks Sam!

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    What about BSM II? Part two, like teo said, just add 5 more reusable levels with new drops. That can give us 81 level cap. These drops don't have to be different, they can have better stats from previous cap, and the designs doesn't has to be different. You can also add more and longer quests with maybe new ctf maps 10 vs 10? With this new cap, maybe pvp balance could also be fixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Multibird View Post
    What about BSM II? Part two, like teo said, just add 5 more reusable levels with new drops. That can give us 81 level cap. These drops don't have to be different, they can have better stats from previous cap, and the designs doesn't has to be different. You can also add more and longer quests with maybe new ctf maps 10 vs 10? With this new cap, maybe pvp balance could also be fixed.
    I have to refer you back to the "why don't you hire more people" portion of my original post. We already have the team (again, we're a small shop with only so many people to do stuff) tied up working on stuff that will get us the biggest bang for our buck. Recycling an existing set of zones and content is a good idea, but it won't just happen. I'm not saying it won't ever happen, but that's why we haven't done it up to this point.
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    Thanks Sam.Love from me to Dev and Stg staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samhayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Multibird View Post
    What about BSM II? Part two, like teo said, just add 5 more reusable levels with new drops. That can give us 81 level cap. These drops don't have to be different, they can have better stats from previous cap, and the designs doesn't has to be different. You can also add more and longer quests with maybe new ctf maps 10 vs 10? With this new cap, maybe pvp balance could also be fixed.
    I have to refer you back to the "why don't you hire more people" portion of my original post. We already have the team (again, we're a small shop with only so many people to do stuff) tied up working on stuff that will get us the biggest bang for our buck. Recycling an existing set of zones and content is a good idea, but it won't just happen. I'm not saying it won't ever happen, but that's why we haven't done it up to this point.
    Maybe spend time to balance pvp/ctf by fixing the sets etc.
    Take a look at imxoriginal'a thread on pvp balance.
    Got some great stuff there^

    And then create the 10.10 map and a simple quest to get te 2 pc ten 3 pc ring

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    Default Why we didn't make a new expansion for Pocket Legends in 2013

    Well, That just blew my mind..... Thanks Sam!

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