ELOA Developer Clears Up Confusions of ELOA and Inspirit Online
ByDate: Sep 25 2015 Views:
As is known to all, Webzen has signed a publishing agreement for ELOA with the developer NPICSOFT to bring ELOA to North America and Europe. To help players figure out the difference between ELOA and Inspirit Online, we are honored to have an exclusive interview with Dennis, the founder & CEO of NPICSOFT Inc., the developer of ELOA (Elite Lord of Alliance).
Hi, we’re really excited and honored to have an interview with you. Would you like to introduce yourself to our MMOsiters? I think they are curious to know more about you!
[Dennis]: Hello, my name is Dennis Choi, and I’m the founder & CEO of NPICSOFT Inc., the developer of ELOA (Elite Lord of Alliance). It’s very nice to meet you, and thank you for this interview opportunity. Today I’m joined by Richard Sunmyoung Moon, Head of Global Business at WEBZEN Inc., the official publisher of ELOA in the West.
What was your first impression of this anime-inspired fantasy action MMORPG?
[Richard]: ELOA has its own unique strength as a game, and offers completely different art direction and gameplay. You will immediately notice the anime style, which is a big and quite amusing contrast to this darker themed world. For example, riding a giant teddy bear as a mount is not something you see in many other games in the usually grim action RPG genre. The combat system offers 3 stances that you can switch between mid-combat, what we refer to as “triple action”, which is another completely unique feature to ELOA. Action RPGs are booming (again) since the release of Diablo 3, Path of Exile and similar games, and we are very confident that ELOA can offer a unique and easier-to-get-into experience, especially for beginners and the less hardcore-oriented MMORPG fans. That’s not to say that ELOA is not tailored at all towards the hardcore crowd; on the contrary, instance bosses and later end-game raids are quite challenging! For example, tactically switching between the three combat stances and learning their mechanics while fighting a raid boss is something that is surely easy to learn at the start, but hard to master later on. We are very confident that our players will have an excellent and unique gameplay experience with ELOA.
Webzen has signed a publishing agreement for ELOA with the developer NPICSOFT to bring ELOA to North America and Europe. We were surprised to hear this news because the MMORPG Inspirit Online by the publisher GRE Ltd was presented to players a few months ago. Can you please tell us the differences between the two games?
[Dennis]: We understand that this situation must have caused a lot of confusion among players, who learned about ELOA and started playing it under the name of “Inspirit Online”. Inspirit Online is not an official version of the game. In fact, we have sent many official notifications to the corresponding company, declaring Inspirit Online as an illegal copy of ELOA. It is important to note that NPICSOFT has registered the global license of the brand name “ELOA”, along with its characters, etc. This includes licensing rights for North America, Europe, and other countries. However, a company called “GRE” is still continuing its unauthorized services. The developer of ELOA is NPICSOFT, and the official publisher of ELOA is WEBZEN. Inspirit Online is simply a copy of ELOA, a game developed by us, and will be considered as an unauthorized, illegal private server.
Why would Webzen want to publish a game that many would say has already been released?
[Richard]: We have evaluated the excellent gameplay of ELOA and the development capability of NPICSOFT very closely. In addition, NPICSOFT has lots of experience with services abroad, as well as a strong desire to expand its services across the North American/European areas. NPICSOFT was certain that this would be a huge benefit when combined with the 60 million members of WEBZEN.COM.
[Richard]: After a thorough investigation, we came to the conclusion that Inspirit Online is using a CBT client from the Southeast Asia version of the game, which was leaked without authorization. Rest assured that we are not worried about WEBZEN’s official version of ELOA, as we already have huge amounts of content readily available for our beta test. This includes new maps and classes which have already been developed by NPICSOFT, but are not included in the leaked CBT version that Inspirit Online is using. We’re very certain that Inspirit Online, currently operated illegally, will never keep up with our content releases. We look forward to showing you the distinct differences between the original and copy, as we offer much better quality assurance for our live operations, and receive direct support from the original developers of ELOA. Because of this, the two games will show incomparable differences in terms of service stability, with superior security/server connections, and so forth.
What kind of payment model will ELOA adopt? Will it be free to play with a cash shop?
[Richard]: ELOA will be “Pay for Convenience”, and items that change the visual appearance of your character will be available in the shop. We are aiming for convenience only, such as a slight increase in experience gain, visual transformations into NPCs or monsters, or ridable pets which can also be obtained in game.
Can players expect it to be the same as its Korean version? Will you make any changes to cater to the local gamers?
[Richard]: We have quite a few changes in mind already, in regards to the monetization methods and content roadmap. We will stay open to feedback from the players and adjust features accordingly, the developers are very flexible and willing to cater to the players wishes, as long as they are reasonable of course. I can only recommend everyone to go and have a look for themselves when we go into Beta Test.
How many characters are players allowed to create per account when ELOA meets the West?
[Richard]: You’re allowed to create the maximum 8 Characters in the whole server.
How long will it take for players to see the English version of ELOA? Can you tell us a little about the timeframe you have planned?
[Richard]: The first beta test will start this autumn, with the official launch slated for the end of this year. We are currently looking at the Beta Test date to be finalized, but we will announce the upcoming schedule soon. So stay tuned!
We're really glad you were able to do this interview! Is there anything else that you would like to share with MMOsiters? Thanks for your time!
[Dennis]: To be honest, we, the ELOA developers in Korea, were disappointed when we received news of the illegal copy of ELOA. It’s sad to see a game which has been developed for such long time, and with great effort, being illegally distributed. However, the disappointment did not last long once we entered our wonderful partnership with WEBZEN, with their ability to help us provide quality content and services to our customers. In fact, this made us even more driven to rise to the challenge, giving us extra motivation to provide the very best product to our users.
We will show our energy and enthusiasm through the Western launch of ELOA in the near future, and we will repay you with better content and even more enjoyment. Also, we are always eager to hear your feedback and valuable comments. Thank you once again!