Tyrant

02/27/15 - Distribution/hosting Outside Of North America For Crowfall

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We’ve gotten lots of questions about how Crowfall will be handled overseas so we’ll try and give the clarity we can at this early stage.

 

First the high points:

 

        Definitely: (made a couple of edits here for clarification)

ArtCraft will have North American Servers at a minimum

There *will* be European servers at launch

All early backers will have their rewards on and access to ArtCraft servers, ongoing and if you choose, also on their local servers, if those servers are not owned by ArtCraft

In some regions, we *will* work with other companies to provide Crowfall distribution/service/support, definitely so in Asia

        The Uncertainties:

We have a *future stretch goal* coming to localize the Game, website and forums to the top 8 languages of early backers

We *may* have other servers for the ArtCraft service in other regions

We *may* work with other companies to provide Crowfall distribution/service/support in other regions

 

   In every case, we will give you the rewards on the U.S. servers AND WE WILL ALSO make our best efforts to to replicate those rewards on your local region provider, too.  That way, you can decide where you want to play.

 

Now for all the messy details and uncertainties involved!

 

   What are the current top 9 non-English languages we see from visitors? (not early backers, we won’t have those numbers until after the Kickstarter ends)  Note that these rankings could really change based upon which regions are backing us.

    French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Turkish, Polish and Dutch are ranked in order after English

 

   *If* our number of early backers warrant it, we will put a server in other regions during Beta 1 testing if we don’t have a partner there yet.  It’s reasonable to think that we may get enough people to warrant a server in the EU, and/or one in Asia/Pacific region (probably Singapore), and even possibly in South America and Eastern Europe/Russia.  We’ve even had a lot of interest in the Middle East.  The international interest is unprecedented in our experience, but at this point it is hard to know now if we achieve critical mass.  Typically you need a player population in *excess of 10k people* in a region to support localized servers  over a long term period.  This is as much for critical player mass as for fiscal reasons.  

 

   We *are* talking to potential distribution/service/support partners for all regions outside of North America.  We’d love to add Europe to our ArtCraft service but it’s a multi-million dollar capital investment (money that we don’t currently have).   So we’re proceeding as if we will work with a local partner in all territories outside of North America, for now.  

 

   *Why* should ArtCraft even work with other partners?  We’ve run multiple MMO services, and seen overseas MMO’s done well (and more often done poorly).  We have learned you must have a empowered, responsive, localized, high quality service organization to service the community and thus maximize the potential of any game.  And we believe our players deserve the best possible localized service and support.  Overall service quality is our number one criteria in a partner, but there are many other relevant criteria.  It is also absolutely vital that any such partner "gets" our vision.  Under no circumstances will choose a partner that doesn't buy into the vision of Crowfall!

 

   *Ensuring* that overseas early backers can also have access on a regional service (in addition to the ArtCraft service) is our goal.  We’ll make our best efforts to ensure early backers get to replicate their rewards on any local region service.  But we need to be clear that Crowfall in other regions may be a slightly (or more) different game than it is in our North American ArtCraft service.  Different regional partners need the flexibility to maximize the potential of Crowfall in their region.  They simply won’t put their full service efforts behind games where they have limited flexibility.  Certainly pricing and monetization vary from region to region now for popular MMO’s, and we don’t expect this will be different.  Our *goal* is to ensure that players in an given region outside of ArtCraft get to *replicate* their rewards on the local provider at launch, or if there are differences, that there is an *equivalent* in reward structured offered to early backers joining these regional services.  To be clear, by "duplicate" we mean "you will get the rewards on the U.S. servers AND we will try and make sure you get a duplicate of those rewards on your local service, too."  We can't guarantee the latter, because there are too many unknowns, but we CAN guarantee the former, and providing the latter is a key goal for us, with any potential regional partner.

 

Summary of ArtCraft intent

 

We are committed to providing the best possible service for our customers, no matter where they reside.  We may have limitations in what we can do, but we are trying to be smart so that we can achieve the goals that serve you, our early backers and future players of Crowfall.

 

What can you do to help this process?

   1)      If you are outside of the North American market, you can help us get the word out about Crowfall.  The more people in the region, the more likely we can afford a regional server.

   2)      In this thread, let us know the companies that you think do a good job servicing MMOs in your region.  You’ve worked with them first-hand, so you know much better than we.

   3)      Don’t tell us about the bad companies.  This thread would destroy our forums and melt down our servers.  J  The moderators will delete every negative comment.

 

Thank you for supporting Crowfall and helping us bring it to the rest of the world!

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Don't even bother with including Dutch localization in your stretch goals. Really. The amount of Dutch people wanting to play in Dutch localization is nihil. It's a waste of money. Save your money on this and put it towards a EU based server instead or include a different language. I can safely say this applies for a lot of European countries. Do your research on this. Ask people through a questionnaire or something similar. 

 

Most responses I've seen regarding localization are: put localization on hold, we want region based servers first.

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How will this affect European players who want to play on North American servers?

 

All early backers will have their rewards on and access to ArtCraft servers

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From my experience most Dutch people have no issues with speaking English whatsoever. The amount of people that speak Dutch is also relatively small so I would definitely not focus on it. I personally prefer to speak English over my primary language (Dutch).

 

What surprises me however is that it isn't certain that there will be European servers considering that the Europeans will definitely be a considerable amount of the playerbase. I understand that it requires a whole lot more resources but still.

Edited by timetraveler

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   *Ensuring* that overseas early backers can also have access on a regional service (in addition to the ArtCraft service) is our goal.  We’ll make our best efforts to ensure early backers get to replicate their rewards on any local region service.  But we need to be clear that Crowfall in other regions may be a slightly (or more) different game than it is in our North American ArtCraft service.  Different regional partners need the flexibility to maximize the potential of Crowfall in their region.  They simply won’t put their full service efforts behind games where they have limited flexibility.  Certainly pricing and monetization vary from region to region now for popular MMO’s, and we don’t expect this will be different. 

does this mean u get a publisher overseas that might change smth ingame for EU?

 

sry if i missread that post

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What surprises me however is that it isn't certain that there will be European servers considering that the Europeans will definitely be a considerable amount of percentage of the playerbase. I understand that it requires a whole lot more resources but still.

I was surprised by this as well, to be honest.  It seems there has been quite a bit of interest in European countries.

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All early backers will have their rewards on and access to ArtCraft servers

 

So basically, any europeans who are on the fence about the project, should at least pledge $5, in order to secure their ability to play on a english speaking server with their NA friends if they decide to eventually play the game.

 

Perhaps even create a few $5 accounts, to future proof in case they might want to ask friends to join them on their server. Or decide they need to make a second alt account in the game.

 

###

 

EDIT:

 

Actually looks like it may need the $30 pledge to count as an "early backer"

 

$5 = Special thanks in the credits

$30 = Thanks in credits as an "early backer"

 

Could use comfirmation on this please ?

Edited by shalille

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Thanks again for the fast response.

 

First I want to confirm that Europeans most likely don't need localizations.. 70-80% of the italians would play the game in English anyway (and the percentage can only be higher for other countries).. the rest of them doesn't prioritize translations at all. Basically I wouldn't go for localizations stretch goals, because I don't think anyone wants them anymore.

 

I am really scared about the whole concept "crowfall could be a different game in other regions". I understand Asian market is quite different from ours and it surely is bigger. Europeans and North Americans on the other side shouldn't be divided in two distinct and unconnected networks. I think for the whole concept of EK / Bands of shards to work, europeans and americans should be able to play in each other servers like a huge network.

 

I am sure a stretch goal like "European server managed by Artcraft** -- Eternal Kingdoms shared between EU/NA -- europeans and americans are free to join each others servers" would gain much more attention.

 

**Meaning you have someone hosting them and looking after them for patches/downtimes. I can't see how this isn't unprofitable.

Edited by fenrisddevil

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My guess is that EU peeps dont give a fluff about localizations.

Playing from EU on an offical ArtCraft server located in US whit action based combat will not work because our ping to the server is too high for a nice feel.

If you give the rights to someone over here in EU wont that break your own vision for the game, if you allow them to change things around as stated in the main post?

 

remove the plans for localizations and make a "stretch goal" for atleast ONE mega server or whatever, it can be for the $3-5m goal that way it will draw more people in, atleast think about it.. *in my opinion*

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I would agree with what some people have already stated. That there are quite a few countries and regions in Europe that wouldn't really need, or even want, localized versions of the game (I know I wouldn't). For example I know that most Scandinavians have fairly little trouble with understanding and communicating in English (even if quite a few Scandinavians do sound pretty silly when they actually speak English).

 

I guess there might be a bit more problematic for the ones speaking German, French and Spanish since, from what I've gathered, fewer people are fluent in English in this areas and they tend to rely more on dubbing and localizing.

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ya, I personally don't see a need for localization either.

 

Translations are usually piss-poor anyway. At least I personally cannot stand to play a game in german, unless the game was made by germans. Really all the skill and item names just don't translate. it's cringeworthy.

I cannot speak for other languages.

 

So don't prioritize that pls. Offer a translation 1 year after your release. That is completely acceptable.

 

An EU server shouldn't be dependent on having your game in multiple languages. English is fine :)

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All early backers will have their rewards on and access to ArtCraft servers

 

Someone correct me if I'm misunderstanding this - but does this mean anyone in EU who doesn't pledge won't have access to NA? (Say it isn't so!)

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Akella did the russian localization for EQ2.  As far as i know that was a really good job and has resulted in a very strong Russian community in that game.  I myself play on the regular servers though, so it's second-hand knowledge. 

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Someone correct me if I'm misunderstanding this - but does this mean anyone in EU who doesn't pledge won't have access to NA? (Say it isn't so!)

 

I think it means they can't know what a foreign publisher might demand of them, which could mean region locking. I would strongly suggest that if you aren't from North America but want to play on NA servers, you should probably make a pledge to the kickstarter just to be safe. 

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