MMOsite Exclusive Interview with Onmyoji Team

By serena Date: Mar 20 2017 Views:

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and this amazing anime RPG game.

A: Onmyoji is a 3D Japanese style turn based mobile RPG developed by NetEase. The game is dubbed by famous Japanese voice actors and actresses, and the film level soundtrack is created by Shigeru Umebayashi. The game has reached over 200 million downloads worldwide. Onmyoji has achieved a lot since launch: top 1 on iPhone & iPad Grossing Charts in October, 2016, China App Store’s 10 Best Games of the Year, Facebook’s 2016 Best Mobile Game, and Top 1 on HK and TW Google Play Grossing Chart. I am one of the game designers and currently responsible for the design of global versions.

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2. Through the NetEase’s Insight of Fun overseas forum, we know that you plan to bring Onmyoji to the west, do you wish to publish the game yourself or find a new publisher?

A: Netease Games will publish Onmyoji through our own publishing team. In recent years, Netease has established overseas offices in America, Korea and Japan and absorbed a lot of local talent. We will also collaborate with local agencies in the meantime to bring Netease’s games to players worldwide. 

3. Do you think the success of Onmyoji in China can be repeated in the west? If so, why is that?

A: We certainly wish Onmyoji will be successful in the west! But the western game market is unfamiliar for Chinese game companies to some extent. Therefore we would hope to step steadily and explore the western game market gradually. In addition, Japanese culture especially the Animation, Comic, Game, Novel(ACGN) culture has been exported outside Japan since last century and affects the global market even now. Thus we are quite confident in publishing Onmyoji in the west. 

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4. If you plan to release Onmyoji in the west, will the content be the same as the CN version? Will you consider making some localization changes to make the game more suitable for western market?

A: Yes we have considered making some changes in game events according to the local market environment, but we will not make a lot of adjustments in core gameplay.

5. What are the things that inspired you in creating Onmyoji? And what’s the key to its success in Chinese game market in your opinion?

A: Before developing Onmyoji, our producer had prepared it for two years. I can say Onmyoji is the brainchild of the development team. The extraordinary attention to detail, the persistent pursuit to every gameplay setting, the ultimate pursuit of all aspects for players, they are all the key factors to make Onmyoji unique from other Chinese domestic games.

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6. Would you like to show us more details on the gameplay and features of Onmyoji?

A: First, Onmyoji uses stageplay-style storytelling to create immersive experiences for our players. By now, we have about one hundred characters, and each has a unique side story fully voiced by famous Japanese voice actors/actresses. We also invited the composer of the 2003 film ‘Onmyoji’, Shigeru Umebayashi, to create a soundtrack for the game. Besides, Onmyoji built in a real-time commentary subtitle system that displays user comments, creating a chat room experience in which users feel like watching and playing together with others. 
Second, the game features Location Based Services (LBS) networking, which allows players to interact and socialize with others who are nearby.
For the battle system, Onmyoji adds the dimension of timing for commands to the turn-based system. The characters do not always get an equal number of actions in a turn, providing more opportunities for strategy. Typically the characters have three kinds of skills, and each skill has different properties that make characters unique to one another. Also, the whole team share skills energy so the players are to build teams according to various character synergies.

7. Some of the Chinese fans are complaining about the low appearance rate of SSR characters, what do you think of this situation? Will you make some adjustment to it?

A: We have also noticed the complaint of the low appearance rate of SSR characters from our players, but actually it is unfair for paid users if we adjust the rate arbitrarily. Therefore we tried to give players more free chances to summon characters and designed other ways (Shrine system and Shard system) to get SSR characters instead. I believe that Chinese players can feel that we are trying to improve their game experience through these changes.

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8. Will you consider developing new content and new gameplay for Onmyoji fans? What’s next for you guys after the huge success you’ve already had in China?

A: Actually the new version is under development continuously, and I believe that in the near future, we will be able to see a lot of new content coming up. I can’t tell more details about the upcoming new version at the moment, as you know sometimes surprise could bring joy and happiness to players.

9. Do you have a rough schedule for the western release of Onmyoji?

A: We schedule to release Onmyoji for western players during Q2 to Q3, however it depends on the beta testing result and the feedback from the players involved in the test.  

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