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Interview with Chan Woong Jeon, the CEO and Founder of Joymax

July 16, 2008

Silkroad Online Chosen as an Official Game at Game & Game World Championship 2008

Interview with Chan Woong Jeon, the CEO and Founder of Joymax

Developed and published by Joymax, the historical fantasy massively multiplayer online RPG ‘Silkroad Online’ has been selected as an official game at Game & Game World Championship (GNGWC) for three consecutive years, inviting gamers from around the world to participate.

Silkroad Online has garnered 7.2 million registered users and supports over 100,000 concurrent players on their global server cluster encompassing North America, Europe, and South America. Joymax currently works with local licensing partners to provide Silkroad Online to players in Asia. Including these countries, along with Korean and global servers, Silkroad Online supports over 18 million registered users and 170,000 concurrent players across 150 countries worldwide.

Players who participate at the regional finals in three countries (US, Brazil, and Germany) will have a chance to compete for first prize at the GNGWC Global Final Match, scheduled to take place in Seoul in November 2008.

The following is an interview with Chan Woong Jeon, the CEO and founder of JOYMAX, where he discusses the company’s global service and preparation for GNGWC 2008.

Q. Can you give a brief introduction to ‘Silkroad Online’ for gamers not familiar with the title?

As you can guess from its title, ‘Silkroad Online’ is based on the historic trade route, consisting of various conflicts among merchants, thieves and hunters. The constant tensions and power struggle between them is the key aspect of the game. ‘Silkroad Online’ was originally set in ancient China and a European expansion was added last year. More recently, Joymax released a new expansion, Legend III Roc Mountain, featuring new territory, quests, weapons, and an increased level cap for adventurers to enjoy within ‘Silkroad Online.’

Q. What do you think is the reason for the success of the global service of the game?

We started providing our global service at the end of year 2005, and we began providing commercial service in March 2006 which is two years ago. When we first introduced ‘Silkroad Online’ as a free-to-play MMORPG, the business model was a new concept in the global market. ‘Free-to-play’ has become a frequently discussed topic at international online games seminars, and we definitely benefited from the fact that we were one of the first to introduce the free-to-play business model. But the most important element of our success is the game itself: a historical fantasy MMORPG that puts the player deep into ancient Chinese and European civilizations along the Silk Road trade route, and offers epic adventure through historical China, Europe, and the Middle East. This, along with a huge and seamless world, amazing graphics, Triangular Conflict and free-form character progression are the keys for the success of the global service of ‘Silkroad Online.’

Q. Have you encountered any difficulties in providing global service?

The global service for ‘Silkroad Online’ has garnered over 7.2 million registered users and supports over 100,000 concurrent players across 150 countries worldwide. In order to efficiently manage the service, it is very important for Game Masters to have an active role on each server cluster. However, this has been difficult because there are so many players from a wide range of countries with different cultures and languages. We are striving to improve customer service for our users worldwide, and we are planning to focus on stabilizing and optimizing the servers.

Q. How was GNGWC 2007?

It was a great success; a lot of people showed interest in the title. ‘Silkroad Online’ has been selected as an official game since the first GNGWC, and it has been really nice to see players spend time together to participate at regional competitions with their families and friends.

Q. Any special episodes to share?

It was great for online users to meet each other offline. The range of ages, the subtle regional differences among participants, and the competition between countries made GNGWC exciting. One player from Germany and one player from the United States won in a regional competition two years in a row. Players were looking forward to meeting online friends in person. Most of all, their level of concentration while playing the game was remarkable and the competition was very thrilling. The competitors also provided us with some great insight about what the most dedicated players want to see in the future of ‘Silkroad Online.’

Video of this interview is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMl86U28z34 

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