Mobile MMOs and social games are both nascent fields, but the upside for both is very high. Still, both types of games have mostly remained separate, but Spacetime Studios has changed all that with Dark Legends. The game combines MMO trappings with social elements to make for a new breed of game, all in a sexy, more violent package. We talked with Spacetime Studios CEO Gary Gattis about his company’s third mobile MMO.
Give a general overview of the Dark Legends project.
It’s a another evolution in mobile MMOs. With Pocket Legends, we took MMO mechanics and put them into mobiles. With Star Legends, we took environmental gameplay and added cross platform play. With Dark Legends, we took some social mechanics and incorporated them as something that would encourage players to come back and engage beyond merely wanting to play more. There’s energy that recharges over times and there’s also a progress bar; what it does is integrate it with a 3D scene and it shows where you are in the story. Essentially we’ve got a strong string of storytelling in the product. We’ve got a strong story and we’ve got actions where we play a cut scene and players unlock content and are rewarded for reaching those moments. They pace the user through the content.
The thing that struck me the most about this new game was the incorporation of social gaming mechanics.
It was a challenge to work that out, but I think it’s done well. It monetizes and retains better than Pocket Legends or Star Legends and it’s a new way to play mobile MMOs together so we’re happy with it and we’re working on another game and we’re iterating on it.
They can buy energy and when they’re out, we send them back to town where there’s free PvP and that’s also where all the services are and the vendors, so it’s pretty easily paced between spending their energy points and socializing.
Why did you decide to make the move to add more social game mechanics in Dark Legends?
We like to innovate, and we weren’t really content with re-skinning Pocket Legends; we wanted to push the boundaries of what mobile multiplayer is. It’s interesting to consider the retention mechanics of these social games and try to work them in.
There’s almost certainly cross over between the type of people playing social games and playing your games.
That’s exactly right. Our games are mid-core and there are a lot of people playing mid-core games. They can’t play many hours per day, but they’re still passionate and were getting more exposure with them. We got a good promotion with the demographic and it’s an effort on our part to broaden the mobile base. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t exist – things are changing in the mobile sphere.
Dark Legends seems to be a much more mature game in its content than Star Legends and Pocket legends with violence, blood and the like. Was that a purposeful move by SpaceTime?
Yeah, very much. It was a done as much as part of our own desires as to contrast with our other projects. With Pocket Legends, we want to go after the young teen user base. We also noticed a lot of adults played our games and we wanted to appeal to an adult audience and make it sexier than before.
We positioned Pocket Legends with a younger audience and when we came to Dark Legends, we wanted to make it the most violent game we’ve played on mobile. Were’ mid-core hardcore guys so this one really came from our heart.
Stay tuned for part 2 soon!
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